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Archive for the tag “African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur”

The International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies statement on Sudan (15.03.2019)


Building resilience and peace in resource-scarce Darfur (15.03.2019)

Like many Darfuris, Aziza, 52, has lived for decades in a fragile environment, characterized by growing climatic variability and periods of shortage.

NEW YORK, United States of America, March 15, 2019 – Four years ago, Aziza Mohammed Abdallah Mukhtar was scraping a living growing tobacco in the community of Zamzam in Sudan’s arid North Darfur State.

Like many Darfuris, Aziza, 52, has lived for decades in a fragile environment, characterized by growing climatic variability and periods of shortage. Her crops took seven months to mature under normal conditions, stretching the widowed mother of five’s resilience to breaking point.

Now, thanks to a project that spreads seasonal water to increase agricultural productivity and reduce soil erosion, Aziza has yielded thriving crops such as watermelon, sorghum, tomato, okra and sesame.

“This project has enabled me to finance my children’s education,” she says. Three of her children are now studying at universities in Khartoum.

UN Environment has been implementing the European Union-funded Wadi El Ku Catchment Management Project since 2014, partnering with local organization Practical Action, the Government of Sudan and communities such as Aziza’s.

Before the US$7.7 million project, Aziza’s land, close to the state capital of El Fasher, did not receive water from the wadi (a channel that fills up in the rainy season). The seven-metre-high water spreading embankment built under the project, which extends 1.2 kilometres along the Zamzam administrative area, has helped her and other locals to diversify agricultural output.

Two other embankments, three water channels and two water reservoirs have been constructed or rehabilitated. This has enabled nearly 1,600 households from 34 village councils to triple production of sorghum and millet, and grow vegetables and cash crops well into the dry season.

The benefits are not restricted to increasing resilience to droughts. With resources like water and land increasingly scarce, grievances also often arise between competing communities in Darfur. These lead to local conflicts, and played a major role in the war that broke out in 2003.

The project has helped reduce tensions, especially between pastoralists and crop farmers. Community councils from many villages meet to evaluate the best way of using the water, while committees ensure technical and political engagement at state level.

The second phase, launched in November 2018, aims to expand integrated water resource management to communities upstream and downstream of the Wadi El Ku catchment. It will directly benefit 80,000 households within the area.

“Less water availability impacts on health and food security. It triggers displacement of people and political instability,” says Jean-Michel Dumond, the European Union’s Ambassador to Sudan. “Our hope is that the same model could be reproduced in other regions. This will help local populations to better manage their natural resources in partnership towards a peaceful and profitable future.”

In East Darfur State, meanwhile, another UN Environment and European Union project, implemented by the UN Office for Project Services, is starting to make a similar difference to communities struggling to manage their resources.

“When I was growing up, there were less than 50 households here,” says Abdulrahman Ismail, a cleric who lives in East Darfur’s Bakhiet village. “Now, it has risen to more than 5,000. Trees have been decimated due to cooking energy demands.”

These environmental changes are just as common in other parts of the semi-arid state, which covers an area slightly larger than Greece and is home to about 1.5 million residents.

The East Darfur Natural Resources Management Project supports six communities by increasing their ability to implement natural resource management policy reform. In May 2018, nearly three years since the project’s launch, the East Darfur State Legislature passed the 2018 Council Act for Coordination and Management of Natural Resource Policies for East Darfur State.

The legislation is the first of its kind in Sudan and provides a framework for the joint management of resources by the state government and local communities. Through a separate piece of legislation passed in September, East Darfur is also working to promote the joint management of water yards, dams and other water sources within its Territory.

As climate change bites harder and populations continue to grow—in Darfur and many other regions across Africa—efforts that help communities share their resources will be crucial in preventing conflicts and minimizing the impacts of dry spells.

UN Environment has provided environmental support to Sudan since the 1990s. Its work spans natural resource management, livelihoods, climate change adaptation, environmental governance, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, and strengthening women’s roles in local peacebuilding processes.

