Showing posts with label Sudan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sudan. Show all posts

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Human Rights Leader Faults Obama Administration for Failure In Sudan

Human Rights Leader Faults Obama Administration for Failure In Sudan – Could Cost Thousands Of Lives

Rejects Current “Normalization” Approach for Tough Sanctions against Indicted War Criminal

(Washington, DC) – United to End Genocide President Tom Andrews today urged policymakers to mandate increased U.S. sanctions and other actions to help halt escalating ethnic-based attacks on civilians in South Kordofan and Blue Nile by forces backed by Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir. Andrews testified at a House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hearing, “Sudan: The Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis in South Kordofan and Continuing Human Rights Violations in Darfur.”

Omar al-Bashir

“Omar al-Bashir is repeating the targeted ethnic attacks of Darfur in South Kordofan and Blue Nile where his forces have already killed thousands and left hundreds of thousands displaced with little food and no access to humanitarian aid,” stated Andrews. “Unfortunately, the Obama Administration, by failing to demand accountability and leaving the option open for normalized relations with Sudan, is allowing Omar al-Bashir to get away with murder.”

In his testimony, Andrews called on the Obama Administration to:

• Expand current sanctions on Bashir and other individuals responsible for atrocities throughout Sudan, as current sanctions are specific to Darfur alone;

• Make saving live in Sudan a high priority in dealings with China and other nations that can exert leverage on Bashir and his regime; and

• Expend political capital necessary to pass a United Nations Security Council resolution that would expand individual sanctions for perpetrators, expand the existing arms embargo on Darfur to incorporate all of Sudan, expand the mandate of the International Criminal Court to cover the entire country, and authorize an international civilian protection force with the mandate and capacity to accomplish its mission.

Andrews thanked the Lantos Human Rights Commission for helping to raise the alarm about ongoing atrocities in Sudan. “The American people need to know the truth about Omar al-Bashir and the atrocities he continues to commit, and this hearing is an important step,” stated Andrews. “I urge your leadership in considering legislation that would mandate increased U.S. sanctions and other actions to hold Omar al-Bashir accountable for his heinous actions and protect the millions of men, women and children in South Kordofan and Blue Nile whose lives are at risk right now.”

The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network are now United to End Genocide. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities. The merger creates the world’s largest anti-genocide organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors collectively representing more than $2 trillion in assets under management.

Ann Brown,, 301-633-4193

Friday, June 17, 2011

China must arrest Sudanese President

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir

17 Jun 2011 12:42 Africa/Lagos

China must arrest Sudanese President

LONDON, June 17, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Chinese government should immediately withdraw its invitation to Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir, and arrest him if he travels to Beijing, Amnesty International said today.

Omar Al-Bashir is due to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao and other high-ranking officials as part of a visit from 27-30 June

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued two arrest warrants for Omar Al-Bashir for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur. The warrants, issued in 2009 and 2010, charge him with criminal responsibility on 10 counts, including murder, extermination, forcible transfer of population, torture and rape.

“If China welcomes Omar Al-Bashir it will become a safe haven for alleged perpetrators of genocide”, said Catherine Baber, Deputy Asia Pacific Director at Amnesty International. “China should not allow Omar Al-Bashir to enter its territory, and must arrest him if he turns up.”

Although China is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, it is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, which decided in 2005 to refer the situation in Darfur – since 1 July 2002 – to the ICC Prosecutor.

The resulting resolution –which China had the power to veto but did not – urges all states to cooperate fully with the ICC.

All states have a shared responsibility to ensure that persons suspected of genocide and crimes against humanity are investigated. Where there is sufficient admissible evidence, suspects must be prosecuted in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.

“If China provides a safe haven for Al-Bashir thousands of victims in Africa will perceive China as an accomplice to crimes under international law”, Catherine Baber said.

Read More

Malaysia: Arrest Sudanese President wanted for war crimes (Public statement, 13 June 2011)

Djibouti refuses to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir (Public statement, 9 May 2011)

Central African Republic must arrest Omar al-Bashir during visit (Public statement, 1 December 2010)

Kenya refuses to arrest Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir (Public statement, 27 August 2010)

Source: Amnesty International


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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Migrants Continue to be Vulnerable in Libyan Conflict

7 Jun 2011 16:46 Africa/Lagos

Migrants Continue to be Vulnerable in Libyan Conflict

GENEVA, June 7, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM Press Briefing Notes

The on-going conflict and political stalemate in Libya has left migrants in a situation of continued vulnerability, with large groups stranded across the country.

