The United Nations Secretary-General has voiced deep concerns over escalating violence in West Darfur and called Sudanese authorities to “expend all efforts” to end the fighting and protect civilians.
According to media reports, at least 83 people, including women and children, have been killed and more than 160 wounded in inter-communal clashes this weekend. Several houses are also said to have been destroyed and about 50,000 people displaced.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson on Sunday, Secretary-General António Guterres called on the Sudanese authorities to “expend all efforts to de-escalate the situation”.
He also called on them to “bring an end to the fighting, restore law and order and ensure the protection of civilians, in accordance with the Government’s National Plan for Civilian Protection.”
Mr. Guterres also expressed his condolences to the bereaved families and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
The violence occurred about two weeks after the African Union-United Nations hybrid peacekeeping mission in the region (UNAMID) ended its operations at the end of 2020. UNAMID is currently drawing down and the process is expected to complete by the end of June 2021.
Millions in need of assistance
The vast Darfur region, roughly the size of Spain, has been plagued by conflict and inter-communal tensions for years. Millions have been displaced by the violence, including many who fled into neighbouring Chad.
According to the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), almost 5 million people there received humanitarian assistance between January and September 2020. Darfur is also one of the poorest regions in Sudan, with poverty rates as high as 67 per cent in Central Darfur. Several health facilities have also been closed due to lack of funds and staff.
Khartoum, 30 December 2020— On 22 December 2020, The UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2559 which ends UNAMID’s mandate on 31 December 2020. This was the culmination of a sustained process of consideration of the situation in Sudan and Darfur, including developments related to the peace process and the establishment and progress made by the transitional Government of Sudan in its quest to address the conflict in Darfur.
This latest decision of the Security Council means that Thursday 31 December will mark the end of UNAMID’s mandated operations in Darfur. The last patrols, programmatic and other mandated tasks will take place on the same day.
As of 1 January 2021, UNAMID’s troops and police personnel will focus on providing security for the Mission’s drawdown activities, personnel and assets. UNAMID will have a period of six months to undertake the drawdown, which will be conducted in a phased manner. This will involve repatriating troops, their vehicles and other equipment, separation of international and national staff as well as a sequential closure of Mission’s team sites and offices and handing them over to designated entities in line with United Nations rules.
This process should result in the withdrawal of all uniformed and civilian personnel from Sudan by 30 June 2021, except for a liquidation team that will finalise any residual issues and complete the administrative closure of UNAMID.
With UNAMID ceasing all its mandate-related activities which have been centred on supporting the peace process, protection of civilians, including facilitation of delivery of humanitarian assistance and supporting the mediation of intercommunal conflicts, the Government of Sudan will fully assume its primary role for addressing all the issues in these areas. The end of UNAMID’s mandate and its departure from Sudan does not mean the end of the international community’s support to Sudan. Indeed, UNITAMS and the United Nations Country Team will continue to support the Government of Sudan in addressing its multiple challenges related to security, political and economic challenges.
The last Sudanese revolution lasted from 19th December 2018 to 11th April 2019. As the Transitional Military Council (TMC) took control of the Republic. Later with negotiations with the Forces for Freedom and Change Declaration (FCD) lasted into the fall when they we’re able to make a mixed Transitional Government in the establishment of the Sovereign Council. Which still gave a lot of power to the men that toppled Al-Bahir and was his henchmen. Therefore, these leaders and rulers are mostly military fashion and not caring about the will of the people. That is a counter to the ideals of the revolution.
Now it’s two years since the start of the Sudanese Revolution. The citizens are again reviving the ideals of the Revolution. As they are seeing a slow change and nearly none. That being no accountability for the deaths, murders, extra-judicial killings and neither better governance. The Sudanese government is more of the same and only one civilian Prime Minister Abdualla Hamadok. Still, his appointment haven’t given more hope for a transition.
The ones that was skeptical to the ideals and the inception of Sovereign Council clearly see that they we’re right. As the military and former big-men of the dictator got legitimized by doing this. The Transitional Military Council and it’s members have become “state” figures, even as they still rules with the same army command of the past. Therefore, the revolution never got its results.
