Domestic Violence, Forced Marriage, Have Risen in Sudan: UN-Backed Study (20.07.2021)

Deteriorating economic conditions since 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic have fuelled an increase in domestic violence and forced marriage in Sudan, a UN-backed study has revealed.

NEW YORK, United States of America, July 20, 2021 – Voices from Sudan 2020, published this week, is the first-ever nationwide qualitative assessment of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country, where a transitional government is now in its second year.

Addressing the issue is a critical priority, according to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Government’s Combating Violence against Women Unit (CVAW), co-authors of the report.

“The current context of increased openness by the Government of Sudan, and dynamism by civil society, opens opportunities for significant gains in advancing women’s safety and rights,” they said.

Physical violence at home 

The report aims to complement existing methods of gathering data and analysis by ensuring that the views, experiences and priorities of women and girls, are understood and addressed.

Researchers found that communities perceive domestic and sexual violence as the most common GBV issues.

Key concerns include physical violence in the home, committed by husbands against wives, and by brothers against sisters, as well as movement restrictions which women and girls have been subjected to.

Another concern is sexual violence, especially against women working in informal jobs, but also refugee and displaced women when moving outside camps, people with disabilities, and children in Qur’anic schools.

Pressure to comply

Forced marriage is also “prominent”, according to the report. Most of these unions are arranged between members of the same tribe, or relatives, without the girl’s consent or knowledge.

Meanwhile, Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) remains widespread in Sudan, with varying differences based on geographic location and tribal affiliation.  Although knowledge about the illegality and harmfulness of the practice has reached community level, child marriage and FGM are not perceived as key concerns.

Women’s access to resources is also severely restricted.  Men control financial resources, and boys are favoured for access to opportunities, especially education. Verbal and psychological pressure to comply with existing gender norms and roles is widespread, leading in some cases to suicide.

The deteriorating economic situation since 2020, and COVID-19, have increased violence, especially domestic violence and forced marriage, the report said. Harassment in queues for essential supplies such as bread and fuel has also been reported.

Data dramatically lacking 

Sudan continues to move along a path to democracy following the April 2019 overthrow of President Omar Al-Bashir who had been in power for 30 years.

Openly discussing GBV “has not been possible for the last three decades”, according to the report.

“GBV data is dramatically lacking, with no nation-wide assessment done for the past 30 years, and a general lack of availability of qualitative and quantitative data,” the authors said.

To carry out the assessment, some 215 focus group discussions were held with communities: 21 with GBV experts, as well as a review of existing studies and assessments.

Research was conducted between August and November 2020, encompassing 60 locations and camps, and the data was scanned through a software for qualitative analysis, followed a model first used in Syria.

Joint UN Press Release – UN agencies in Sudan reach conflict-affected communities in non-government-controlled areas for first time in a decade (13.06.2021)

United Nations humanitarian agencies have not been able to reach or provide life-saving assistance to support people in the five locations since 2011.

KHARTOUM, Sudan, June 13, 2021 – For the first time in ten years, United Nations humanitarian agencies have been able to access conflict-affected communities in the five non-governmental areas controlled by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) El Hilu in South Kordofan and Blue Niles states of Sudan.

A series of humanitarian missions to the five isolated enclaves has concluded, just as renewed peace talks between the Government of Sudan and SPLM-N are ongoing in Juba, South Sudan. These five areas have largely been cut-off from support over the last decade and the missions’ findings indicate people are in dire need of improved food security, education, health, and water and sanitation services.

“This response marks a significant breakthrough in humanitarian access and response to conflict-affected communities previously unreached by UN humanitarian assistance. We commend the local efforts to support essential needs during the years of hardship. The humanitarian community in Sudan is calling for increased access and critically needed assistance to support these marginalized communities,” said Khardiata Lo N’diaye, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General and Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator in Sudan.

United Nations humanitarian agencies have not been able to reach or provide life-saving assistance to support people in the five locations since 2011, when conflict broke out between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-N. Gaining humanitarian access to these communities provides a critical opportunity to improve lives and rebuild livelihoods.