PHR Demands Sudan End Detention of Doctors, Attacks on Hospitals; Calls for Accountability of Sudanese Government (01.03.2019)

Transfer of party leadership to deputy Ahmed Haroun appears merely symbolic.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) today called on the Sudanese government, which on February 22 declared a yearlong state of emergency, to immediately cease ongoing detention and abuse of doctors, students, and civilians. Since the beginning of the protests against the government in December 2018, PHR has learned about dozens of doctors and other health workers who have been arrested, held without charges, threatened and subjected to abusive treatment – including beatings and sexual abuse – for their care of injured demonstrators, as well as raids on health care facilities, inhibiting the provision of care.

PHR supports the Sudan Doctors Syndicate’s demand for an immediate cessation of the Sudanese government’s human rights violations against its people, joins the Sudan Consortium’s call for the African Commission for Human and People’s Rights to investigate allegations of excessive use of force against peaceful demonstrators, and calls for accountability in the face of the vicious crackdown on fundamental human rights in Sudan.

According to reliable reports compiled by PHR, 26 doctors currently remain imprisoned, most of them denied communication with their families and left untreated for injuries sustained during their arrests.

Physicians for Human Rights Medical Expert Dr. Rohini Haar said the following in response to the ongoing attacks against Sudanese doctors and health care facilities:

“President al-Bashir’s delegation today of Sudan’s ruling party leadership to his deputy and long-time ally, Ahmed Haroun, is likely to be merely symbolic, and must be accompanied by accountability for the government’s ongoing human rights violations. Sudanese authorities’ detention of doctors, incursions into hospitals, and interference with the provision of medical care not only represent egregious violations of the norms protecting the ethical delivery of medical care, but also cause significant health impacts for the entire community, which is no longer able to rely on hospitals as safe facilities to seek care. The Sudanese government’s use of tear gas, live ammunition, and violence – both within hospitals and on the streets – to quell peaceful protests and deter medical professionals’ ability to provide care to Sudanese citizens must cease immediately.

“The government must release detained Sudanese physicians, cease interrupting their efforts to provide health care to the Sudanese people, and be held accountable for human rights violations.”

Among the specific violations against health personnel and facilities committed at the end of February in Sudan, on the night of al-Bashir’s February 22 declaration of the state of emergency, security forces raided Central Doctors Housing in Khartoum, the largest doctors’ residence in the country, and detained all those on the premises. The estimated 56 doctors detained were released over the next few days, and many reported being beaten or subjected to psychological abuse. Reported physical injuries sustained by the detainees included a spinal fracture, limb fractures, bruises, and hematomas.

On February 24, armed security forces raided the University of Medical Science and Technology (UMST) and assaulted and detained students, including firing tear gas inside lecture halls and sexually harassing women students. After UMST students sought safe haven in Dar Alilaj hospital, security forces reportedly entered it and fired tear gas inside.

Since 1988, PHR has documented and advocated to stop the unlawful detention, torture, and killing of medical workers. PHR has advocated against the interference with medical care in violation of human rights and international laws and principles that protect the impartial delivery of health care, especially in times of civil unrest or conflict. Among other violations, the organization has reported on systematic attacks on doctors in Bahrain, the jailing of AIDS doctors in Iran, attacks and persecution of medical workers in Turkey, and the targeting and destruction of medical facilities and killing of medical personnel in Syria and Yemen.

Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the situation in Sudan (28.02.2019)

The EU is closely following the situation in Sudan. Measures being adopted under the newly declared state of emergency, the increased role of the military in governing the country, further curtail fundamental freedoms and undermine the recent offer of a new political dialogue. They create a permissive climate for the security services to act with impunity against peaceful protesters. The latest attacks against unarmed students in the University of Medical Sciences and Technology and against peaceful protesters in Omdurman, are deeply disturbing.

Genuine political dialogue requires an environment in which the Sudanese people can exercise their legitimate right to express their views. This will be essential to create the national consensus needed to find sustainable responses to Sudan’s deep political and economic crisis.

The EU expects the Sudanese government to release all journalists, members of the opposition, human rights defenders and other protesters in detention. Some of those with whom the dialogue is set to take place have been arbitrarily detained for over two months now. An independent investigation into the deaths and abuses should be undertaken with those responsible held to account.

The respect for these fundamental principles are at the core of the EU’s phased engagement with the government of Sudan. We will continue to monitor the situation and review the impact of the Government of Sudan’s actions on its relations with the European Union.

