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Sudanese opposition heads meet UN Human Rights Council

July 10 - 2019 GENEVA
Palais des Nations in Geneva (File photo: Geneva tourism)
Palais des Nations in Geneva (File photo: Geneva tourism)

A delegation of Sudanese opposition leaders attended the interactive dialogue session on Sudan at the 41st session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Tuesday. They demanded the Council keep Sudan under special procedures.

A delegation of members of the Alliance for Freedom and Change and the Sudan Call, a coalition of armed movements, opposition parties, and civil society organisations, arrived in Geneva in Switzerland this week. They met with delegates from Norway and Britain (who are part of the Sudan Troika) and called on the international community to reject the formation of a Sudanese national committee to investigate the violent dismantling of the sit-in on June 3, in favour of an international investigation.

The delegation also called for the immediate handover of those indicted by the International Criminal Court, foremostly ousted President Omar Al Bashir.

The delegation warned that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan’s main militia, and the leadership of the Transitional Military Council (TMC) “constitute a threat to civilians and human rights”.

No immunity

It stressed that the participation of the TMC in the Sovereign Council to be formed, should not give them immunity from accountability, especially with regard to the massacre at the sit-in.

It called for a strategic view of the human rights situation in Sudan. It stressed that no positive change has taken place so far, especially with the continuation of wars, the serious violations of international humanitarian law, the existence of millions of displaced people and refugees, and the prevalence of impunity for those accused of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

The delegation called on the international community to take action against the RSF militia that have now moved from rural to urban areas and that there is a need to provide more protection for the Sudanese against these militiamen.

‘RSF threaten regional security’

The delegation stressed that the RSF militia has become a threat to regional security not only to Sudan, but that the threat extended from the coast of West Africa to Mali, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Central Africa, Ethiopia, and other countries.

All participants in the interactive dialogue session on Sudan at the 41st session of the Human Rights Council on Tuesday welcomed the agreement between the TMC and the AFC.

European Union

The representative of the European Union called for the inclusion of women in the political process, stressing the need for accountability and investigation of crimes committed, including sexual and gender-based violence, and the need to protect hospitals and schools.

Britain condemned the attacks on hospitals and demonstrators, stressing the importance of not disregarding the crimes and abuses that occurred before December.

The Netherlands said that it is deeply concerned, condemning violence and sexual and gender-based violence, stressing that attacks on hospitals and medical staff were unacceptable.

Belgium demanded accountability of all, including members of the military junta.

France called on all parties to refrain from violence.

Germany expressed its deep respect for the Sudanese civil society, which has committed itself to peacefulness despite the violence used against it, calling for investigation and accountability for the sake of stability.

It condemned the closure of the internet and attacking freedom of expression.

The representative of Australia condemned the brutal attacks on civilians on June 3, particularly the attack on hospitals, calling for the opening of the headquarters of the Human Rights Council in Sudan.

Japan also condemned the campaign against peaceful demonstrators.

Unicef

The representative of Unicef focused on the situation of children in Sudan, especially in Darfur, pointing out that they are at risk of abuse and exploitation, calling that the rights of children should be placed on the list of priorities when negotiating between parties.

Representatives of the Arab and African Group [?] called on Sudan to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council by allowing the opening of their office in Khartoum.

Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain welcomed the agreement.

They reiterated the importance of listening to the demands of the people while insisting on the need to respect Sudan’s sovereignty and that the international community should not impose its opinion on them.


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