During an assessment of the humanitarian needs in various parts of Libya, IOM staff reported on the plight of a large community of mostly African and Filipino migrant workers sheltering in two sites in the capital, Tripoli.

Staff say some of the migrants have been without jobs since the beginning of the crisis as their employers had left the country. Feeling they have nothing to return to, they stay on in Libya in the vain hope that they may receive back pay from their employers or find another job. Others have been left to take care of employers' properties but have not been paid since February.

The majority, from Ghana, Togo, Sudan, Nigeria, Cameroon and other African countries, are unskilled and undocumented workers.

Like the others, they are dependent on whatever food and shelter people of goodwill from within and outside their community can provide with some basic food prices having increased by up to three times since the start of the crisis.

Although the numbers of migrants managing to flee Libya on a daily basis have slowed down in recent weeks, migrants continue to be stranded in towns and cities around the country.

The Malian Ambassador to Tripoli estimates between 8,000-10,000 of his compatriots remain in western Libya, mostly in Sabha, Gadames, Ubari and Murzuk, while the vulnerability of Sub-Saharan Africans in the eastern part of the country has led to Malians there fleeing into Egypt.

Thousands of Egyptian migrants are also believed to be still in the country, according to the Egyptian Ambassador to Tripoli. While most are thought to be in the south in cities such as Gatroun and Sabha, others are in places like Sirt and in need of evacuation.

As these reports emerge, IOM is continuing its efforts to access Gatroun where many Chadians are reported to be stranded. IOM interviews with Chadians who are returning home by truck reveal that many migrants have stayed as long as they could in Libya in the hope of being given months of unpaid wages. Lack of food and water was forcing them to finally leave.

Meanwhile, an eighth IOM mission to evacuate another group of migrants by sea from the port city of Misrata concluded late last week.

The mission, funded by the US State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, rescued 166 migrants, the majority from Sub-Saharan Africa including Nigeriens, Chadians, Ghanaians and Sudanese. The rest comprised Palestinians, Moroccans, Egyptians, Tunisians as well as migrants from Jordan, Britain and Pakistan.

Thirty-six war-wounded casualties were evacuated to Benghazi with the migrants, bringing the number of people rescued from Misrata to about 7,200.

The IOM-chartered ship also delivered hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid and provided the logistics for the deployment of an IOM-led interagency assessment team to Misrata to assess humanitarian needs there after months of fighting.

So far, IOM has provided evacuation assistance to about 31,000 people from inside Libya including the Misrata operations. More than 9,000 migrants including Sub-Saharan Africans have been transported by road from Tripoli to the Tunisian border and nearly 15,000 from Benghazi in the east to the Egyptian border.

Since late February, IOM has helped nearly 144,000 migrants in Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Chad and Niger with evacuation assistance back to their home countries.

As the crisis drags on, the numbers of people fleeing across Libya borders continue to mount steadily. More than 952,000 people have so far crossed into its six neighbouring countries or arrived in Italy and Malta.

Source: International Office of Migration (IOM)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Human Rights Groups Condemn Recent Attacks in Darfur

Human Rights Groups Condemn Recent Attacks and Humanitarian Aid Restrictions in Darfur

Washington, D.C. – Sudan Now, a group of human rights and anti-genocide organizations, today called on the Obama Administration to condemn the Government of Sudan for conducting air strikes against civilians in Darfur and preventing humanitarian assistance from accessing the affected sites. The administration should demand that access for humanitarian groups and peacekeepers be restored immediately, the Sudan coalition said.

The air attacks were the second in three days conducted by the Government of Sudan and were followed by the denial of access for humanitarian groups and peacekeepers for nearly all of South Darfur, including two of the largest displacement camps in the world.

