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UN Human Rights Council Should Continue Scrutiny of Sudan

Item 10 Enhanced Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Sudan - HRC45

A mural reading, "The Revolution will go on" is seen on a wall in Khartoum, Sudan, June 18, 2019. © 2019 Umit Bektas/Reuters

Now in its second year of a three-year transition, Sudan faces enormous challenges. 

Protests have continued across the country over lack of progress on accountability and reform. In some instances, government forces used lethal violence to disperse them, including in Darfur where security forces continued to arbitrarily detain activists without charge.

Darfur and eastern Sudan have seen a surge in violence, including inter-communal conflicts that erupted in July and August resulting in scores killed and injured, and thousands displaced. Security forces have responded with excessive use of force.

Reform has come slowly. Authorities have yet to appoint the legislative council or key commissions on human rights and transitional justice as envisioned under constitutional charter. In July, the government passed key legal reforms such as criminalization of female genital mutilation, abolishing the crime of apostasy, and removing arrest and detention power from the security services. But there is still a long way to go.

Genuine accountability for the most serious crimes against civilians and against protesters -- including the violent dispersal of the sit-in in Khartoum on June 3, 2019, which killed over 120 people – remains elusive.

Although one suspect surrendered to the ICC in June, three of the other four wanted by the ICC including ousted president Omar al-Bashir remain in Sudan. Al-Bashir is currently standing trial on charges connected to the 1989 coup that brought him to power.

The attorney-general has begun to investigate past crimes including in Darfur, and the government has agreed to set up a special court and truth and reconciliation committee for Darfur.

Sudan more than ever needs continued support by the Council – the Council should maintain scrutiny of the situation in Sudan, including through monitoring and reporting by the High Commissioner and enhanced interactive dialogues.  

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