“Communities in these areas have been struggling and surviving on little or nothing for a decade. Access for humanitarian agencies so they can increase their assistance to these vulnerable communities is critical. With improved food security and other opportunities, families will be able to reintegrate with the rest of Sudan and start to recover and rebuild,” said Eddie Rowe, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director in Sudan.

WFP delivered 100 metric tons of nutritious biscuits for 25,000 school children in 83 schools on the five missions. This was the first assistance that people in these isolated areas had received from the UN in the last decade due to conflict and access constraints. A lack of food for students is one of the main challenges Page 2 of 3 in maintaining school enrolment in these isolated areas. Providing school meals is among the top priorities for WFP’s response as access continues to open.

“Whilst these missions mark a major development, we need to ensure that humanitarian access to children and communities in need is always granted. No conditions should ever be set on access; humanitarian assistance should be provided at all times and from all places to those that need it. Findings from this mission are bleak. These children have been entirely ‘left behind’. We have to act now to ensure these children have a future. Collectively, efforts must be made to ensure access and sustain and scale up assistance,” said Abdullah Fadil, UNICEF Representative in Sudan.

Expanding humanitarian access to SPLM-N controlled enclaves is crucial to providing urgent assistance to an estimated 800,000 people in these areas, who desperately need relief following years of isolation. Ramping up support will help stabilize communities and pave the path for peacebuilding efforts, while reinforcing the UN’s commitment to assist marginalised populations in Sudan.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) participated in missions over the last six weeks to five isolated areas in SPLM-N El Hilu controlled areas including Zozak and Amora in Blue Nile State and Kau/Nyaro, Rashad/New Tegali, and Western Jebels in South Kordofan State.

Opinion: Hemeti will challenge the Gods

The Commander of Rapid Support Forces (RSF) the former Janjaweed, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemeti” is now challenging the state and the Sovereign Council. As he has not accepted to fully integrate the militia into the army.

RSP is already semi-autonomous, but by the act in government from 2017. The powers of the President can still command it. Therefore, the manner in which the law is created. It is creating a hard way to find ways to measure it. As it was an autonomous unit, but can be commanded by the President. This is maybe why the Sovereign Council and the Transitional Government want it under the same umbrella and not run as a separate outfit anymore. Especially, when the integrity and the power imbalance it might create.

The National Army is about 110,000 soldiers. While the RSF is about 20,000 militia men. Therefore, the size of RSF is substantial. Though, Hemeti is overplaying his hand here. Al-Burhan is the President (Chairman) of the Sovereign Council and Commander of the Armed Forces. By the laws of RSF Act of 2017. This means Al-Burhan can direct the RSF the way he see fit.

That means the RSF have to comply. The RSF Act was created for Al-Bashir’s wishes and whims. However, he is no longer the President and Commander-in-Chief. At this current time Al-Burhan runs as the President with Hamdok as the Prime Minister. Therefore, Hemeti which happens to be the Deputy of Al-Burhan doesn’t have the mandate to rebel against this.

Yes, the law is made in a way, which creates a lot of issues. Certainly, it was wilfully done so. In such a way that Al-Bashir could put all the blame on Hemeti and say he acted on his own merit. Instead of having to take responsibility for the actions made by the RSF in Darfur. Now, the same protocols are stifling the integration and furthering the process of a peaceful transition.

Hemeti doesn’t want to give up now. After years as a General and continued to rise to prominence. He has tried to make himself look more feasible and trade-off as a political broker. Still, everyone knows his past and willingness to dip into the coffers and get dirty. This man is willing to sell arms to Tchad or the Central African Republic. His willing to kill civilians and be a militia leader. So, it is not like his a man of protocol and a man of procedure. The RSF web page proves that as well.

Now, his willing to bet on the prestige and the ambition on his past. That he has the ability to overcome this obstacle and loose some sort of independence from the army. While the law, which he himself referred to recently. Is stating that the President can direct it and appoint it’s leadership. Meaning, if he Hemeti goes hard on this. Al-Burhan can in effect demote him and appoint someone else who is willing to accept the fate of the RSF in the SAF. That is just a mere fact and Hemeti should be aware of that himself.