“The U.S. government has offered a roadmap to normalization of relations with Khartoum, with the hope that these incentives could lead to a peaceful transition to independence of South Sudan as well as progress toward peace in Darfur. The latest egregious acts of bombing civilians and denying UN access should give immediate pause to offers of normalization. President Obama should make it clear to the Sudanese government that while the United States is willing to offer a way forward, there are certain acts that are unacceptable under any circumstances.” stated Mark Hanis, President and Co-Founder of Genocide Intervention Network / Save Darfur Coalition.

“Restrictions on humanitarian access are immoral and totally unacceptable,” said Ruth Messinger, President of American Jewish World Service. “The path towards peace is undermined when violence continues to be perpetrated and vital supplies and service are not permitted to reach those who rely on them for survival. I expect the United States Government and the international community to stand firm and send a strong message that these behaviors must end.”

“Although we repeatedly hear about how the Sudanese government is increasing access for peacekeepers and humanitarians in Darfur, invariably they revert to bombing civilians and cutting off access to aid,” said Enough Executive Director John Bradshaw. “Unless the international community imposes a clear cost for this egregious behavior, it will keep recurring.”


Sudan Now is a campaign led by a group of anti-genocide and human rights advocacy organizations committed to bringing meaningful and lasting peace to Sudan and encouraging strong American leadership and action to achieve this goal. The campaign challenges President Obama and top U.S. administration officials to live up to their promises to take strong and immediate action to help end the international crisis in Sudan and bring a lasting peace to Sudan’s people. Organizations participating in the campaign include Humanity United, the Enough Project at the Center for American Progress, Genocide Intervention Network, American Jewish World Service, Stop Genocide Now, and Investors Against Genocide.

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20 May 2011


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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Omar al-Bashir remains a fugitive from justice


Ann Brown,, 301-633-4193

On Second Anniversary Of International Criminal Court Indictment Of Sudan’s Al-Bashir, GI-NET/SDC Calls For More Robust Pursuit Of Justice

President Omar al-Bashir

(Washington, DC) – Two years ago today, the International Criminal Court issued charges against Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity related to his actions in Darfur. In July 2010, the court added charges of genocide against Bashir. On this anniversary, Mark Hanis, President of Genocide Intervention Network / Save Darfur Coalition, issued the following statement:

“Omar al-Bashir remains a fugitive from justice, not only defying the ICC arrest warrant but still perpetrating attacks against innocent civilians in Darfur. The many victims of Bashir’s heinous crimes deserve to see him held accountable and brought to justice.

“By allowing Bashir to go unpunished, the world is sending a message to other would-be perpetrators that crimes against humanity can be committed with impunity. We urge the United States as part of the UN Security Council which referred the situation in Darfur to the ICC, and all world leaders to provide necessary support to the ICC to fulfill its responsibility to hold Bashir and other perpetrators responsible for their actions.”


The Save Darfur Coalition and Genocide Intervention Network merged on November 1, 2010 to create a more powerful voice dedicated to preventing and stopping large-scale, deliberate atrocities against civilians. The organization remains committed to its work to end the crisis in Darfur and bring peace to all of Sudan as well as to end violence in other areas of mass atrocities such as Congo and Burma. The merger creates the world’s largest anti-genocide organization, with a membership base of hundreds of thousands of committed activists globally, an unparalleled nationwide student movement, more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights partner organizations, and a network of institutional investors with over $700 billion in assets under management.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Four women raped in North Darfur

21 Jan 2011 13:13 Africa/Lagos

Darfur / UNAMID Daily Media Brief

EL FASHER (DARFUR), January 21, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- UNAMID Daily Media Brief / 2011-01-20

Four women raped in North Darfur

UNAMID yesterday confirmed reports that four women were raped and beaten by three armed men, near the village of Dorma (25 km north of Tawilla, North Darfur). The Mission will follow up the case with the Sudanese police.

Update on students injured in El Fasher

Three of the students injured during a shooting incident at a high-school in El Fasher, North Darfur, on 18 January, have been evacuated by local authorities to Khartoum for medical treatment. One of them is listed in critical condition.

Peace agreement in South Darfur

On 18 January UNAMID senior officials attended the signing ceremony of a peace agreement between Sudan Liberation Army / Historic (SLA/H), a breakaway faction of Sudan Liberation Army / Abdul Wahid (SLA/AW), and the Government of the Sudan in Bali Siref. The village is located within the northern edge of Jebel Marra mountains and lies about 30 Km north of El Malam town, South Darfur. The Mission also provided logistic support to the event, airlifting some of the participants.

