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Christian Entity Lauds UN Decision to Appoint Human Rights Expert in Sudan

Credit: CSW

UK-based human rights foundation, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), has lauded the decision of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to appoint an expert who is expected to keep an eye on the deteriorating human rights situation in Sudan following last month’s coup.

At the November 5 special session to discuss the situation of the Eastern African nation, UNHRC member nations condemned the October 25 military takeover. 

They also called on the UNHRC High Commissioner to appoint “without delay” an expert on Human Rights in Sudan to monitor the violations of rights until the civilian government is restored.

In a Tuesday, November 9 report, CSW Founder President Mervyn Thomas said the foundation welcomes the decision to hold the special session to discuss Sudan's welfare. 

“This is an important step to address the deteriorating human rights situation following the 25 October military coup,” Mr. Mervyn said. 

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He added that officials of the Christian entity “fully support the decision to appoint a designated expert on the human rights situation in the country.” 

The CSW Founder also called on UNHRC member nations to ensure the post of the human rights expert is “sufficiently resourced.”

Human rights violations in Sudan have been characterized by among others, the detention of politicians, the shutdown of internet and communication networks and the use of excessive force on protesters.

CSW reports that three leaders of the Forces for Freedom and Change were detained on November 5 after meeting with the head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission (UNITAMS), Volker Perthes, who has been leading the UN’s mediation efforts. 

On 7 November, over 100 teachers and members of local resistance committees were detained for participating in demonstrations, with concerns that they could face trial under emergency laws, which are particularly restrictive, CSW says and adds that a pregnant tutor who was detained miscarried because of the ill treatment she received in detention.  

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The Christian Charity further notes that Sudan’s military leader, General Lieutenant Abdel Fattah al Burhan, has continued the process of appointing senior civil servants and junior ministers in contravention to the 2019 Constitutional Declaration.

Apart from going against the Constitution, CSW says that some of the appointees are members of the National Congress Party (NCP), the party of former President Omar al Bashir, who had been removed from high office by the Empowerment Removal and Dismantling NCP regime Committee tasked with identifying and dismantling institutions established under the former Head of State. 

In the November 9 report, the CSW Founder President says that while the role of the designated expert is vital, “the fragile political context that led to the coup will not end upon the restoration of a civilian-led government.”

“The actions taken by military leaders to systematically undermine the civilian-led transition will have significant ramifications for the remainder of the transitional period,” the CSW official says.  

He adds that “a long-haul commitment to supporting the promotion, protection, respect and fulfilment of human rights in Sudan will be crucial in preventing further violations, identifying perpetrators and ensuring accountability.”  

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In the November 9 report, Mr. Mervyn also calls on UNHRC members to “remain scrutinous” of Sudan’s situation especially after the country exited the Council’s agenda in October 2021.  

An October 6 interactive dialogue led by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) marked the last of the UNHRC’s reporting on Sudan, which is a member of UNHRC.

According to an October 14 report by CSW, the stop on reporting the human rights situation in Sudan follows a decision by the Eastern African nation not to renew a resolution mandated to maintain critical technical assistance and capacity building support to the country, and with human rights monitoring and reporting elements.

CSW described Sudan's exit from the HRC as having come “at a critical point in the country’s political transition, a time it needs global support the most.”