41st Session of the UN Human Rights Council
Interactive dialogue on Sudan
CIVICUS notes the efforts that have been made by the Sudanese authorities and Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) towards establishment of an OHCHR country office in Sudan in line with resolution 39/22 of the Human Rights Council. We now urge the Sovereign Council of Sudan and OHCHR to sign the Memorandum of Understanding to operationalize the OHCHR office to provide technical advice, monitoring and public reporting with unrestricted access to all parts of the country, with a view to fulfilling Sudan’s human rights obligations and commitments.
We welcome ongoing efforts between the Sudanese authorities and civilian leaders particularly those facilitated by the African Union and Ethiopia to finalise a peace deal that will guide the political transition and lead the country to elections in three years. The current peace deal which is due to be finalized provides for an independent national investigation into all acts of violence committed since February 2019. However, for the transition to be effective and stable, the scope of these investigations must include all violence against peaceful protesters and restrictions placed on fundamental freedoms since the protests started in December 2018.
In particular, the human rights violations committed by the paramilitary forces – the Rapid Response Forces and the National Intelligence and Security Forces (NISS) during the protests must be investigated by an independent, impartial, thorough inquiry. More than 100 people were killed and many more injured when paramilitary forces violently dispersed peaceful protesters when peace negotiations reached an impasse on 3 June 2019. We urge the Sudanese authorities to ensure that security forces respond to ongoing and future protests in line with the country’s international human rights obligations and address underlying causes of the protests.
All human rights defenders, representatives of civil society and citizens still in detention in connection with the protests should be released unconditionally. We also call on the Sudanese authorities to respect the rights of citizens to access and information and restore internet connections in all parts of the country where the internet was shut down in an attempt to conceal the brutality of the crackdown by the military against protesters.
It is past time for the international community to take decisive action on the human rights situation in Sudan. We call on the Council to provide all necessary resources to carry out an independent, impartial inquiry into all acts of violence against protesters since December 2018, so that perpetrators can be held to account.