Sudan’s Rights-Abiding Transition is Under Threat

Sudan’s Rights-Abiding Transition is Under Threat

Sudan and the UN Human Rights Council Should Work Together to Deliver Reforms

Mohamed Osman, hrw.org, September 28, 2021
Assistant Researcher, Africa

HRW
Sudan’s Prime Minister Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok chairs a cabinet meeting in the capital Khartoum, Sudan on September 21, 2021. © 2021 AFP via Getty Images

Next week Sudan’s human rights record will be discussed at the United Nations Human Rights Council. The session comes at a critical time for Sudan, which is still in a difficult transition period following the ousting of ex-president Omer al-Bashir in 2019.

Just a few days ago, residents of Khartoum woke to the news of a failed coup attempt. Following the event, civilian leaders, including Prime Minister Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, called for key reforms of the country’s security forces to be expeditated. But military leaders responded aggressively, challenging their civilian counterpart’s ability to carry out such reforms.

The upcoming UN session offers an opportunity for both Sudan and the Council to establish human rights commitments and priorities for the transition government, in line with recommendations in the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ latest report.

Take accountability. While key international treaties have been ratified and a handful of cases involving government force killings of protesters are now before the courts, impunity for serious past crimes remains largely the norm. Justice efforts have been ad hoc, with no clear strategy, and security forces have refused to cooperate in securing of evidence or lifting of immunities in several investigations.

In Darfur, despite the 2020 peace agreement, authorities have failed to deliver security or justice. In al-Geneina, the capital of west Darfur, violence in January and March left over 300 people dead, forced thousands to flee their homes, and resulted in massive property destruction. In September, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Sudan raised his concern at the surge in “intercommunal” violence and resulting civilian displacement.

Yet, despite these ongoing challenges, Sudan is seeking to block further reporting by the High Commissioner to the Council on her Office’s work in the country. Ongoing abuses and prevailing impunity in Darfur underline the need for robust human rights monitoring. Sudan’s authorities, especially the military, should allow regular access for UN and other rights monitors throughout the country, including to Darfur and Kordofan.

The Council should also ensure that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Khartoum has the means and political backing to support key reforms.

Now more than ever, international support and scrutiny needs to be maintained to ensure that those who fought for a better, more rights abiding future are not abandoned.

5 Comments

  1. The disgrace that is Human Rights Watch keeps barking up the ‘WRONG TREE’ again!

    While there is no excuse for Human Rights abuses, the Sudan is emerging from a CIVIL WAR just now! If they are having a mitigation and reporting issue I definitely will understand! But WHAT ABOUT SAUDI ARABIA? The last time I checked, Mohammed Bin Salman is not fighting a Civil War but a war of dominance against the Houthis…WHAT DO OROMO IMMIGRANTS IN HIS COUNTRY HAVE TO DO WITH HIS WAR OF CHOICE? WHY ARE THEY ROUNDED UP AND TORTURED IN SAUDI JAILS? How come Human Rights Watch does not seem to touch the Saudi, the Iranian, or the Chinese regimes with a ‘ten foot pole’?

    This is why I say Human Rights Watch is a DISGRACE of the HIGHEST ORDER! They PERFECTLY KNOW THE POWERS TO AVOID ANGERING LEST THEIR NICE CUSHY DONOR FUNDS GET CUT OFF’ or they come under pressure from their UN Human Rights Partners and enablers for OFFENDING THE WRONG PEOPLE!

  2. Thank you Aba Solan for bringing up the issues of our Oromo refugees who are being abused in Saudi Arabia in contravention to the International Convention for the Protection of Refugees, which the Saudi government is a signatory to…

    You know, I checked the website of HRW for any report on the Uyghurs, the Moslems of Shinjiang, China, who are subjected to a CAMPAIGN of EXTERMINATION, and I did not see a single report on it! If I am wrong, I apologize to Human Rights Watch!

  3. The case of Oromo Refugees getting rounded up, jailed, tortured, & killed so MBS could say ” my government has a good relationship with Africans,” by complying with the demands of the Ethiopian State to neutralize support for the Oromo Liberation Army among Oromo immigrants in Saudi Arabia, reminded me of a fierce debate we once had in College in my History class, a long, long, time ago…

    Part of the reason why Black People including thousands of Oromos were sold into Slavery was because there was NO Credible Black Sovereign Power to come to their defense through actual OR perceived military retaliation against an
    en-slaver!

    Ya Oromo,
    Do we want a Sovereign Power on our side when our people are threatened and abused? If your answer is yes, then LET US GET RID OF THE PARASITIC AMHARA NAFXAGNA STATE KNOWN AS ETHIOPIA, AND ESTABLISH OUR OWN INDEPENDENT AND SOVEREIGN OROMO REPUBLIC! THEN AND ONLY THEN WILL WE HAVE A VOICE GUARANTEED TO BE RAISED IN OUR DEFENSE WHEN NEEDED & NECESSARY!

    Forward and onward to an Independent AND sovereign Oromo Republic!
    Let us stand with our sons and daughters of the Oromo Liberation Army!

    Waaqa Gurrach Oromo Waliin!

    NB: Thank you Aba Solan for WAKING ME UP to the ANCIENT MONOTHEISTIC FAITH OF OUR PEOPLE, WAAQEFFAANNAA!

  4. Irkoo,

    I never thought you would notice but I guessed wrong! Yes, one among many of the baggage I had to jettison when I declared my personal independence from Ethiopia AND ‘Ethiopiawinet’ some forty years ago, was to get rid of how Ethiopians, Europeans, & Arabs wanted me to worship, and go back to believing in the WAAQA GURRACHA of the Oromos of millennia! As you probably have deduced by now, this is a personal choice and what faith people follow is non of my business; as long as they leave me alone to worship as I see fit also!

    It has not been easy as you probably will find out yourself! But regardless of the difficulties, my adoption of Waaqeffaannaa as my guide in life has been a remarkably fulfilling journey for me and my family!

    Now, if we can have some of our Oromo Social scientists begin writing down the Cannons of Oromo faith, it will actually help that much more in living by the principles of it daily! Professor Gammachuu Magarsaa has taken a stab at it here and there in his various publications, but I am not aware of any work published for this exclusive purpose.

    I hope that some brilliant Oromo minds out there would hear the call of our Karrayyuu Abba Gadaa, Hawaas Boruu, and begin working on the documentation of the writ and liturgy of the faith of our people, Waaqeffaannaa!

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