Sudan : European Parliament calls for transparency and safeguards in migration cooperation

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On 6 October 2016, the European Parliament (EP) adopted an urgency resolution condemning the ongoing unlawful killings, abductions, gender-based and sexual violence in the conflict areas, notably in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, including aerial bombardment and chemical weapons used by Sudanese forces against civilians. The resolution condemned serious human rights violations taking place outside Sudan’s conflict areas, including the arbitrary arrest and detention of activists and the ongoing detention of human rights defenders and journalists, calling for prompt investigations into all allegations of torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and excessive use of force.

The resolution also highlighted concerns regarding the stepping-up of EU cooperation with Sudan on migration management. It notably calls on the European External Action Service and the Commission to "closely monitor EU development assistance in Sudan in order to prevent any direct or indirect support to local militias, and to ensure that RSF forces patrolling Sudan’s borders with Egypt and Libya do not purport to fight illegal migration on behalf of the EU". Finally, the resolution called on the EU to impose targeted punitive sanctions against individuals responsible for continued war crimes and non-cooperation with the International Criminal Court.

FIDH and its Sudanese member organisation, the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) called for these measures in a round of advocacy meetings with EU interlocutors last September. They warned of the risks that the new EU cooperation with Sudan on migration management would indirectly reinforce the legitimacy and activities of the Rapid Support Forces, a paramilitary agency comprised mostly of former Janjawid militias responsible for human rights and humanitarian law violations, already deployed along the northern border of Sudan in order to counter the flow of irregular migrants.

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