Sudan: The Troika remain deeply concerned about the situation in Sudan (26.02.2019)

Sudan: Al-Bashir’s Final Hammer Dance!

I’m in the club, bottle in hand doing my two step

While I got my gun in my pants, call it the hammer dance

Bitches dancing on a nigga, when they feel the gun

I tell ’em we’re doing the hammer dance

Two steppin’ with my weapon on me” – Royce Da 5’9” (Slaughterhouse – Hammer Dance, 13.03.2012).

For the ones thinking that President Omar Al-Bashir would go softly, would be a smooth jazz-singer and dance of stage. That would never happen, surely, he never was much of dancer anyway. He was and is a War-Lord, he makes the hammers dance. There are already reports that after he announced the State of Emergency, there been more fatalities and more vengeance from the Security Organizations, as the President has sworn-in a cabinet in army fatigue, because that shows his “temporary” measures.

However, today, as it isn’t enough that the army, the Janjaweed (Rapid Support Forces) and NISS is attacking civilians at Universities, in their homes and on the streets. The President are putting up the ante with the new decrees today. Showing no remorse and no slowing down. Only showing his ability to stick around and trying to bleed out the discontent against him.

First part on “uniformed units are now authorized to:

– enter any building & search any persons

– monitor any property or buildings

– confiscate money or properties or goods suspected of violating law till investigations are done

– restrict movements of people or their activities” (Wasil Ali on Twitter, 25.02.2019)

This is clearly a measure done to quell all planned demonstrations and riots, this is to ensure that public are living in fear and also can lose all their freedoms, all liberties, as even their homes and they are not allowed to trespass, if the government says its illegal to go out. They are under curfew like children, who cannot move without permission from the President and the National Congress Party.

Further Measures:

“-Restrict movement of anything including transportation means.

– Arrest anyone suspected of violating emergency rule.

– Any other powers conferred by the president.

– Attorney General empowered to lift immunity on certain people suspected of violating emergency

– Attorney General is to establish emergency courts

– Gatherings and demonstrations not given permits are banned

– Blocking roads or movement of people is banned

– Undermining the prestige of state or any of its officials or its agencies or its employees is banned

– Strikes or suspending work is banned

– Attacking public or private properties or people or endangering public safety is banned

– Public events or activities without permits are banned

– Any news that are produced or disseminated that harm state or people or call for undermining state or incite hatred or racism through any medium visual or audio or social media is banned” (Wasil Ali on Twitter, 25.02.2019). 

If this isn’t saying enough. The 30 year long rule under Al-Bashir is clearly on thin-ice. As he comes with these measures after 69 days of demonstrations across the Republic. Now, its illegal to demonstrate, strike and even block roads. The voices of the streets, the actions made by the various associations and unions in the Republic is now forbidden. The Commander in Chief and President have suspended the will of the people, their voices and made it illegal to riot against him. In a final nail in the coffin, not to secure the betterment of Sudan, but to try to salve his on fate.

Omar Al-Bashir is so weak, a giant WAR-LORD, a TYRANT, who cannot rule by popular opinion, but by decree, by taking away all liberties, freedoms and the free speech. What is worse, this isn’t the only measures done, but enough to prove what sort of a failure of a leader, Al-Bashir is. Since, nothing can done without permits and surely, the President and his Attorney General will not give that freely away. If so, he wouldn’t have created the National Emergency and taken the steps to form these draconian laws, which interprets the reality into a full fledged military dictatorship, where the President can micro-manage everyone and even arrest them at any point.

Not that this is so much more different than before, but now it is by decree. Not only by actions of impunity and inactive laws. Now, its official that gatherings, blocking of the roads, strikes, demonstrations, writing in social media and restrictions of movement. Is all steps to stop the continuation of demonstrations. Stop the momentum and the opportunity for the activists and revolutionaries to gain strength. This is done, to little by little take a lid on the fire. Stop it from getting oxygen and kill it off. Instead of letting the fire burn, letting the air brush the flame and give it more strength. Now, the lid is put over and the President hopes the trick works. As he has taken all power in his hands.

However, the public, the organizers and the activists who has fought, taken to the streets, the citizens and everyone who has participated in the last 69 days. Has shown bravery, courage and even risked their lives in the streets of Sudan. They have shown the world the power of the feet, the power of collective actions against an oppressive state. Which now is taking it further. Using the State of Emergency as a tool to try to destroy the movement and the will of the people. To stand up against the President of 30 years.