The FCD and SPA traded their chips early last time and that’s maybe why the Resistance Committee’s is starting a new Sudan Uprising. These RCs are planning to start on the 19th December 2020. However, some Committees have started and preparing their protests on the streets. Burning tires and other means to show support of the failed revolution that got hijacked by the TMC.
The message sent out was this: “Resistance Committees across the country must take utmost security [precautions] and begin serious preparation for the December 19 Millioniya by intensifying advertisements in the streets, raising patriotism, awareness”.
So, be aware there will be more and message is being spread. The public and the RCs are preparing ahead. This might spark the same crowds and possible rebellion in a manner, which we saw in 2018 and 2019. Where the public showed their tiredness and took all means. Just to show the power of all the feet on the ground. The Sudanese people have shown their character before and beaten one dictator. The same people can easily get rid of a temporary one and his Sovereign Council. Peace.
“Rapid Support Forces soldier records the massacre. He says: “kill them all. They took away my holiday” The woman at the end is asked “military or civilian (governmentt)?” Under durress, she says “military,” The soldier responds “If you said civilian, I will show you.”” (Sudan In The News, 03.06.2019).
Today the The Commission of Inquiry into the Disappearance of Missing Person found a mass grave dating to the 3rd Jne 2019 massacre, which was ordered and done by the Transitional Military Council (TMC). The TMC ordered this or the Sudan Uprising and the Sudanese Revolution, which toppled Al-Bashir months before.
The ones responsible of this massacre and mass grave is in-charge today in the Sovereign Council. This being General Al-Burhan and General Hemiti. These two should be implicated into the murders and the hiding of the missing people from July 2019. It isn’t decades back and you cannot find the paperwork or paper-trail to find the ones ordering it and burying it.
The past of the TMC is now hunting it. They maybe hope this will blow over and not cost them. As the Sudanese have secured more recognition abroad and diplomatic victories. Therefore, today’s news show’s what the leaders within the Sovereign Council is capable of. This is the men who was loyal and army commanders within the regime of Al-Bashir. Not some random leaders becoming technocrats in a Transitional Government.
Here is one timeline. Explaining the gist of what happened. Clearly, there are numbers missing of deceased. As the findings of a mass grave says a lot!
Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) timeline:
Protest leaders say security forces attack their Khartoum sit-in at the centre of the movement, opening fire, torching tents and killing more than 100 people and injuring over 300. The assault on June 3 marked the worst violence in Sudan since the April 11 overthrow of long-time leader Omar al-Bashir. The security forces’ bloody dispersal of the weeks-long sit-in outside the military headquarters in Khartoum drew sharp condemnation from the United Nations, the African Union (AU) and others.
June 3rd-July 9th
Severe restriction to the internet throughout Sudan from June 3 to July 9 on orders of the ruling Transitional Military Council.
40 bodies pulled from the Nile’ after deadly violence. The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) said 40 bodies were retrieved from the Nile River” (HART – ‘Sudan Briefing: May – July 2019 Timeline of Events’ 15.07.2019).
On the 3rd June 2019 I wrote this:
“The TMC will be remembered for this, these acts of evil. They got blood on their hands and it will haunt them, just like the rest of them. At one point it will get caught up and destroy them. The TMC is only protecting itself, not the people. The army is supposed to protect the territory and the citizens of it, not colonize and destroy it to rule, but that is what it does” (Minbane – ‘Sudan: The TMC colonized Khartoum today!’ 03.06.2019).
The haunting of the TMC happened today as it revealed to what extent. A Mass Grave entails a lot of bodies dumped on place, buried in haste to hide the “evidence” and hope it decompose before anyone finds the skeletons of the dead bodies. However, the Commission of Inquiryi nto the Disappearance of Missing Person found the ones unreported and missing from that fatal day.
The actions of the TMC is now evident. They made a Mass Grave out of the massacre. Not only the dead dropped into the river Nile. The Rapid Support Force (RSF) or the Janjaweed should be held accountable and responsible. Also, the other military agencies that did this. The lives taken is on their watch and their orders. The TMC members of the Sovereign Council should answer for this.
They have already tried to hide it and shown their true acts of deviousness. Hopefully the families who lost people can get some relief and see the remains of their loved ones. However, their deaths should be answered. The sins of the leaders ordering this needs to be held to account. These people deserves justice and deserves to honoured. Not just being a token of how the TMC got away from the law and got legitimized months later. Peace.