His 20,000 combating a strong national army is a bloodshed in awaiting. Hemeti already have a war-torn Darfur and is known for his attacks on civilians there. Not like there is much love lost between the general public and the RSF. They still remember how the RSF was used to quell the revolution and civilians demonstrating against Al-Bashir. Therefore, he will not garner their love anytime soon.

This is why Hemeti should accept this plight. Swallow his pride and be happy that his even the Deputy in the Sovereign Council. That even with his horrific and depressing history, which he should have answered for in the court. The lives and the families he has hurt over the years. Still, he has rose to power and sitting at the high table. That man should feel lucky and not take this for granted.

Al-Burhan and the rest of the Sovereign Council is in it’s right to integrate and get the RSF into the SAF. That is just natural and not continue the agony of having it separate. Hemeti should understand that and just move-on. If he does… he will still have the reigns and be considered influential. However, if he gambles this all now.

Both the laws, the people and the Sovereign Council will dismiss him. There will be little to no redemption and what’s worse for him. That if they arrest him or start investigation of all of his acts during the years. The man will not see the light of day again. He will either be brought to court or get jail time. That is something you don’t want when you gotten this far…

However, Hemeti rather risk it, it seems and possibly loose it all. As he challenge the Gods, thinking they will forgive him. What a fool(!). This will only hurt him and he will not see it coming. Peace.

Opinion: A junta stays a junta

Breaking News: Colonel Assimi Göita takes over as President of Mali , Interim President and Prime Minister dismissed Less than 48 hours after dismissing the Interim President of the transition, Bah N’Daw, and his Prime Minister, Moctar Ouane, Colonel Assimi Goïta becomes the new President of the transition. Col Assimi Goïta says President Bah Ndaw and PM Moctar Ouane failed in their duties and were seeking to sabotage the country’s transition. On Wednesday, May 26, Bah N’Daw submitted his resignation and that of his Prime Minister to the man who had previously been his Vice President. The government, whose composition had been unveiled on 24 May a few hours before the military coup, was dissolved” (Red Lion Media, 26.05.2021).

There are sometimes the reality have to hit hard. There is sometimes a need to address things the way they are. This isn’t only for what’s happening in Bamako, but elsewhere. Let’s be clear. A junta stays a junta. No matter, if you appoint a civilian or a few technocrats to a “council” or a “cabinet” doesn’t make it a civilian government. It is still a junta government and the military is still in-charge.

That is what is happening these days in Bamako. This is what’s been happening in N’Djamena, Naypyidaw and Khartoum for instance. They have military government or junta’s, which Merriam-Webster defines like this: “a council or committee for political or governmental purposes especially : a group of persons controlling a government especially after a revolutionary seizure of power” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary – ‘Junta’ 26.May 2021).

We shouldn’t be shocked that Colonel Göita takes over power. That he sacks the ones who appointed a new cabinet without communicating or taking the CNSP into account. This is why the colonel did his second coup within a year. He used the army to topple the previous President and now he toppled another one. That’s because the civilians and the ones in transition didn’t follow the orders or act within the range of the military leadership.

This is just an act of an junta. Just because the junta appointed a former defence minister to President and allowed another civilian to become the Prime Minister. The main part of government was run by military commanders. This is why the underlings are still only there to create another image and be there to make the regime more feasible. The military leaders have no plans to leave power or give it away. They took power and has only selfish reasons to stay in office.

The junta will stay a junta. This will be the deal in Mali, Tchad, Sudan and Burma. These regimes are like this and they will not be accountable to anyone. They might seek to have some civilians within the transitional government or council. Just to make it legit and easily to sell to the international community.

It is just army commanders who wants to be the Executive and the Head of State. That is the reality. They didn’t need to win an election or get popular. These folks just used the guns and took power with their profession. The CNSP, the Sovereign Council and others are doing the same. They are boosting a transition. Hoping people are forgetting who they are and what sort of role they play. Putting in a few lucky technocrats (civilians) masking the cabinet/council. While promising after a long while to turn it into a civilian government.

The army says it saved the nation from corrupt individuals, tyrants and unpopular heads of state. The price is making them kings without any election. That’s why this is junta’s and they act like junta’s. We shouldn’t be surprised and just go after a few, but all of them. They are all using the mighty army in their favour. Instead of getting a government, which represent the general public in their republic.

