In the Global Day of Solidarity with Darfur:
Human rights organizations condemn the on-going deterioration of humanitarian situation in Darfur and call upon the Sudanese Government to accept the deployment of the UN forces
Statement from 31 Organizations in 10 Arab Countries
(CAIRO, September 17, 2023) The undersigned Human Rights organizations called upon the Sudanese Government to accept the deployment of UN forces in Darfur to monitor the implementation of the Abuja Peace Agreement and protect civilians. The said organizations reiterated that the on-going deterioration of human rights and humanitarian status in Darfur is attributed to the fact that the parties to the conflict, topped by the government, have disregarded a series of agreements that have been concluded since 2004 to reach a cease fire, protect civilians, disarm the government-backed militias "Janjaweed" and safeguard humanitarian protection and relief, until the Abuja Peace Agreement was signed on May 5, 2006. The said organizations called upon the international community and the Arab League to intensively pressurize the Government of Sudan to accept the UN Forces.
The organizations added that during the three months that followed the Peace Agreement, no improvement has taken place at the security level, as some ceasefire breaches by the parties to the conflict have been monitored. Then successive assaults followed, which claimed the lives of civilians at the hands of the Jandjawid militias and the government forces, together with armed opposition parties. The head of the UN mission in Khartoum Yan Brunik pointed out last August that the international organization's estimates show that about 1600 civilians have been killed in exchanged attacks between the parties to the conflict in the province. According to a report issued by the UN Secretary General last June, about 250 thousand persons have been displaced during the first half of this year. It has recently been reported that about 1000 people have been forced out in the aftermath of the government's attacks in northern Darfur which claimed the lives of dozens of civilians. The UN World Food Programme warned against the deteriorating food status of about 6 million people in Darfur, due to shortage of necessary funding. Furthermore, the ongoing violence in the province and the lack of a convenient security environment for the relief teams and the humanitarian organizations hinder the delivery of aids to about 3 million persons in Darfur and on the borders with Chad. Cases of rape and sexual violence are incessantly repeated against displaced women, while the Sudanese police take no procedures to identify the perpetrators.
The government has not respected its obligations to disarm the Janjaweed militias which committed crimes against humanity, as well as war crimes, since the dispute broke out in 2003. The government has not taken any procedures to bring perpetrators of these crimes to justice. Meanwhile, Sudanese Officials are disseminating counter propaganda against the UN presence in the province and against the International Criminal Court which is vested, according to the Security Council resolution no. 1593, with the authority to investigate the crimes committed in the province.
It is worth mentioning that since 2003 more than 2 million people in Darfur have been displaced and live in camps in Sudan or in refugee camps in Chad. Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed due to armed assaults, rampant diseases and malnutrition. It is also worth mentioning that the Abuja Peace Agreement has been signed on May 5, 2023 between the Sudanese government and Minni Minyawi wing of the Sudanese Liberation Movement. Yet this agreement was countered by other factions, out of their dissatisfaction with the mechanisms of power and wealth sharing set out in the agreement, and due to lack of sufficient guarantees for the implementation of its provisions. The agreement has also overlooked the issues of justice, and compensation for the victims of conflict. The agreement has provided for several principles related to human rights. Nevertheless, such principles have not been practically applied since the signing of the agreement. The African Union has raised the numbers of its troops in Darfur from 300 to more than 7000 persons, and changed the mission of this force from controlling the ceasefire to protecting endangered civilians. Nevertheless, the African Union mission suffers a shortage of capabilities, a lack of technical support as well as obstacles continuously placed before it by the Sudan government, a matter which eventually hinders the effective performance of its role. Moreover, the mandate of the African Union mission will terminate by the end of the current month. The Security Council issued resolution no. 1706 on August 31, 2006, which provides for expanding the scope of the UN troops in Sudan to include Darfur. However, this is conditional upon the consent of the Sudanese government as per the resolution.
In this context, and concurrently with the proceedings taking place today worldwide in solidarity with the people of Darfur, the undersigned organizations reiterate the following recommendations:
1. Calling upon all the parties to the conflict, topped by the Sudanese government to immediately stop any military actions that threat the lives of civilians, and that all parties should bear their responsibility as regards the implementation of the Abuja Peace Agreement, and should respect the ceasefire, to put an end to the state of security disorders in the province.
2. urging the Sudanese government to support the arrangements necessary for transferring the peacekeeping and civilians protection missions to the UN, in execution of the Security Council resolution no. 1706 and calling upon the international community and the Arab governments to exercise pressures on the Sudanese government to approve the resolution, together with the necessity to support the African Union troops in the province until its mission is transferred to the UN.
3. Calling upon the international community to mobilize all resources in order to provide the humanitarian aids necessary for the life of displaced persons and refugees; and to exercise pressures for creating a secure and stable atmosphere for the humanitarian organizations and relief teams to work in the province.
4. Stressing the fact that any agreement necessarily requires the consent of all the parties concerned, and that it may not be imposed on the refusing bodies. In this context, the organizations urge the main mediators in the peace process not to close the dialogue with the armed movements that reject the agreement in its current form. The mediators should also try to reach satisfactory solutions to all parties, together with stressing the necessity of holding the Inter Darfurian Dialogue, proposed by the agreement, with the participation of all parties including the factions that reject the agreement. In this regard, the participation of the Arab and African civil community as observer should be ensured, provided the conference is vested with broader powers to reach resolutions acceptable by all parties.
5. Calling upon the Sudanese government, and other governments concerned, to fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court, and to facilitate the mission of the Attorney General assigned to investigate the atrocities committed in the province, and to hold the perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity accountable before the international court.
6. Calling upon the Sudanese government to promote the judicial system in the Sudan to guarantee its independence and integrity; to put an end to the policy of escaping penalty; and to realize justice and equity to the victims of human rights violations.
7. Pressurizing the Sudanese, government and the provincial governments in Darfur, to combat the forms of violence against women, especially the cases of sexual violence prevalent in Darfur, through the investigation of rape cases, the facilitation of complaint procedures, as well as streamlining the tasks of NGOs concerned with the psychological rehabilitation of victims.
The undersigned organizations:
1. Amel Center for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture (Sudan)
2. Al-Khawei Institute (Iraq).
3. Arab Network for Human Rights Information (Egypt).
4. Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti Violence Studies (Egypt)
5. Bahraini Center for Human Rights
6. Bahraini Youth Society for Human Rights
7. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
8. Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance
9. Center for Human Rights and Democracy Studies – Morocco
10. Civil Society Forum (Yemen).
11. Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies
12. Egyptian Organization for Human Rights.
13. Egyptian Association for Supporting Democratic Development.
14. Egyptian Center for Women's Rights
16. Human Rights Association for the Assistance of Prisoners (Egypt).
17. Khartoum Center for Human rights and Environment Development (Sudan)
18. Land center for Human Rights
19. Moroccan Organization for Human Rights.
20. Palestinian Organization for Human Rights (Lebanon).
21. Saudi Center for Human Rights.
22. Sudanese Organization Against Torture "SOAT"
23. Sisters' Arab forum for Human Rights (Yemen).
24. Syrian center for media and freedom of Expression
25. Syrian Human Rights Organization.
26. The Association for Democracy Development
27. The Arab program for Human Rights Activists (Egypt).
28. The Yemeni Organization for the defense of Human Rights and democratic freedoms.
29. The Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement
30. The Association for the Defense of Right and Liberties "ADDL" (Lebanon).
31. The Committee for the Respect of Freedoms and the Humans Right in Tunisia.
Action Professionals Association for the People
Aegis Trust Rwanda
African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies
African Center for Development
African Society of International and Comparative Law
African Women's Development and Communications Network (FEMNET)
The Ahueni Foundation
Alliances for Africa
Amman Centre for Human Rights Studies
Andalus Institute for Tolerance
Arab Program for Human Rights Activists
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Centre for Minority Rights Development (CEMIRIDE)
Centre for Research Education and Development of Freedom of Expression and Associated Rights (CREDO)
Citizens for Global Solutions
Conseil national pour les libertés en Tunisie
Darfur Alert Coalition
Darfur Centre for Human Rights and Development
Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre
Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
La Fédération Internationale des Droits de l'Homme
Femmes Africa Solidarité
Human Rights Centre, University of Pretoria
Human Rights First
Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA)
Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa
Inter-African Union for Human Rights (UIDH)
International Commission of Jurists
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
International Refugee Rights Initiative
Justice and Peace Commission
Lawyers for Human Rights
Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections
Legal Resources Consortium-Nigeria
Ligue Tunisienne des Droits de l'Homme
Makumira University College, Tumaini University
Minority Rights Group
National Association of Seadogs
Open Society Justice Initiative
People Against Injustice (PAIN)
Rencontre Africaine Pour la Defense des Droits de l'Homme
Sudan Organization Against Torture
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
Sudanese Refugee Association in South Africa
Syrian Organization for Human Rights
Universal Human Rights Network
World Organization Against Torture