Provisional results of the referendum in Darfur

The provisional results of the South Sudan referendum, provided by South Sudan Referendum Commission (SSRC) and UNMIS, indicate that 55 per cent of participants voted for unity in Darfur. A total of 12,036 people cast their ballot, out of 23,121 registered in the region, representing 52 per cent. The final results of the referendum are to be published on 14 February at the latest.

UNAMID provided logistical support to the SSRC, transporting material by air from El Fasher and El Geneina to Khartoum.

UNAMID patrols

UNAMID military conducted 120 patrols including routine, short-range, long-range, night and humanitarian escort patrols covering 80 villages and IDP camps.

UNAMID police advisors conducted 127 patrols in villages and IDP camps.

Source: United Nations - African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID)

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

President Goodluck Jonathan has failed

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

If the incompetent administration of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) has failed woefully to protect the lives and properties of innocent citizens of Nigeria, then we must get rid of the PDP and their corrupt leaders.

Our people are under the siege of rampaging ethno-religious fanatics of the lunatic fringe in the northern states, incessant kidnappings and robberies in the southern eastern and south southern states and political mayhem and assassinations in the southwestern states.

The apologies and regrets of the government in power are not what we need to address the appalling state of insecurity in Nigeria, but a pragmatic and systemic solution to guarantee the safety of precious lives and invaluable properties in Nigeria.

Have anyone read Dear Karl Maier, This House Has Not Yet Fallen?

Let us stop wasting our time and lives debating over their incompetent presidential candidates.

President Goodluck Jonathan has failed to prove that he is a good commander-in-chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Only idiots and fools will vote for him.

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Jan 11, 2011

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07:26Joint Statement of the International referendum observation missions in the Sudan
07:19Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Sudan / Start of the Southern Sudan referendum
07:13Secretary Clinton on Start of Southern Sudan Referendum
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Monday, January 10, 2011

Dear Aisha, It started yesterday in Juba

Dear Aisha,
It started yesterday.
One of the most prophetic Sundays in Southern Sudan, but will the skies no longer be gloomy in Darfur?
I know that David must be happy for you.

The lanky Senator John Kerry and George “the debonair” Clooney were there. They flew all the way from America to witness the making of history. The week-long independence referendum to free your people of the south from the shackles Khartoum. They joined the crowds sweating in the heat of the Sunday sun. January 9, 2011, will be an unforgettable day in the history of southern Sudan.

Nobody seemed tired of standing in the long queues as they were waiting to cast their votes in the last leg of the long march to freedom.
The harrowing nightmares of the horrifying and terrifying years of the rampaging devils on horsebacks will no longer haunt your people?

Dr. Halima Bashir will no more drink from the pool of the tears of the desert and the sleepless nights of Daoud Hari The Translator of the years of the wrath of the Janjaweed of Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir will no longer linger?

For the vultures will no longer be overfed with the carcasses of your people littering the ravine of Jebel Marra, because their corpses will no longer be left unburied.

“This is the moment the people have been waiting for,” said Southern president Salva Kiir as he was rejoicing in Juba yesterday.

Omar Bashir is kicking and cursing, because he has lost the battle and his northern region will be dependent on the over 75% of oil in the south and hoping he will not siphon it as it passes the northern pipeline to the sea.

But will the referendum will bring succor to Darfur?
Not until the rest of the world can read the secret letters from Darfur.
The testimonies of the agonies of the bereaved ones who have been scarred for life from the Massaleet to the Zagawa communities in the land of the Fur

May the overflowing joys of the new dawn wash away the ashes of the sorrows of the past. For the people of Juba shall be redeemed like the children of Judah.

Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people.

Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen:

But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things.

Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.

Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength.

Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.
And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.
And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.