We can either accept the trick or talk about it sincerely. Since, this isn’t a case only for Bamako. It is a problem and a way of governing, which happens across the world. Where the military and army commanders take control of the governing bodies and becomes the Head of State.

If you throw shade at Göita, do the same to General Kaka, President Al-Burhan and all the other fellas who has taken power this way. There is no difference, other than the way they have played it and making “mechanisms” for a transition. Which in the end favours them and gives them an advantage for a future election. That is it really.

A junta stays a junta. It doesn’t matter if they give a few plum jobs to a few technocrats. They are still army commanders running government and without a popular mandate from the public. Peace.

Sudan: The Sovereign Council got huge hurdles to pass

The Sovereign Council or the Transitional Government of Khartoum have a lot on their plate. The Sudanese government haven’t only skirmishes on the border towards Ethiopia. The state doesn’t only have the power vacuum in Darfur as the United Nations-African Union mission in the Darfur region of Sudan (UNAMID) is winding down.

The post Al-Bashir reign isn’t smooth, as the public feels disappointed, as the current leaders have betrayed the ideals of the revolution. The military leaders with very limited amount of civilians got a big problems to fix. That is not only the issues of getting legitimacy abroad, but handle the current financial strains, which was the final straw of the oppression of the 30 years long dictatorship.

Just read this from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA. What they are stating about the current affairs in Sudan is worrying. Take a look!

OCHA stats of April 2021:

Sorghum and millet prices in March 2021 were exceptionally high, up to three times the already high March 2020 levels, mainly due to the depreciation of the local currency. The Central Bureau of Statistics reported that the inflation rate was at 342 per cent in March, an increase of 11 points from 331 per cent in February. The economy of Sudan shrank by about 72 per cent between 2015 and 2020, while the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance increased by about 130 per cent. In 2021, World Vision plans to reach 2.1 million of Sudan’s most vulnerable children across the Blue Nile, South Kordofan, South and East Darfur states” (OCHA, 22.04.2021).

What this is saying is that prices for food has tripled in a year. The inflations rate is so huge that it’s the definition of hyper-inflation. This is clearly destroying the ability of people to buy food or afford to live. When the inflation is like that and with prices on food is rising as high. That will cause demonstrations and riots. This in combination of the continued militarization of government without any proof of a transition to a civilian government. The public will address this and we could easily see their hurt and ability for a new round of revolution. This time not after Al-Bashir and his party, but to topple the Sovereign Council.

That so many people needs humanitarian assistance as well, as the state isn’t making things better. They are not able to create stability of currency, prices and with the inflation. That in combination with the lack of humanitarian assistance too. The Sovereign Council got its work cut out for it. This is just two years after its formation and with the power of the Transitional Military Council (TMC), which has the majority in it.

This is men of the military, militias and such who has the reigns. These are no technocrats or bureaucrats, except for the Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The ones in the council is former generals and leaders of the army. That is why it’s not strange that they are wrecking the economy. An economy which was tanking when they took power. So, they haven’t been able in two years to change the problems. While making more people suffering and possibly rising hunger, as the needs are ever growing.

The state got a lot on its plate. These recent reports is worrying and if things get more tricky in the future. Don’t be shocked if the public revolt or the population riots against their loss of value of currency, rising food prices and the constant struggle to survive. These military men are clearly not up for the job and they are not able to stabilize the situation. Peace.

Opinion: Special Envoy Feltman is not the right man for the Horn of Africa

A career diplomat and a man who is controversial. Is not the sort of figure you send to fix or amend issues. An outspoken and ideological man like Jeffrey Feltman will only configure the conflicts and the situations at hand for the benefits of American interests. That is what he has done in his position most of his life.

Except for his stint under Ban Ki-Moon in United Nations and prolonged under Antonio Guterres. He has been a career diplomat across the Northern Africa and Middle East. His role in Lebanon and elsewhere is where his most noteworthy from.

Feltman is a person that take sides. When he actively takes sides in divided landscapes as a senior career diplomat. What will he do as Horn of Africa Envoy? I doubt he will wind beneficial middle-ground or emphasis on the common grounds between the parties. He is afraid of the Iranian and possible Turkish involvement in the region. As he also seeks to promote and secure the American interests first.

