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Rights Groups Statement on the Sudans on the Release of the State Department’s Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012

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Rights Groups Statement on the Sudans on the Release of the State Department’s Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012

Posted by Enough Team on April 22, 2013

Enough Project and Humanity United Press Release 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson@enoughproject.org, +1-202-386-1618

Today, Humanity United, along with Act for Sudan, American Jewish World Service, The Enough Project and United to End Genocide, released a statement on the release of the State Department’s Annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012. The rights groups commended the Department on efforts to document human rights abuses in the world and called for its focus on ongoing atrocities in Sudan and South Sudan. 

 

Statement on Sudan:

On April 19, 2013, the U.S. Department of State released its annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2012.  We commend the Department on its continuing efforts to document ongoing human rights abuses around the world, and in particular for its focus on the increasingly desperate situation in Sudan.

We, the undersigned organizations, want to express our own continuing and growing concern about the grave human rights abuses perpetrated by the government of Sudan. The people of Sudan have consistently faced a failure of governance, repeated and continuing severe humanitarian crises, and indiscriminate attacks against civilians that have resulted in the displacement of millions, uncounted deaths from violence, and emergency levels of food insecurity.

The past year was no different.  In 2012 the Government of Sudan has continued to commit mass atrocities and human rights abuses including:

  • Continued indiscriminate attacks on the people of the Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur, including aerial bombing of non-military targets, other indiscriminate violence and rape. 
  • Restricted humanitarian access in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Eastern Sudan, and non-implementation of agreements providing for such access.
  • Extrajudicial killings, torture and arbitrary arrest of opposition party members, members of civil society, including members of youth movements. 
  • Continued censorship and restrictions on free press including closure of newspapers and suspension of journalists.
  • Continued impunity for security forces and others who caused human rights abuses and failure to either extradite or prosecute individuals indicted by the International Criminal Court.

We strongly condemn these abuses and urge the United States and the international community to take immediate action to pressure the Government of Sudan to stop these mass atrocities and grave abuses, resolve the conflicts that it has provoked, allow unimpeded international humanitarian access throughout the country, and end the suppression of lawful protests so people can enjoy freedoms guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

These atrocities and abuses stem from the many conflicts in Sudan, and point to the need for a comprehensive approach to all of Sudan’s conflict.  In addition, given the scale of the atrocities perpetrated by the regime, international donors should not provide significant assistance or debt-relief until real and verifiable steps towards peace and democratic transformation are taken.  The United States should also work with like-minded countries and the African Union to overcome the differences that are leading to inaction in the UN Security Council and move towards addressing these critical issues immediately.

 

Statement on South Sudan:

Statement on South Sudan: 
On April 19, 2013, the Department of State released its annual Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2012.  We commend the Department on its continuing efforts to document ongoing human rights abuses around the world.  The report included for the first time a review of an entire year in the life of the world’s newest nation, the Republic of South Sudan.

We, the undersigned organizations, want to express our concern about the human rights situation in South Sudan.  According to the 2012 report, elements of the Government of South Sudan have engaged in human rights violations or failed to bring perpetrators to justice, including:

  • Extrajudicial killings, rape, torture and other violence by security forces during the Jonglei disarmament operation, in other areas suffering intercommunal conflict and in other situations. 
  • Arbitrary detention of independent journalists and perceived opponents of the government by security forces.
  • Military detention of opposition party members and figures accused of rebel activities without charges
  • Failure to promote accountability for extrajudicial killings and other human rights abuses by investigating or funding investigation of, including insufficient response to  intercommunal violence in Jonglei, the shooting of peaceful protesters in Wau by security forces, the murder of an independent journalist, and other cases of violence against individuals perceived as opponents of the government.

These abuses were compounded by the expulsion without warning of a senior member of the UNMISS mission responsible for human rights.  

We believe this report is an opportunity for the Government of South Sudan to address these abuses, both through investigation and by ensuring such abuses do not occur in the future, as well as carrying out the action plan it has signed with the UN, acceding to all relevant human rights treaties, and moving forward with the planned national reconciliation process.  We urge the Government of South Sudan to rededicate itself to these efforts.

We believe the United States and the international community should continue to urge the Government of South Sudan to address these violations immediately and to assist in efforts, in partnership with the Government of South Sudan, to increase training for South Sudan’s military and security forces in human rights, civilian protection and accountability.  The U.S. government and the international community should also support strengthening existing accountability mechanisms within the Government of South Sudan, including efforts to combat impunity of the security forces, and to support an independent and transparent South Sudan National Human Rights Commission.  The United States should also ensure full funding for its contribution to UNMISS.

 

The Enough Project is a project of the Center for American Progress to end genocide and crimes against humanity. Founded in 2007, Enough focuses on the crises in Sudan, South Sudan, eastern Congo, and areas affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army. Enough conducts intensive field research, develops practical policies to address these crises, and shares sensible tools to empower citizens and groups working for change. To learn more about Enough, go to www.enoughproject.org.