~ Joel 2:18-27 (King James Version)

Monday, August 30, 2010

AU Speaks on Omar Hassan Al-Bashir Visits to Chad and Kenya

30 Aug 2010 05:44 Africa/Lagos

African Union Commission / Press release on the decision of the pre-trial chamber of the ICC informing the UN Security Council and the Assembly of the State Parties to the Rome statute about the presence of president Omar Hassan Al-Bashir of the Sudan in the territories of the Republic of Chad and the Republic of Kenya

ADDIS ABABA, August 29, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The African Union Commission has noted with grave concern statements attributed to some members of the UN Security Council as well as the decisions ICC-02/05-01/09 of 27 August 2010 of the ICC Pre Trial Chamber informing the United Nations Security Council and the Assembly of the States Parties to the Rome Statute about Omar Al-Bashir's presence in the territories of the Republic of Chad and the Republic of Kenya.

The said statements and the decisions assert that the two African Union Member States have “a clear obligation to cooperate with the Court in relation to the enforcement of such warrants of arrest, which stems both from the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1593, whereby the United Nations Security Council ‘urge[d] all States and concerned regional and other international organizations to cooperate fully' with the Court, and from article 87 of the Statute of the Court”, to which the two countries are state parties. The African Union Commission further notes that the decision by the Pre-Trial chamber was made strangely in respect of the “expected attendance of Omar Al Bashir at the celebration scheduled for Friday, 27 August 2010”.

The African Union Commission expresses its deep regret that both the statements and the decisions grossly ignore and make no reference whatsoever to the obligations of the two countries to the African union, arising from decisions Assembly/AU/Dec. 245(XIII) adopted by the 13th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government, wherein the Assembly “Decide[d] that in view of the fact that the request by the African Union has never been acted upon (by UN Security Council), the AU Member States shall not cooperate pursuant to the provisions of Article 98 of the Rome Statute of the ICC relating to immunities, for the arrest and surrender of President Omar El Bashir of The Sudan”, which decision was reiterated (decision Assembly/AU/Dec. 296 (XV) by the 15th Ordinary session of the Assembly in July 2010 in Kampala, Uganda. Additionally, the statements and the decisions did not take cognisance whatsoever of the obligations of AU Member states arising from Article 23 (2) of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, which obligates all AU Member States “to comply with the decisions and policies of the Union”. Thus, the decisions adopted by the AU policy organs are binding on Chad and Kenya and it will be wrong to coerce them to violate or disregard their obligations to the African Union.

It is to be recalled that the repeated appeals to the UN Security Council by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union as well as the AU Peace and Security Council to defer the proceedings against President Omar Hassan Bashir of The Sudan for one year in application of the provisions of Article 16 of the Rome Statute have never been acted upon by the UN Security Council. The same UN Security Council, which has ignored this request by AU member states and which includes states that have no obligations to the International Criminal Court, has no moral authority to sit in judgement over Chad and Kenya. Indeed, by virtue of their membership of the African union, these two countries have committed themselves to “condemnation and rejection of impunity” and voluntarily negotiated the Rome Statute along with the Organisation of African Unity and joined the ICC with a view to enhancing the fight against impunity.

The African Union Commission recalls that both Chad and Kenya being neighbours of The Sudan have an abiding interest in ensuring peace and stability in The Sudan and in promoting peace, justice and reconciliation in that country, which can only be achieved through continuous engagement with the elected government of that country. Neighbouring countries do this as a matter of survival as they bear the brunt of instability or insecurity in neighbouring states. Kenya as a member of IGAD and a guarantor to the peace process in The Sudan, arising from the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and the impending referendum in South Sudan, has a duty and obligation to continuously engage with President Omar Hassan Al Bashir and President Silva Kiir.

It is to be noted that engagement with the elected leaders of The Sudan is vitally and strategically essential and unavoidable for the countries of the region as well as the entire continent, which by their location are better able to understand and take into account the local realities and dynamics. The attempt to involve the UN Security Council in this matter is yet another effort to pressurise African countries to support the ICC irrespective of the complex dynamics on the ground which require a fine balance between peace and justice and, in this regard, the AU shall oppose any attempt to coerce African Countries to undermine the common African position.

The African Union will continue to fight against impunity as required by the relevant Assembly decisions as well as Article 4 of the Constitutive Act and shall oppose the pretensions and double standards that are evident from the statements being made about the two countries. The African Union believes and will continue to pursue in respect of the Sudan the interconnected, mutually interdependent and equally desirable objectives of peace, justice and reconciliation. It also requests all African Countries and Friends of Africa to reject any draft resolution that may be tabled before the UN Security Council on this matter.