That means we know that this Special Envoy will be partial and be affected by his allegiance. He will not come with a clean slate or be working accordingly to the problems at hand. This man will not solve the issues or come with clear mediation. No, this man will further U.S. interests. These words are taken from Karim Makdisi who teaches at the American University in Beirut. Who assessed Feltman’s role in the area as an ambassador.

When you are known for things like this and going into the Horn of Africa at his very moment. The person should be less questionable. Joe Biden appointed him since his been a person trusted in the Obama Administration and has a diplomatic record spanning over years. This is a token recognition of that. However, his still a man peculiar fella who suddenly going into a mine-field.

A person who believes in “non-interfering” but interfering to avoid “enemies” interfering. Therefore, that split-personality trait doesn’t make much sense either. Except he lives in a cold-war paradigm with Iran. Which clearly could be shifted to anywhere in the world.

Feltman will pick sides whether it is in Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia or Sudan. This man will also pin-point and look after the U.S. interests. That is why this man isn’t just a random a dude travelling and taking a safari. No, this man will not be the best diplomat. A man who could easily ask for a military government in Lebanon (wikileaks leaked cables proved that). He could easily assess a situation and confess to the sustainability now. Just to buy peace and the comfort of having a U.S. ally on the throne.

As a Special Envoy he is supposed to mediate in Tigray conflict, which has been going on since 4th November 2020. There he will by default have to intervene with the Tripartite Alliance and get vouched by them for talks. However, Abiy haven’t been in favour of any real talks or outsiders looking into it. As that would devastate his image and tarnish his “reformist” mind.

The Special Envoy is also supposed to mediate in the Al-Fashaqa triangle. Where the Sudanese have sent more forces and secured their border points. While the Ethiopian with their Tripartite Alliance have entered in here as an escalation of the Tigray conflict. Abiy have held small talks with Al-Burhan, but nothing sincere. It seems likely that the Special Envoy needs a miracle and I wonder, if he would booster the new ally in Khartoum or try to appease Addis Ababa. Hard to know, but with the likes of Feltman will have to be calm and figure out what matters here.

The last piece of trouble ahead is the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Nile dialogue between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan. The three has held negotiations and talks, but haven’t landed on a agreement to settle the shared water. This here is both a talk of sovereign use of water sources and how that will affect the up-stream nations. This is why the Special Envoy have to dwindle into colonial agreements and newer ones as well. While being able to play ball with Cairo, Khartoum and Addis Ababa. His career task alone to finalize and be able to please all parties. Someone has to give, but we can wonder who will do that.

The GERD negotiations and talks alone will be more hostile. As the Ethiopian claims in the Al-Fashaqa region/triangle and their skirmishes inside Sudan. The relations has soured over this. That will not help the Special Envoy before even entering. As well, as his intervention or possible mandate hasn’t been granted by any of the parties involved. Who hasn’t a favourable view of American touches here. As the previous administration was taken Egypt’s side and this feeling might linger on.

Therefore, the likes of a Special Envoy in the first place is a noble idea of Biden. Nevertheless, taking a career diplomat should been seen as a positive. However, the history of Feltman and his manners. He can be seen as a spinster for American interests over the needs to salvage peace. This man isn’t the one who should have been sent. Maybe, Biden should have tried to get someone appointed through the African Union or boost IGAD itself. Even though these mechanisms are weak, but joint ventures with United Nations has helped in the past. Therefore, if Biden and UNSC had intervened with a UN-AU prospects into both Tigray, GERD and Ethiopian-Sudan tensions. The possible outcome could have been better and properly monitored by the International community.

However, a Feltman will only serve Washington D.C. and their needs. While being a token American interfering for these interests. He will not be there to be a peacemaker. Just like Abiy isn’t a man of peace either by any stretch of imagination. Al-Burhan and the Sovereign Council is also military men. When there is very civilians and more soldiers on the ground. There is little stopping more conflict. There is a need for mediation and talks between the leaders who orders the battalions.

