Enough Project Petitions African Union to Take Action on Sudan Atrocities

Date: 
Apr 20, 2012

Press release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Matt Brown, mbrown@enoughproject.org, +1-202-468-2925

WASHINGTON – The Enough Project filed a petition on April 20 against the Republic of Sudan seeking to bring attention to the widespread human rights abuses that the Sudanese government is perpetrating against its own people in the states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

The petition, filed before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, alleges that the government of Sudan’s intentional bombing of civilians and denial of international humanitarian aid to populations living in the two states constitute violations of, among other things, the rights to life and property afforded these civilians under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

“Khartoum’s forces have deliberately bombed civilian homes, schools and clinics in direct violation of Sudan’s obligations under not only the African Charter, but also international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” said John Bradshaw, Enough Project executive director. “Exacerbating the situation is Khartoum’s steadfast refusal to permit international organizations to deliver desperately needed humanitarian or food aid to civilians resulting in emergency levels of food insecurity.”

When the African Commission convenes this week for one of its ordinary sessions, Sudan will submit a report on its human rights record. The draft document, recently released, contains not a word about the government’s siege in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.  At the same meeting, the Commission will consider the Enough Project’s petition, which describes a starkly different reality.

“The petition provides the African Union and the broader international community the opportunity to closely examine the most recent atrocities committed by the Sudanese government against its own people,” said Mark Quarterman, Enough Project director of research. “Dismayingly, these atrocities are nothing new; rather, they are the latest iteration in a pattern of human rights violations that Khartoum has committed against Sudanese civilians in South Sudan, South Kordofan, Blue Nile, the Abyei Area, Beja, and Darfur since at least the early 1990s.”

The international community should also take actions in the immediate term to provide technical assistance to Sudan’s opposition parties so as to enable those parties to constructively engage in political processes that will eventually allow for a fair, transparent, and inclusive constitutional process and democratic elections. 

“The time has come for the atrocities and cycle of impunity to end, and for democratic transformation to take hold in Sudan,” said Omer Ismail, Enough Project Sudan advisor. “Without a transition to a truly democratic government in Sudan, the Khartoum regime’s pattern of oppression and destruction against marginalized populations will continue as it has for decades.”

Read the full petition.