UN rights chief Bachelet appeals for dialogue in Sudan amid reports ‘70 killed’ in demonstrations (10.04.2019)

The UN rights chief’s comments follow concerns about the reported use of tear gas and live ammunition by security forces against demonstrators in mass-protests that began last December.

NEW YORK, United States of America, April 10, 2019 – Sudan’s authorities have an “over-arching responsibility” to protect protesters, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, said on Tuesday, amid reports that 70 people have died in the latest anti-Government clashes.

The UN rights chief’s comments follow concerns about the reported use of tear gas and live ammunition by security forces against demonstrators in mass-protests that began last December, over rising food and fuel prices and deteriorating living standards.

According to news reports, heavy gunfire was heard outside the Sudanese army headquarters on Tuesday, where thousands of protesters have been staging a sit-in over the past three days, calling for an end to President Omar al-Bashir’s three-decade rule.

Spokesperson for the High Commissioner (OHCHR), Ravina Shamdasani, reiterated Ms. Bachelet’s “serious concern at the use of excessive force” by Sudanese security forces, adding that her office had documented “many killings” since the situation deteriorated.

“Clearly a lot of people have died,” Ms. Shamdasani said, noting how difficult it was to verify numbers, or who was responsible, since various parts of the country’s security forces appeared to be “taking different sides”.

“We have been in touch with the authorities and they have actually invited our office to visit and we are in discussions with them about this,” she said. “We are again calling on the Government and security forces to ensure that the right to peaceful assembly is fully respected and the right to freedom of expression is respected, and that a genuine dialogue is undertaken to resolve this very complex situation with very real economic and social grievances of the public.”

The High Commissioner’s appeal follows the announcement by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday, that he was following the demonstrations in Sudan “closely”

In a statement, Mr. Guterres appealed to all actors to exercise “utmost restraint and avoid violence”, while also calling for the release of detained protesters.

While affirming that the United Nations “stands ready to support any efforts agreed by the Sudanese to peacefully resolve the current crisis”, the Secretary-General further called on the Government of the Sudan to create a “conducive environment for a solution to the current situation and to promote an inclusive dialogue”.

Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA): Letter to all International and Regional Actors in Sudan (09.04.2019)

Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) – Incidence update: Threats of violence in Sudan (08.04.2019)

Share Statement by the Spokesperson on the protests in Sudan (08.04.2019)

The European Union expects that the call for change will prompt a commitment to a peaceful, credible, legitimate and inclusive process that will allow Sudan to carry out essential reforms.

BRUSSELS, Belgium, April 8, 2019 – Since 19 December, peaceful demonstrations have taken place in Sudan. Over the last two days, the Sudanese citizens have come out in unprecedented numbers, calling for change.

The European Union expects that the call for change will prompt a commitment to a peaceful, credible, legitimate and inclusive process that will allow Sudan to carry out essential reforms. These should guarantee the economic security and political representation that the people of Sudan deserve and expect, while providing assurances for the stability of Sudan’s neighbours.

To secure the confidence of Sudanese citizens and many of Sudan’s international partners this process should begin now. Peaceful demonstrations should be permitted. Security forces should not use tear gas and live ammunition against peaceful protesters. Political prisoners should be released.

The people of Sudan have shown remarkable resilience in the face of extraordinary obstacles over many years. Their trust must be won through concrete action by the government.

Sudan: President Al-Bashir your time is up!

I will be brief, because this has been said plenty of times before, your time is up and the people is speaking in the streets. Even if you use all your security organization, use all parts of the state apparatus against them. If it is the Rapid Support Force (Janjaweed) or the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) on the people.

You are continuing to kill, arrests and silence the public. While your holding meeting with the military leadership. Because, you know your not the voice of the people anymore. Your not relevant to them. You have overstayed in office and never left since you took power in 1989.

People are tired of militarism. They are tired of your tyranny and looting of the Republic. They are tired of the games, the measures used to get them to be in submission to your rule. Your acts as an overlord, an warlord and a man of the Kalashnikov is over.

President Omar Al-Bashir, your three decades in power is soon over. Your legacy is sealed as the bloodthirsty tyrant you are. You never had interest in serving the Republic or making Sudan proud. You and your cronies was busy eating. The National Congress Party was busy scheming and your are still busy doing that. Trying to figure a way out of stalling the demonstrations and riots. Stopping the people from chanting against you.

The crowds in-front of the Army Headquarters in Khartoum. The Internet-blockade and possible power outage, just shows how your trying to stop the information from leaking. But it still does, because activists are ready.

You have killed ever since the bloodless coup of 30th June 1989. You have had your time and world are watching. The killings, the deaths and the assaults on civil society is known. It is not hidden, as the hospitals are targeted, the activists are dying and the ones who dares to organize revolts against you. Are in the end suffering. Their sacrifice will be remembered, as they fought for justice and for a revolution. For freedom from you and your bloody rule.

It will end. The time is near. It is just like your trying to look the other way. The people are out there. They don’t fear you, they fear God. They are awaiting the fall of their dictator and tyrant.

We are waiting to see, when its the final hour of Omar Al-Bashir. Peace.

Sudan: 100 Days of Protests and Counting!

Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be”James Baldwin

Since 18th December 2018, the uprising and riots against the dictatorship of President Omar Al-Bashir, who has ruled the Republic since 30th June 1989. That shows how long he has lingered in power and continued to rule. As the President had anticipated to go into a new election and take another term.

The Sudanese have shown resilience, strength in midst of terror. Where that state has issued State of Emergency and all other measures to silence the demonstrations, the riots and uprising against their President and his party. The National Congress Party have used all methods to stop the demonstrations.

They have used live-bullets, killed and hurt the civilians showing up for demonstrations. The state have gone door-to-door, ambushed and attacked hospitals, issuing warnings to employees of sacking if they went to the streets. The state have issued warnings of keeping cash at home and not in the bank. There been so many steps issued by the state to silence and stop this.

Still, the days have gone, the amounts of demonstrations have risen, the sizes too. Even as the leaders, journalists and activists have been put behind bars. Several of people have been killed because of their bravery. They all defied the powerful state, who uses the Rapid Support Force (Janjaweed) and National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) against the protesting public.

Every single one of the fallen, their sacrificed will be remembered, as part of the people who stood up against a tyrant. Who had everything and who ate everything. While the public had nothing or little to go by. As the President used his tyranny and his draconian laws to stop the public from engaging or having a significant role in society. The state has done what it could to stop the civil society from existing.

Therefore, the strength and resilience of the public is really inspiring, that they are continuing. Going to the streets and addressing the state, continuing to make noise and stand-up for their rights.

They will continue to fight for their right. That is justified and no one deserves to be under a dictatorship. Al-Bashir doesn’t value other people lives, except for his own. That is why so many has died under his reign and protesters been taken out like they were nothing. This is who he is and the Sudanese are ready for change.

To see the Old Man fall! Peace.

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.

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