Nevertheless, Feltman isn’t the man and just by the mere history. It is a flawed enterprise to send him now. Especially, when I cannot see or heard any of the parties have really asked of this of late. The need for local solutions is clear. There is a need for salvaging hope in the midst of the conflict. Feltman isn’t the man to interfere here.

He is getting a false start, as he comes as a forced surprise on all stakeholders and governments. It is not like he has been vetted or accepted by anyone else than Biden and Blinken. They have handpicked him and vouched for him. Now, he has to drop his credentials at all the mentioned capitals and after that pick a leaf for possible talks about the advanced weaponry and silence them as well.

I wouldn’t want to be in Feltman’s shoes at this point in time. First his not the man for the job. No matter about his long career. The reputation he has follows him and makes him questionable at best. Secondly, he has a mandate from Washington D.C. but not from the any of the sovereign nations his supposed to interfere in. Third, the U.S. isn’t that favourable or a “neutral” in these conflicts. Therefore, he has throw a curveball to be able to wing it here.

Feltman is in battles where he cannot win and I cannot see it coming Unless, there is a sudden miracle or a moment of nostalgia … where they changes their stances and gives way. However, that happens in movies, but not in the real world. Peace.

Sudan: West Darfur clashes force nearly 2,000 refugees into Chad (13.04.2021)

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

GENEVA, Switzerland, April 13, 2021 – Recent intercommunal clashes in El Geneina, in Sudan’s West Darfur State, have forced 1,860 refugees to cross into neighbouring Chad in the past week.

The refugees, mostly women, children and the elderly, have fled homes in villages near the border, in the aftermath of deadly clashes that started on 3 April. The resurging violence has reportedly left 144 people dead and more than 230 injured. In the meantime, humanitarian agencies are trying to establish the exact number of newly displaced people within West Darfur, which is estimated to be in the thousands.

Refugees arriving in Chad speak of houses and properties being destroyed, and of sites hosting displaced people being targeted. Some of the new arrivals had already been displaced by earlier clashes last year and in January this year.

El Geneina is only 20 kilometers away from the Sudan-Chad border. Refugees have crossed near the town of Adré, in Ouaddaï province and are currently being hosted just 200 metres away from the volatile border.

UNHCR teams from our nearby office in Farchana have rushed to receive refugees. Our staff report conditions on the ground being dire with displaced families staying in the open or under the little shade of trees or makeshift shelters, with barely any protection from the elements in an area where temperature can rise to 40 degrees Celsius during the day. Food and water are also urgently needed.

UNHCR, with our government counterpart and humanitarian partners are on the ground and coordinating the humanitarian response. The priority is to relocate the refugees to a safer location where essential assistance and access to health can be provided, and quarantine measures against COVID-19 implemented.

Ouaddai province where the new arrivals are crossing already hosts 145,000 Darfurian refugees and UNHCR expects the influx to continue if security is not quickly restored in Darfur.

Sudan: OHCHR – Press briefing notes on violence in West Darfur (09.04.2021)

We are appalled by the latest resurgence of violence between Masalit and Arab tribes in West Darfur, in Sudan, that left at least 87 people dead, more than 191 injured and forced thousands to flee their homes. We are also disturbed by the slow progress in ensuring accountability for this and previous violence, despite repeated calls by victims and their families.

The latest bout of violence erupted on 3 April in Al Geneina town when unknown assailants shot at a group of men from the Masalit tribe, killing two and injuring one. In response, armed elements from Masalit and Arab tribes mobilized, leading to clashes between them.

By the evening of 5 April, the streets of Al Geneina were strewn with dozens of bodies, including those of women and children. These scenes recalled those seen in West Darfur following previous clashes, in late 2019 and, most recently, in mid-January 2021.

During the violence last weekend, public and private property was destroyed or damaged, including a hospital, and a UN compound. At least one ambulance was attacked and health personnel injured.

Similar to previous situations of violence in Al Geneina, the authorities failed to stop the clashes despite a robust security force presence in the town. We urge the authorities to fully uphold their role to protect the population without discrimination. In this regard, we call on the Government of Sudan to accelerate the implementation of the National Plan for the Protection of Civilians.

All tribes responsible for violence in Darfur must be disarmed and the State must be able to maintain order and ensure the rule of law, including by preventing armed civilians from taking the law into their own hands.

