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American Position vis –a- vis Human Rights in Sudan

Monthly Bulletin - September 2015

American Position vis –a- vis Human Rights in Sudan

  1. In September 2009, Sudan has succeeded in avoiding the 4th  chapter - imposed on Sudan since 1993 by five special rapporteurs – and returned to the 10thchapter . The 4th  chapter stipulates the appointment of a special rapporteur for the control and monitoring of the state  behavior which is classified according to this chapter as violating seriously, the situation of human rights. Sudan remained attached to 10thchapter since 2009, in spite of all attempts carried out by some international powers in recent years to replace it on the 10thchapter , whereas, the international community hasn’t managed to fulfill its promise to provide technical assistance required according to the 10thchapter, as stipulated in the regulations of the Human Rights Council.
  2. Prior to the meeting of the 30th session of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in Geneva, the  representative of Washington announced in a procedural hearing held in August 2015 in Geneva,  the council's determination to re-submit a draft resolution to re-pose Sudan on the 4th  chapter on and to appoint a special rapporteur for human rights.
  3. Indeed, the United States, Britain, France and Nigeria submitted a report which confirmed that, according to the human rights situation in the Sudan, this state has to return back to the 4th  chapter , in addition to the appointment of an independent rapporteur, also 16 international human rights organizations sent a letter to the Human Rights Council prior to the meeting.
  4. The message called on the Council to issue a strong and immediate decision to reattach Khartoum to the 4th  chapter , as well as send an investigation team specialized in cases of sexual violence, and human rights violations in Darfur, the two regions of Blue Nile and South Kordofan, to identify and punish persons accused of committing these crimes. These questions are expected to be raised in addition to the debate about the issue of freedoms and the investigation relating to victims of the September protests in 2013, as well as the national dialogue issue .
  5. Some observers dealing with human rights issue described this step as an attempt to press Khartoum government, since the 4th  chapter opens the door to international intervention in the country's internal affairs under the umbrella of human rights. In the same context, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch Organizations accused the Sudanese army and government militias, of committing crimes in areas of armed conflict.
  6. During the opening procedural session of the Council on September 14, 2015 the High Commissioner for Human Rights of the United Nations Zeid Ra'ad Al-Hussein expressed his deep concern toward what he described as the impunity for the criminals and perpetrators of huge human rights violations in Sudan, especially in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan,  saying that Geneva Human Rights Office mentioned in its report that Darfur region witnessed in 2014 about 114 serious violations of human rights, most of which passed without investigation or accountability. The Council report, which was based mostly on UNAMID mission information, mentioned details of alleged crimes and suspected the involvement of the Security and the police Forces. These violations include physical attacks against citizens, cases of shooting and killing, as well as robbery, kidnapping and extortion. Most of these crimes are not reported, either by fear of reprisal or lack of confidence in authorities
  7. High Commissioner for Human Rights said that the report paints a very bleak picture of the situation in Darfur; it also registered cases of violations of international humanitarian law by all parties of conflict, including indiscriminating shelling of civilian areas, which resulted in deaths and injuries, burning of villages and destruction of property.
  8. The report refers to the state's failure to develop effective legal and judicial mechanisms to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice, referring to the previous initiatives undertaken by the government, including the establishment of the Special Court for Darfur. The Commissioner urged the Sudanese government and the armed movements to react very seriously of this report , and to cooperate with international mechanisms including the International Criminal Court, to achieve justice. He noted in his speech that the international community must help the International Criminal Court in this regard.
  9. Sudanese Foreign Minister Dr. Ibrahim Ghandour said, the following, in an interview: (unfortunately, despite the dialogue, the United States follows us in human rights issue. In the last note of our mission in Geneva, the human rights official at the US mission said that they have orders from Washington to impose on Sudan economic embargo, as soon as possible). US pressure coincided with a shift in the African position, which had been, for a time, supportive of Sudan especially with regard to the issue of the International Criminal Court, but this position declined when the Court of South Africa requested not to allow to President Omar al-Bashir to leave South Africa.
  10. The UN Security Council resolution No. 2228 adopted unanimously on June 29, 2015 the extension of the UN African mixed mission (UNAMID) for another year, until mid-2016 and the attempts carried out by the African Union reinforced  transferring the national dialogue from the local framework to international level . Added to all that, Nigeria's position in the recent meetings of Geneva Human Rights Council. 
  11. Sudanese high-level sources from Ministry of Justice expected that the independent expert Aristide Nosen presents negative report on human rights in Sudan. But they stressed that the Sudanese delegation would be ready to face the attempts of any groups that could raised pressure on Sudan. The head of the negotiating delegation revealed arrangements related to seminars, lectures and the program associated with the Geneva meetings and all documents that strengthen the position of Sudan.
  12. The Sudanese mission in Geneva has led an intensive action in coordination with some friend states to abort the attempts to replace Sudan to 4th  chapter . A group of some Sudanese and foreigners lead a demonstration in front of the Human Rights Council.
  13. In a related context, the head of the National Council Dr. Ibrahim Ahmed Omar held a meeting with the National Group for Human Rights, which was preparing to leave for Geneva. Dr. Omar urged them to highlight the negative effects caused by the reports of political nature provided by international organizations across their multiple mechanisms against Sudan. He called to coordinate the efforts to confront the unfair campaigns targeting Sudan. 
  14. The National Group for Human Rights has called on the organizations , national institutions and citizens to protest in front of the US embassy and the headquarters of the United Nations in Khartoum on September 16, 2015 to denounce the US unilateral sanctions and attempts to replace Sudan on the 4th  chapter after the last meetings of Human Rights Council, in Geneva, inviting the international community to provide technical and logistical support to get rid of the international control. Arab Parliamentary Union also expressed, during the meetings of the 13th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, its support to Sudan's position.
  15. Thanks to these efforts , in addition to the supportive position of the Arab Group, China, Qatar and the African Union at meetings of the thirtieth session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva,Sudan has been enabled to manage resisting the attempts to return it to the 4th  chapter (control), and remained on the 10th (aides).
  16. The US position usually associates the progress of bilateral relations between the United States and Sudan, with the issues of human rights and democracy, in other words, the settlement of the problems of the three regions (Darfur, Blue Nile, and Southern Kordofan), as well as the progress of national dialogue. US rhetoric toward Sudan sometimes carries some contradictions, which reflects the state of internal contradiction between the various stakeholders and lobbies.
  17. For example, the US envoy Donald Booth returned , after his last visit to Sudan, testified before the Committee of Special Affairs at the Congress, saying that the speech of President al-Bashir represents a historic opportunity to resolve the conflicts in Sudan if dialogue would be comprehensive and do not exclude anyone.
  18. Meanwhile, he said that the conflicts in Sudan indicate the failure of Khartoum government to achieve justice, thinking that the international community must not allow Sudan to continue dimming on its national issues considering them as isolated regional conflicts. He also reported that it is important to unify the international community and to strengthen international messages to Khartoum, in coordination with key partners such as China, Britain, Norway, the African Union, Ethiopia, Egypt, Qatar and others.
  19. The challenge which faces Sudan is how to reach stakeholders and other supporting elements in various its issues, to enlighten the American public with the real situation in Sudan and highlight the common interests of the two peoples.
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