The Sovereign Council have paid the $335m USD in ransom to be removed from the U.S. State Sponsor of Terrorism List. The Sudanese Government have accepted the agreement with United States, after U.S. President Donald J. Trump would delete Sudan from the list, if they paid up the 335 million dollars into an escrow account.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamadok and President Abdel-Fatah al-Burhan have accepted this deal. Being pushed to pay a huge amount of money to “clean their name”. That is why this was practically a ransom. They were bushwhacked by the Americans.
To be able to “clean their name” and get away from the history during the Al-Bashir reign. The usage of militias, weapons-trade and create insecurity in regions of Sudan and elsewhere. This is just deleted over a transaction of money. The state sponsored militias who was killing for years. The ones causing a civil war, which led to the cession of South Sudan. All of this is just erased over a payment of some cash.
This payment is coming from an economy and state, which needs funds to cover the troubles of COVID-19, floods and whatnot. There has already been aftermath of the revolution, which let to the fall of Al-Bashir. The one who was in-charge when the bombing happen to the U.S. Embassy in 1998.
In my mind, this isn’t a fair diplomatic exchange between to grieving parties. No, this is one imperial move in 2020. How else can you describe this?
You will stay on a “Sponsoring Terrorist List” unless you pay us damages! That is the message here and the Sudanese complied as the “minor” partner in this. A way to clear themselves and get more acknowledge in the International Community.
Instead of fixing internal issues with militias and regional proxies. The Sudanese are paying some money and the sins are forgiven. To a state, which had a revolution and had a crisis of inflation. An inflation that made it impossible for many to buy bread. Therefore, asking from money here is ice-cold and insane.
That is why this is a ransom. The US isn’t changing things on the ground. Yes, Khartoum have moved in a positive step in Darfur and Blue Nile. However, the stalemate in Abyei continues and without a new peaceful means.
The US have cleared the Sudanese without having any significant changes other than with positive headlines. The Sudan has paid some money, but they are needing to change their behaviour. The ones in charge in the Sovereign Council can act like status quo. They are being cleaned up and all it took was paying some money. That is the mere reality here.
Not making policy changes. Not stopping militias or communal conflicts. No, the Sudanese can do whatever they feel, as long as they pay the fees put on them. This is how it looks. The Sudanese is accepting being taken hostage for circumstances before their reign. Some were in the hierarchy of Al-Bashir. Still, they are the ones paying up now for the sins of the past. Instead, of fixing the reasons for why happen in the first place.
That is what is striking here. The US should look into the reasons for why it happened, instead they are accepting a blank check and all grins. That is how morally bankrupt this administration is. Peace.
The victims in Darfur have waited far too long to have justice.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands, October 21, 2020 – Ladies and Gentlemen, thank you for being here today at this media briefing. I am grateful for this opportunity to reach out, through you, to the people of Sudan.
My name is Fatou Bensouda, and I am Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (“ICC” or the “Court”) (www.ICC-CPI.int).
The victims in Darfur have waited far too long to have justice. Through this historic visit, we hope to mark a new era of cooperation between my Office and Sudan towards greater accountability for atrocity crimes. The ICC was established as an independent and impartial international court to deal with atrocity crimes, namely: war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and the crime of aggression.
My role as Prosecutor is to bring to justice those responsible for atrocity crimes, and by doing so, to seek accountability and hope to prevent future crimes.
The ICC is at the heart of what we call the Rome Statute system of international criminal justice. The ICC is a court of last resort. This means that national justice systems have the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute individuals who commit such crimes. If this does not happen, then the ICC is there as a fail-safe judicial mechanism.
In this way, my Office conducts investigations and prosecutions into atrocity crimes around the world. Politics do not influence any of my independent and impartial decisions. All my actions are based on the law – the Rome Statute of the ICC – and the objective evidence collected by my investigators. I will go wherever the law provides me with the power to go and follow the evidence wherever it leads me in the pursuit of justice for the victims. Thus, the goal of the ICC is to contribute to ending impunity – in other words, to make sure that no one, irrespective of status or rank, can avoid accountability for atrocity crimes, no matter how long it may take.
This is how international justice can contribute to protecting future generations from the scourge of lawless wars and conflict, and prevent human suffering.