Addis Ababa, 29 August 2010.

Source: African Union Commission (AUC)

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Sudan / Widespread Abuses Bode Ill for Referendum / Hold Security Forces Accountable for Violations in April 2010 Elections

30 Jun 2010 19:55 Africa/Lagos

Sudan / Widespread Abuses Bode Ill for Referendum / Hold Security Forces Accountable for Violations in April 2010 Elections

KARTHOUM, June 30, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Both national and southern Sudanese authorities should investigate human rights abuses connected to its April 2010 elections and bring to justice those responsible, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Addressing the abuses is especially important as the country prepares for a referendum on self-determination in Southern Sudan, Human Rights Watch said.

The 32-page report, “Democracy on Hold: Rights Violations in the April 2010 Elections,” documents numerous rights violations across Sudan by both northern and southern authorities in the period leading up to, during, and following the April elections. These abuses include restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly, particularly in northern Sudan, and widespread intimidation, arbitrary arrests, and physical violence against monitors and opponents of the incumbent parties by Sudanese security forces across the country. The report is based on research carried out between November 2009 and April 2010 in Khartoum and Southern Sudan.

“The national elections were an important milestone of the 2005 peace agreement, which was meant to pave the way forward for Sudan,” said Rona Peligal, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “But pushing the elections-related abuses under the rug would not bode well for the referendum coming up in January.”

The 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended 22 years of civil war between northern and southern forces, called for Sudan to hold national elections and a referendum on southern self-determination. Southern Sudanese, including more than 1.5 million southerners living in Khartoum and northern states, will decide in the January 2011 vote whether to secede from the north.

Human Rights Watch called on the national unity government to enact genuine reforms called for in the peace agreement, including improvements to the national security apparatus. The national security law currently grants broad powers of search, seizure, and arrest, and allows for detention without judicial review for up to four and a half months, in violation of international law.

Human Rights Watch found that in the months leading up to the April elections the ruling National Congress Party suppressed peaceful assembly by opposition party members in the north and prevented free association and speech. During election week, there were fewer cases of such restrictions, but several cases of harassment, intimidation, and arrest of opposition members and elections observers.

In Southern Sudan, Human Rights Watch documented widespread intimidation, arbitrary arrest, detention, and mistreatment of opponents of the southern ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), as well as of election observers and voters, throughout the elections process in several southern states.

In addition to these rights violations, serious irregularities in the conduct of the election – such as multiple voting, ballot-stuffing, and other acts of fraud – undermined their legitimacy.

On April 26, the elections commission declared both ruling parties the winners in their regions following the vote-counting. Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Darfur, was re-elected president of the national unity government.

In the weeks following the April elections, Human Rights Watch documented a worsening human rights situation across Sudan, with renewed repression in the north, incidents of elections-related violence in the south, and ongoing conflict in Darfur.

Human Rights Watch also called on Sudan to cooperate with the International Criminal Court, as required under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1593.

“The elections were supposed to help expand democracy in Sudan, but they have had the opposite effect,” Peligal said. “The electoral victory has essentially emboldened the ruling parties, particularly in the north, to crack down on opponents, activists, and journalists.”

The post-election crackdown in Khartoum included the May 15 arrest and detention of the opposition figure Hassan al-Turabi and of journalists, the arrest of Darfuri students, and the resumption of pre-print censorship leading to the suspension of three newspapers.

In early June, security forces violently repressed a peaceful demonstration by Sudanese doctors striking for better wages and working conditions, and detained six doctors without charge until June 24, when the doctors called off the strike. Two of them were subjected to physical mistreatment by national security officials.

In Southern Sudan, simmering disputes over election results between the ruling party and independent candidates have led to clashes between armed forces. In Jonglei state, for example, forces loyal to General George Athor, who unsuccessfully ran for state governor, have clashed with the southern army on multiple occasions since the results were announced. Vote-rigging and intimidation during the elections have led to anger and frustration in the south.

