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Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019. © 2019 Magali Girardin/Keystone via AP

Thank you, Madam President.

Sudan’s political transition remains fragile. Protests have continued across the country, calling for faster reform and civilian rule. On June 30 in Omdurman, at least one protester was shot dead and many injured, reportedly by security forces. This month in North Darfur, security forces responded to protests with violence, and intercommunal violence killed at least nine. Late last year, in West Darfur, similar intercommunal tensions flared into deadly clashes that left more than 60 dead, destroyed an IDP camp and nearby villages, and further displaced tens of thousands of people.

Authorities have yet to hold perpetrators accountable for attacks on protesters since December 2018, including the bloody June 3 2019 crackdown in Khartoum, when the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and others shot live bullets at unarmed protesters, killing scores, and subjected hundreds to beatings and sexual violence.

The authorities have yet to take many of the steps envisioned in the constitutional document signed in August, including the appointment of the legislative council and governors for all states, forming commissions on human rights, law reform and transitional justice, or beginning to reform Sudan’s vast security sector.

Still, Sudan’s transition holds enormous opportunity for finally putting human rights and the rule of law up front. We urge the authorities to prioritize justice for protesters killed since December 2018 and for abuses in Darfur, to do more to reform criminal laws, the security forces, and institutions, including articulating a clear strategy for cooperation with the International Criminal Court.

The HRC should continue its scrutiny of Sudan and ensure regular monitoring and reporting by the OHCHR to the Council on the human rights situation on the ground and the implementation of the work of the Office in Khartoum. 

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