My Office has been investigating the Situation in Darfur, Sudan since 2005, when the United Nations Security Council through Resolution 1593 (2005), triggered our jurisdiction by referring the situation to the Prosecutor of the ICC.
Much has happened since then. As we continue our investigations today, it is important for our work at the ICC, and especially the affected communities of Darfur, that the Sudanese authorities extend their full, sustained and tangible cooperation to my Office.
In Khartoum this week, I have engaged in productive meetings with the highest officials of the Government of Sudan and other important stakeholders. My programme included notably, meetings with H.E. Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok (https://bit.ly/3jdn1vT); H.E. Mr Omer Gamaruddeen Ismail, Minister of Foreign Affairs (https://bit.ly/3jfQohd); H.E. Mr Nasredeen Abdelbari, Minister of Justice; and Prosecutor General of Sudan, Mr Tag el-Sir el-Hibir (https://bit.ly/2TcStzR), and representatives of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Lt. General Abdel Fattah Abdelrahman al-Burhan (https://bit.ly/3mccF19) and General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo as well as and Mr Mohamed Hassan Altaishi (https://bit.ly/31uzOnT).
I also held fruitful discussions with representatives of civil society organisations, international bodies, and diplomatic corps in Khartoum (https://bit.ly/31uxqgG). Through you, the media, I am pleased to also address the public and affected communities.
These meetings have enabled me and my team to explain ICC proceedings, and the status of our cases in connection with the Situation in Darfur, Sudan and to chart a course for effective cooperation to bring the suspects against whom ICC warrants have already been issued to justice.
My meetings with the authorities have laid the foundation for cooperation between the ICC and the Sudanese national authorities.
This first historic visit to Khartoum after more than a decade provided an opportunity for Sudan’s Transitional Government to demonstrate its commitment to justice, accountability and the rule of law.
I am encouraged by the frank, open and constructive exchanges we have had. I particularly welcome the assurances of support and cooperation expressed to me by the authorities during this visit, including from H.E. Prime Minister Hamdok, committing Sudan to achieve justice for atrocity crimes, and to fully collaborate with my Office for this purpose (https://bit.ly/37re7sz).
We must now follow through and build on the promising discussions of this past week with concrete action. A Memorandum of Understanding on the modalities of cooperation, technical visits, and immediate access to Sudan by our investigators, amongst other action points were discussed, and we look forward to making timely progress on all of these items.
We count on Sudan’s tangible and timely cooperation as well as continued constructive engagement with my Office.
We stand ready to assist Sudan towards the goal of achieving accountability for atrocity crimes committed in Darfur.
I want to seize this opportunity to assure the people of Darfur that my Office continues to work hard on the Darfur situation. I solemnly call upon all affected Darfuri communities and those who have dedicated themselves to the cause of these communities, to come forward and contact my Office with the accounts of their sufferings, with the stories of what they have witnessed and what they have endured. With their evidence, we can contribute to bringing the long awaited justice to the victims in Darfur. My Office, together with colleagues in the Registry of the Court will soon embark on outreach activities to further explain the work of the ICC and its processes.
I wish to also add that I welcome the Juba Peace Agreement, officially signed on the 3rd of October 2020 between the Sovereignty Council and the Sudan Revolutionary Front and other movements, with a view to bring justice to the victims of atrocities that have occurred in Darfur and to build sustainable peace in Sudan. I also welcome the importance the Peace Agreement affords to the ICC, and the emphasis placed on cooperation between Sudan and the Court in relation to the five ICC suspects. I am encouraged by the assurances given by the authorities that full effect will be given to these references, and that justice will play a central role in Sudan’s transition and the particular importance of the ICC in this ongoing process.
The focus of my investigation is on crimes allegedly committed by these five ICC suspects between 2003 and 2004, 2007, and as far as Mr Al Bashir is concerned up to 2008.
In June of this year, the alleged militia leader, Mr Ali Muhammad Ali Abd-Al-Rahman aka Ali Kushayb was transferred to the Court following his voluntary surrender. The ICC has outstanding arrest warrants against Messrs Omar Al Bashir, Ahmad Harun, Abdel Raheem Muhammad Hussein, and Abdallah Banda Abakaer Nourain. These suspects are still wanted for the atrocity crimes listed in their ICC warrants of arrest. They must all face justice without further delay. We look forward to continuing our dialogue with the Sudanese authorities to ensure we make progress on these cases with full respect for our respective roles and mandates and the principle of complementarity.