We acknowledge that, after the latest clashes, the authorities have taken steps to contain the situation in the area. We also welcome the Government’s commitment to addressing the root causes of the violence, especially disputes over land, pasture and water resources – disputes that are at the heart of the entrenched tribal divisions. These commitments need to result in concrete actions.

Independent, impartial and thorough investigations into these acts of violence must be initiated without delay. Effective accountability processes must be established to pave the way for genuine reconciliation and lasting peace.

We note that the Sudanese Attorney General has announced that 15 prosecutors have been sent to West Darfur to investigate the recent violence. We also welcome the decision to refer 33 alleged perpetrators for trial over the clashes in January 2021, as well as the establishment of the committee set up to investigate a similar incident in December 2019.

We urge the Government to ensure prompt, transparent and effective follow-up to these investigations. All those responsible for human rights abuses must be held accountable. Grievances from both sides must be tackled after decades-long ethnic disputes stoked by the previous regime.

Our Office in Sudan stands ready to assist the Government of Sudan towards achieving accountably and justice.

Ethiopia-Sudan Tensions: Sudan requests UNISFA to kick-out Ethiopian Peacekeepers from Abyei

Since December 2020 the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF), Amhara Paramilitary Group ‘Fano’ and Eritrean Defence Force (EDF) have all been spotted and attacked border points on Sudanese soil. They have gone after border points in and around Al-Fashqa region. The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) have been reported to retake these and stationed more soldiers there.

Just to prove the levels of insincerity from Addis Ababa towards Khartoum. The Sudanese Authorities even intercepted illegal arms export to the rebel outfit of SPLM-N in Blue Nile State. That is what they have been doing and shows how sinister the Tripartite Alliance in Ethiopia is at this current stage. As well, as doing what they have been doing on the border of Sudan and trying to annex Sudanese land.

Clearly, the Sudanese has taken this seriously and sent their Rapid Support Force (RSF) – Desert Shield Force to the borders .They have sent the ones who has tormented Darfur for ages. These folks are the ones who they trust to stop the Tripartite Alliance on the border. That says a lot about their will to defend their borders.

Now the Sudanese has taken it a further step and escalating it further, which is only natural.

Sudan Foreign Minister Mariam Al-Mahdi stated this yesterday:

““Sudan has requested the United Nations to replace the Ethiopian troops present in the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNIFSA) with peacekeepers from other countries,” Mariam Al-Mahdi added.“It is not conceivable to accept Ethiopian forces deployed in the strategic depth of Sudan while the Ethiopian troops are massing on the eastern borders of Sudan,” she said. The minister said that Sudan is now reviewing its relations and cooperation agreements with Ethiopia but stressed that this will not affect the Ethiopian residing in Sudan including refugees” (Koang Pal Chang – ‘Sudan wants Ethiopian peacekeepers out of Abyei’ 07.04.2021, Eye Radio).

When Addis Ababa have been as insincere and been as violent on the border. When they have used all the various alliances to go and attack Sudan. It is only natural that the sovereign state of Sudan doesn’t trust Ethiopian soldiers on their soil. When they have attacked them, illegally armed rebels and been dishonest about their skirmishes as well.

The Ethiopian authorities is calling the neighbours their brothers, but they are coming with weapons and soldiers. That is why the Sudanese see it as a danger to have the Ethiopians as Peacekeepers. That says how much the Ethiopians has destroyed their credibility or trust. The distrust now is shattered and the Khartoum administration only see it fit to “kick them” out.

What will also happen with the changes of Peacekeepers means that the Ethiopian state will not get the profits or the foreign currency for the UN services in Abyei. That is the second price of this. Not only are they demoted and sent home. The Ethiopian state will also loose funds by this action. That is the double strike against Addis Ababa.

The Sudanese authorities are in the right here. How can someone who attacks you on the regular and makes reasons for you to deploy the RSF and more SAF brigades on the borders. A trusted ally to create peace in one of their states. That doesn’t make sense and is a sensible reason to kick Ethiopia out. Peace.

Sudan: Declaration of Principles between the Transitional Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (28.03.2021)