Ahead of the 45th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC45, which is set to take place from 14 September to 6 October 2020), and at a critical juncture for Sudan, DefendDefenders and civil society partners highlight progress and ongoing challenges in the country, and call on the Council to contribute to human rights reforms.
In the letter released today, the signatories outline that the last 20 months have brought about significant changes for the Sudanese people and Sudan’s relationship with independent human rights actors. They list political developments (adoption of a Constitutional Document, formation of a Sovereign Council, appointment of a Civilian-Led Transitional Government), the ongoing peace process, respect for women’s and girls’ rights, prosecutions (including that of former President Omar Al-Bashir), cooperation with international bodies and mechanisms, legal reform, and the opening of the civic and democratic space.
However, as the letter makes clear, numerous challenges remain and Sudan’s political transition remains fragile. The country faces a multi-faceted crisis with economic, social, human rights, and health dimensions. Sanctions, the United States administration’s continued listing of Sudan as a “State sponsor of terrorism,” and endemic corruption and mismanagement have added to these challenges. The humanitarian situation remains serious, and violence against civilians has been increasing.
Significant steps are yet to be taken to address systemic human rights issues and achieve meaningful, sustainable progress, including justice and accountability for the egregious violations and abuses committed under the 30-year Al-Bashir dictatorship.
“As Sudan attempts to strengthen gains of its Revolution and prevent setbacks, the Human Rights Council has a role to play,” the signatories write. At its 45th session, the Council should adopt a resolution extending technical assistance and capacity-building to the Sudanese Government and human rights actors in the country, while ensuring regular monitoring of, and reporting to the Council on, the human rights situation and the work of the OHCHR country office.
Read the full letter.