The opportunity to prosecute other alleged suspects in the Darfur situation at the national level is possible through the Darfur Special Court, as provided for in the Juba Peace Agreement. This would be a positive step in terms of burden-sharing between the ICC and the Sudanese courts.
Now that the channels of communication are open and a spirit of cooperation guides our discussions with the Sudanese authorities, we are open to exploring the possibilities in full compliance with our obligations under the Rome Statute, and guided by our unflinching commitment to achieving justice for the victims in Darfur.
In conclusion, I would like to thank the Sudanese people, the Government of Sudan and other stakeholders for the warm welcome extended to me and my delegation during this visit. I am also grateful for the logistical support and the security arrangements put in place in connection with this visit.
Fighting against impunity for the atrocity crimes committed against the people of Darfur is a joint responsibility. There is an urgent need for justice in Sudan. Sustainable peace and reconciliation are built on the stabilizing pillar of justice.
I thank you for your attention. I look forward to answering your questions and to address any comments you may have.
The Office of the Prosecutor of the ICC conducts independent and impartial preliminary examinations, investigations and prosecutions of the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Since 2003, the Office has been conducting investigations in multiple situations within the ICC’s jurisdiction, namely in Uganda; the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Darfur, Sudan; the Central African Republic (two distinct situations); Kenya; Libya; Côte d’Ivoire; Mali; Georgia, Burundi Bangladesh/Myanmar and Afghanistan (subject to a pending article 18 deferral request). The Office is also currently conducting preliminary examinations relating to the situations in Bolivia; Colombia; Guinea; Iraq/UK; the Philippines; Nigeria; Ukraine; and Venezuela (I and II), while the situation in Palestine is pending a judicial ruling.
COVID-19 transmissions continue and new cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus have been reported.
GENEVA, Switzerland, October 10, 2020 –
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Floods in Sudan – Situation Report
Flood waters started to recede in most of Sudan, following several weeks of torrential downpours that have caused deaths, displacement, and massive destructions to key infrastructure and livelihoods across the country.
As of 6 October, 155 people lost their lives and the number of people critically affected reached over 875,000, according to the Government’s Humanitarian Aid Commission. At least 150,000 refugees and internally displaced people are among those affected, according to UNHCR.
More than 82,500 houses have been completely destroyed and there are reports of nearly 92,600 houses damaged, generating dire and urgent need for shelter and household supplies. Several farms are flooded, especially in riverine areas along the White Nile, Blue Nile and Nile rivers, according to WFP, in a country where 9.6 million people are facing severe hunger.
Over 560 schools are damaged and another 60 are being used as shelter by displaced people. This could further compromise the starting of the academic year, already postponed from September to the end of November, due to challenges with resources to adapt the fragile education system to minimize the risks of COVID-19. Access to clean water and health services, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been compromised. Thousands of health centres are damaged or non-functional, around 30,000 latrines collapsed and the break of the Bout Earth Dam in Blue Nile State, on 29 July, risks compromising access to water for over 100,000 people, including IDPs and refugees, who rely on it as their primary source of water. The extensive level of damages increase the challenges to prevent and treat possible disease outbreaks. Malaria, dengue and cholera are endemic in several parts of Sudan, and the risk of these and other water-borne and vector-borne disease increases with the floods and stagnant water. The flooding also brings protection concerns, especially amongst children, women, and displaced people. Families who lost everything can be forced to rely on negative coping strategies to survive, including child labour that is already being reported, according to humanitarian partners. The lack of education services poses children at higher risk of exploitation, and the extra burden on affected families also increases cases of violence against women and girls. People living with disabilities or chronic diseases, elderly, pregnant and lactating women also need specific services that are now compromised by the destruction of facilities and reduced services.
The Government and aid organizations are closely monitoring the situation and providing life-saving assistance to people affected. Humanitarians reached over 400,000 people with critical support. But the stock is being depleted rapidly and more support, including from donors, is urgently needed. The Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2020, which seeks US$1.6 billion, is less than 46 per cent funded.