Sudan’s human rights record remains deeply troubling, defined by government repression and violations of basic civil and political rights as well as disregard for obligations on civilian protection under international humanitarian law.
In the conflict zones of Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile the Rapid Support Forces and other government aligned forces continued to carry out attacks on civilians. In Darfur, these forces looted and burned several villages in May and June, causing tens of thousands of civilians to flee.
The humanitarian situation in many areas of the three conflict zones remains dire. The failure of government and armed opposition to agree on aid delivery to hundreds of thousands of civilians living in the rebel controlled areas has deprived them of necessary food and supplies essential to fundamental rights such as rights to life and health.
The Sudanese government has lobbied for a reduction in UN/AU peacekeepers in Darfur on the basis of improved security, but it is clear from the mission’s reporting that civilians, especially in displaced persons camps, remain vulnerable to attack by armed actors, including government soldiers and militia.
The government has not brought a stop to violations of human rights or humanitarian law nor investigated or prosecuted the vast majority of documented cases, and has not followed up on promises to provide justice for the serious crimes in Darfur nor cooperated with the International Criminal Court.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese government has continued to use excessive force to break up protests across the country, including at several university campuses. Just days ago, government security forces fired live ammunition to disperse protests at Kalma displaced person’s camp in South Darfur, killing at least 5.
Sudan’s national security agency continues to detain student activists, human rights defenders, members of opposition parties and others who are critical of government policies. Authorities have brought trumped up charges against defenders and activists such as “crimes against the state” that carry the death penalty. All detainees are at risk of torture.
This is not the time to weaken scrutiny of the situation in Sudan. As Sudanese and international human rights organizations have repeatedly asserted, the situation in Sudan continues to warrant a Council mandated Special Rapporteur under Item 4 to monitor and publicly report on violations of human rights and humanitarian law in all parts of the country.