In Darfur, where many communities boycotted the elections process, the Sudanese government continues to carry out armed attacks on rebel factions and civilians, using both aerial bombs and ground forces. In May, this violence caused the highest death tolls in two years.

“Democracy on Hold” also examines the reaction of the international community to the widespread abuses during the elections. The report highlights how political considerations related to efforts to carry out the 2005 agreement, in particular the referendum, have made many international actors reluctant to criticize Sudan's human rights record.

“Sudan's international partners have a critical role to play in urging Sudanese authorities to end impunity for abuses,” Peligal said. “Timid silence on their part will both jeopardize the prospects for a peaceful and meaningful referendum and derail the democratic transformation envisioned by the peace agreement.”

Source: Human Right Watch (HRW)

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

STATEMENT: Lord's Resistance Army Finds Safe Haven in Darfur

11 Mar 2010 07:17 Africa/Lagos

STATEMENT: Lord's Resistance Army Finds Safe Haven in Darfur

KAMPALA, Uganda, JUBA, Sudan and WASHINGTON, March 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Enough Project at the Center for American Progress today released the following statement:

The Enough Project confirms that a contingent of the deadly Lord's Resistance Army, or LRA, has taken refuge in areas of south Darfur, Sudan, controlled by the Government of Sudan. The possibility of rekindled collaboration between LRA leader Joseph Kony and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir - both wanted for war crimes and crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, or ICC - should alarm policymakers and demands urgent international investigation and response.

The LRA originated in northern Uganda during the late 1980s. In addition to committing widespread atrocities in Uganda, throughout the 1990s and early 2000s the LRA served as a proxy for the Sudanese government in its war with the Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, in southern Sudan. In 2005, Kony publicly stated that the Bashir government supported the LRA as a proxy force to destabilize the south, a charge that Khartoum continues to deny despite considerable evidence to the contrary.

"The Khartoum regime's principal tool of war during its 21-year reign has been support for marauding militias such as the Janjaweed, the Murahaliin, and the Lord's Resistance Army," said Enough Co-founder John Prendergast. "Facing no consequences for this destructive method of governing, it is unsurprising that the regime is again providing safe haven for the LRA. Absent a cost for this, we will likely see the LRA unleashed again later this year to destabilize the referendum in southern Sudan."

With material support from Khartoum, the LRA quickly became one of the deadliest militias in Africa, known for gruesome mutilations of civilians and abduction of children to serve as fighters and sex slaves. Following failed peace talks from 2006 to 2008, the LRA morphed into a full blown regional insurgency with fighters in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, or CAR, and southern Sudan.

In late 2009, Enough received credible information that an LRA reconnaissance team was seeking to make contact with the Sudanese army at their base in Kafia Kingi, near south Darfur's border with CAR. In recent months, Ugandan forces have pursued the LRA into Congo, CAR, and southern Sudan, but are restricted from crossing Sudan's disputed north-south border.

Now, based on months of field research and interviews with government and United Nations officials in several countries, Enough can confirm that LRA units have reached south Darfur.

"This is a very disturbing development. The move by the Government of Sudan to provide the LRA with safe haven demands a firm, rapid, and well-coordinated response from the United States and its partners in the international community," said John Norris, Enough's Executive Director. "A failure to bring clear and consistent pressure on President Bashir and his allies for this latest outrage will only encourage the Sudanese government to commit further abuses, with a terrible cost for civilians on the ground."

Also today, Enough released a strategy paper by field researcher Ledio Cakaj detailing the continuing threat posed by the LRA to civilians in northeastern Congo. The report, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: LRA Attacks and Congolese Army Abuses in Northeastern Congo," argues that much greater efforts must be made to protect civilians from a resurgent LRA and the predatory Congolese army.

Read the report at:

Enough is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on crises in Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas of Africa affected by the Lord's Resistance Army. Enough's strategy papers and briefings provide sharp field analysis and targeted policy recommendations based on a "3P" crisis response strategy: promoting durable peace, providing civilian protection, and punishing perpetrators of atrocities. Enough works with concerned citizens, advocates, and policy makers to prevent, mitigate, and resolve these crises. For more information, please visit

Source: Center for American Progress

CONTACT: Eileen White Read, +1-202-641-0779,,
for Center for American Progress

Web Site: