Urgent intervention needed to prevent further bloodshed in Sudan

As the situation in Sudan is at a critical juncture, DefendDefenders joins partners in calling for an immediate and urgent international intervention to restore civilian rule and address the demands expressed by peaceful protesters since December 2018.

In a letter released today, we highlight that the horrific acts committed by Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militias and associated forces in Khartoum and other places across Sudan since 3 June 2019 demonstrate the Transitional Military Council’s (TMC) lack of commitment to a peaceful transition to a civilian government and their determination to consolidate control by the harshest elements in the security services.

While welcoming the African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council’s decision to suspend Sudan from the AU until power is handed over to a civilian authority, we call on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to support the regional position by, among other things:

– Condemning the violence;

– Urgently supporting the establishment of an independent investigation into the attacks on protestors, including cases of sexual and gender-based violence;

– Demanding a rapid transfer of power to civilian authorities and a transition period led by civilian authorities;

– Freezing plans to draw down the forces of the joint UN-AU Mission in Sudan;

– Demanding the demobilization of the RSF under the supervision of the international community; and

– Expanding the imposition of targeted sanctions in Sudan, now only focused on Darfur, to individuals most responsible for violence against peaceful protesters and other peaceful opposition.


This call supplements our call on the UN Human Rights Council to convene a special (emergency) session with a view to setting up a fact-finding mission on Sudan’s crisis.

Read the full letter.



Human Rights Defender of the month: Alex Njenga John

Alex Njenga has always believed in egalitarianism both as a principle and as a tool for justice. As a result, he has always been suspicious of, and at times hostile to social prejudices that treat some people as “more equal than others,” – to use a line from George Orwell’s famed political fable, Animal Farm.

Some of the experiences that have shaped his social and political outlook have been personal. As an adolescent in Kenya’s Uasin Gishu County, Alex was stigmatised and denied healthcare after he identified himself as belonging to Kenya’s sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) community.