He is showing no mercy, he is showing no grace, only merciless and sinister acts of deliberate decapitating the voice of the people, their liberties and their freedoms. Nothing is there for them, they are just the servants, the slaves of the President and they are there to follow his command. Like he anticipate them to do. Not because they love him or support him, but because he wants them to fear him and his laws. That is who Al-Bashir is and always been. The War-Lord ruling by the sword and will only die by the sword. There is no diplomatic backbone in his body or threshold to pass into freedom for the public.

No, only more blood to spill, only more violence and harassment, only more sinister acts of a deluded Head of State, who doesn’t know what time it is. He thinks its the time for his Hammer Dance, instead of the time to “gracefully” retire. Peace.

Opinion: Whatever Al-Bashir promises Sudan today, he will not keep it!

Well, I don’t have any of my hopes up, when concerning the Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir. Who has ruled the Republic of Sudan since 30th June 1989. The National Congress Party (NCP) was already preparing the elections for 2020 with him as the President as it has been done again and again. He planned it again, until the stark uprising started in December and has persisted ever since.

With today’s demonstrations in Sudan, there been demos since 18th December 2018 and with my calculations, that is 66 days with demonstrations. Which is long time of demos, showing the weakness and lack of support the President has.

Today on the 22nd February 2019 a good year before the next elections, the President is anticipated to promise that he steps down as the President of the NCP and not run as the President. Also gone total bananas, by announcing a state of emergency, which means that he will have total power; while also dissolving the Parliament. That gives him absolute power and can do whatever he likes. Without consent, as people are supposed to trust him on his promise to step down.

However, the reason why I don’t trust him on that, is that this man has done similar moves before. In 2013, he promised in march 2013, that he wouldn’t run again in 2015. However, as we all know he didn’t step down. If he had followed the words of 19th March 2013, which was published in the Qatar’s Al Shraq Newspaper. Nevertheless, these words and pledges wasn’t kept.

So, that President Al-Bashir promises again to step down is a false flag, a false hope, this is stalling for time. It is nothing else. Those who believed him in the past. Can surely be tricked again, but he cannot hoodwink them again. That ship has sailed.

Whatever the President is saying in his address will not taking stock of locally, as the Sudan Professional Association are planning more demonstrations in the coming week too. Therefore, the address of the President today. Will either show that he takes more power by force, suspending the Parliament, create a state of emergency. An act done to secure power indefinitely.

Al-Bashir took power by force, keeps it by force. He uses the security forces to quell the demonstrations, by all means, tear-gassing, detaining and killing. Therefore, whatever he says or proclaims today will be only one thing.

STALLING TACTICS 101. Don’t believe a man like this steps down before he has to step down. He wouldn’t have ruled for 30 years without a successor. Only with empty promises of that someday, there will be Sudan without Al-Bashir as their Head of State. However, that day has never come. Because, the man doesn’t have it in him to stop. His greed is to overstay and indefinitely. Peace.

Sudan: 30 women detained in inhumane conditions following involvement in protests (20.02.2019)

The detainees include members of opposition political parties, human rights defenders, journalists, teachers and doctors.

PARIS, France, February 20, 2019 – The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) and FIDH are deeply concerned about the safety of 30 women detained without access to lawyers or family members by the Sudanese National Security Intelligence Services (NISS) in Omdurman women’s prison. The detainees were targeted for their participation or suspected involvement in the ongoing protests calling for the resignation of president Omar al-Bashir. ACJPS and FIDH have gathered disturbing information about the detention conditions of these women, all of whom have been subjected to invasive strip searches, amounting to acts of sexual violence.

The detainees include members of opposition political parties, human rights defenders, journalists, teachers and doctors. Of the 30 women currently held at Omdurman, 18 were arrested during protests held between December 20, 2018 and February 2, 2019. They were forced to climb into NISS pickup trucks and to face downward so that they could not recognize where they were being taken. The other detainees were arrested over the same time period during NISS raids of their private residences and political party offices. The oldest detainee is in her late 70’s whilst the youngest is 24 years old. At least one is suffering from asthma.

Sudanese authorities must preserve the safety of the 30 women detained in Omdurman prison and ensure they have immediate and unequivocal access to their family members, medical services and to lawyers of their own choosing. Those arbitrarily detained must be released and for those charged, authorities must ensure due process of law and a fair trial including the right to promptly access courts and to review the legality of their detention”, declared Mossaad Mohamed Ali, ACJPS Executive Director.

ACJPS and FIDH have received reliable information indicating that the 30 women were made to sit for hours while facing the wall as they waited for admission into the prison. After having their phones confiscated and inspected, all of the women were subjected to body searches by NISS agents including in their private parts, amounting to acts of sexual violence. While in detention, they have not had access to sanitary towels, thus exposing them to risks of infection. Many have been subjected to verbal abuse including calling them prostitutes. At least eight women are obliged to share a single cell measuring approximately 5×5 meters.

NISS authorities have used detainees’ family members to pressure them to reveal information. The husband of at least one detainee was brought to the prison by NISS agents to force her reveal the identity of members of the Sudanese Professionals Association. Before the arrest of another detainee, her nephew was arrested by NISS to force her to report to their offices. Her nephew was eventually released.

“The information we have received suggests that the 30 women detainees may have been subjected to various forms of acts of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, including acts of sexual violence. Authorities must take immediate action to end these violations, to carry a prompt investigation into these acts and to hold those responsible to account”, declared Sheila Nabachwa, FIDH Vice President.

At least 816 people have been arrested and detained and 40 others killed since protests broke out across Sudan on 19 December 2018. While protests initially focused on denouncing increases in prices of basic commodities, they quickly developed into calling for the resignation of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, leading to a violent response from security agencies. On 29 January 2019, the Director of NISS ordered the release of all detainees  but only a few of those detained were released. Security agencies have continued to arrest protesters and disperse rallies. Most recently, on 10 February 2019, police used teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters participating in a march organized by the Sudanese Professionals Association calling for the release of all women detained since the December 2018 protests. Police intercepted the protesters as they marched towards Omdurman women’s prison and arrested several people.

ACJPS and FIDH are deeply concerned about the detention conditions of all those who have been arrested and detained in relation to the protests, considering NISS’s well-documented record of acts of torture against detainees. Our organisations urge authorities to guarantee the safety of all detainees, in compliance with provisions of the Sudanese 2005 Interim Constitution and with regional and international treaties to which Sudan is party.

ACJPS and FIDH further reiterate their call upon Sudanese authorities to end all acts of harassment and intimidation of citizens who seek to exercise their rights to freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly.

High level UN delegation concludes a three-day visit to Sudan (12.02.2019)

Their visit focused on the transition of the UN’s engagement in Darfur in the context of the drawdown of the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur, known as UNAMID.

KHARTOUM, Sudan, February 12, 2019 – On 12 February 2019, the Assistant Secretary-General for Peace Operations, Bintou Keita; the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Development Programme, Mourad Wahba; and the Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Oscar Fernandez-Taranco concluded a three-day visit to Sudan. Their visit focused on the transition of the UN’s engagement in Darfur in the context of the drawdown of the United Nations-African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur, known as UNAMID.

From 9 to 11 February, they visited Darfur where they engaged with local and State authorities, native administration, IDPs and Civil Society among others in order to ensure a smooth transition of peace-building tasks from UNAMID to UN Agencies, Programmes and Funds and the relevant authorities of the Government of Sudan (GOS). On 11 February, the delegation returned to Khartoum where they met with the Assistant Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Elham Ahmed and a high level delegation from all Government bodies working with UNAMID.

The discussion revolved around issues related to the transition and eventual exit of UNAMID by June 2020.

The high level UN delegation held a broader meeting between UNAMID, the UN Country Team (UNCT) and the Government of Sudan in order to coordinate efforts to facilitate a smooth transition.

During these engagements the three Assistant Secretaries -Generals emphasized that the responsibility of achieving peace, stability and development for the people of Darfur lies with the Government of Sudan while all other entities can play a supporting role.

This joint mission reflected the United Nations’ commitment to supporting this important process and ensuring national ownership for sustaining Peace.

Sudan Doctors Syndicate: New trends of violence and brutality against civil protestors in Sudan (08.02.2019)

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