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Closely Monitor, Record Rights Violations in Sudan: Christian Entity to UN, AU, Others

Anti-coup protesters in London. 30 October 2021. Credit: CSW

International and regional bodies including the United Nations (UN) and the African Union (AU) need to closely monitor the events in Sudan and record cases of violence against protestors since the October 2021 military coup in view of investigating and prosecuting perpetrators, the leadership of the Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) have said.

Officials of the UK-based Christian human rights entity say activists who have been organizing peaceful protests after the coup have been treated violently by the Sudanese military. 

“CSW calls on regional and international bodies to establish an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate reports of violence against protestors,” says CSW Founder President, Mervyn Thomas, in a Thursday, January 6 report

Mr. Mervyn further urges the international community “to use all measures at its disposal to hold those responsible for the deteriorating human rights situation to account, including the use of targeted sanctions where appropriate.”

On 19 December, protesters breached the perimeter of the Republican Palace. State security reportedly responded with extreme force, including the use of sexual violence against women, girls and men fleeing the area. 

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Security forces have also been reported to have responded violently to protesters who have taken to the streets since the resignation of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The former premier's resignation has left the military in full control of the nation. 

At an anti-military rule protest organized on January 6 in Khartoum, three people were reportedly shot dead by security forces. 

When announcing his resignation, the former Premier said he had tried his best to stop Sudan from “sliding towards disaster” but that that has been impossible despite doing everything possible to reach a consensus. 

Mr. Hamdok had signed a deal with the general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan to restore the transition to civilian rule in November.

On January 3, the European Union (EU) and the TROIKA emphasized their continued support for the democratic desires of the Sudanese people.

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The EU and the TROIKA said Mr. Hamdok’s resignation “reinforces the urgent need for all Sudanese leaders to recommit to the country’s democratic transition and deliver on the Sudanese people’s demands for freedom, peace, and justice.”

Officials of these international entities further said that they hold Sudan’s military personnel responsible for human rights violations, which are against national legislation and international law. 

Separately, UN Secretary General, Antonio Guiterres, condemned the violence targeting protestors and called upon the Sudanese army “to exercise the utmost restraint and adhere to their obligations in relation to the rights to freedom of assembly and expression.”

Mr.  Guiterres also called for “meaningful dialogue” for the achievement of peace in the country. 

In the January 6 report, CSW Founder President lauds the UN Secretary General, the TROIKA and the EU for the “encouraging statements” in support of democracy in Sudan. 

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Mr. Mervyn also calls on the international community to support Sudan‘s democratic transition. 

“Efforts towards a democratic transition must be supported, as former Prime Minister Hamdok’s resignation lays bare the military’s pervasive hold over the transition and the persistence of conditions conducive to a coup,” CSW official says.