Urgent resolution on the situation in Sudan

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FIDH, meeting on the occasion of its 40th World Congress in Taipei, Taiwan:

Acknowledging the peaceful 2018-2019 revolution and the defiance of the Sudanese people in their quest for freedom, peace, and justice; and saluting the peaceful methods that protesters adopted since December 2018 until today to further their democratic demands despite oppression and the use of disproportionate lethal force by the Sudanese authorities;

Highlighting women’s participation and leadership during these peaceful protests and in the articulation of the transition process; while remaining deeply concerned about the targeting of women by authorities and deploring the sexual crimes committed during these protests;

Recognizing the fragile yet promising transition in the country and the demands of the Sudanese people for democracy; and taking note of the rights and freedoms provided in the recently adopted constitutional document as well as the opening up of space for civil society to act in relative freedom;

Welcoming the commitments announced by the transitional government, established after the signing of the 17 August 2019 power-sharing agreement, and of the Prime Minister appointed on 21 August 2019to achieve peace through good faith negotiations with stakeholders;

Particularly welcoming national authorities efforts to bring justice to victims, reform national laws and the judiciary and law enforcement institutions, and ratify major human rights treaties, which recently materialised with the announcement, on 23 September 2019, of the creation of an investigation commission, then the appointment of its members, on 20 October, to shed light on the raid by security forces on a sit-in on 3 June 2019, near the Defence Ministry in Khartoum, in which at least 128 people were killed and hundreds wounded;

Outraged by the human rights violations and attacks on peaceful civilians and activists including the killings, disappearances, arbitrary detentions, rapes and injuries of thousands of peaceful protesters; committed by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), the police, Islamic militias, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), including the 3 June 2019 violent crackdown on peaceful protesters when dozens of persons were killed and over 600 injured;

Deeply concerned by the endemic impunity of a wide range of perpetrators under the Armed Forces Act of 2007, the Police Act of 2008, and the National Security Act of 2010, as well as the reluctance of the Sudanese Authorities to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) investigations involving charges on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur since 1 July 2002;

Noting with concern the deteriorated situation of more than two million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Darfur, blue Nile and the Nuba Mountains, that are without proper access to basic adequate food, shelter, education and medical treatment;
Recalling the important role that the international community should play in ensuring a just transition in Sudan and welcoming the signature of the milestone agreement between the Government of Sudan and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the 25th of September 2019 to open a fully mandated country office in Khartoum and field offices in the conflict zones of Darfur, Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan and East Sudan.

Urges the Sudanese Sovereign Council (SC):

• To prioritize the strengthening of the judiciary and its independence, step up the fight against impunity, and ensure accountability for past crimes and crimes committed since December 2018 in the context of the nationwide protests;
• Design and implement transitional justice processes and mechanisms, in consultation with all sectors of society, and affected communities in particular;
• Establish accountable institutions and restore confidence in them, while making access to justice a reality for the most vulnerable in society in the aftermath of violations;
• Allow immediate access of relief and humanitarian aid to all IDPs in different parts of the country, especially in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile, that have been inaccessible to the UN and humanitarian agencies since 2011;
• Develop plans for the Security Sector Reform, (SSR) with the full participation of political actors and civil society, under the monitoring of the concerned regional and international bodies, and in accordance with international human rights law and best practices;
• Clarify the official status given to the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), and their relationship to the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF);
• Amend laws that provides impunity for crimes committed prior to 2007 specifically the Armed Forces Act of 2007, the Police Act of 2008, and the National Security Act of 2010;
• Choose law over impunity and cooperate with the ICC investigations, ensuring that the suspects of international crimes finally face justice.

Calls upon the United Nations Security Council (UNSC):

• To establish an independent investigation, in support of the African Union initiatives, into the human rights violations and abuses, including sexual and gender-based violence, committed in the context of peaceful protests since December 2018, and to investigate the 3 June 2019 massacre;
• Strengthen the mandate of the Independent Expert (IE);
• Support the Sudanese authorities by providing relief and humanitarian aid to IDPs in different parts of the country, especially in Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile;
• Support the peace negotiations between the transitional government and the different armed movements.

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