Sudan: UN must act quickly to ensure end to impunity

In Arab Countries, International Advocacy Program by CIHRS

We, the heads of over 50 human rights and humanitarian organizations are coming together to sound the alarm about Sudan, where a disaster is unfolding before our eyes. With fighting continuing across the country, brutal sexual violence rising, widespread deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, and journalists and human rights defenders being silenced, the country is no longer at the precipice of mass atrocities – it has fallen over the edge.

Since April, when open hostilities broke out in Sudan’s capital, more than five million people have been forced to flee their homes and hundreds of thousands of others may soon be forced to join them. Many are now living in camps with limited access to humanitarian assistance, few educational opportunities for their children, and almost no psychosocial support to help them cope with their traumatic experiences.

Inside Sudan, over 20 million people, 42 percent of Sudan’s population, now face acute food insecurity and 6 million are just a step away from famine. At least 498 children have died from hunger. Clinics and doctors have come under fire throughout the country, putting 80 percent of the country’s major hospitals out of service.

Hate speech, especially language urging the targeting of communities based on the color of their skin, is always alarming. But with an increasingly fractured social fabric, some fighters targeting civilians based on their ethnicity, and accounts from sexual violence survivors in Darfur who heard their rapists tell them that we hope you bear “our” babies – we fear the worst.

Twenty years after the horrors of Darfur shocked our conscience, we are failing to meet the moment. Thus far, mediation efforts have not deterred Sudan’s warring parties from continuing to commit egregious abuses. We urge a more unified approach that better represents the voices and perspectives of Sudan’s civilians, including women, youth, and representatives from the historically marginalized “periphery.”

We are committed to working together to urge more aid for, more solidarity with, and greater attention to the needs of Sudan’s civilians. The United Nations humanitarian appeal remains woefully underfunded – at about 25 percent of what is needed – and Sudan’s warring parties continue to undermine efforts to deliver aid safely. Donors should step up humanitarian funding, both for local and international organizations who are providing indispensable assistance in Sudan and neighboring countries.

The costs of inaction are mounting. The UN Security Council should move from talk to action and begin negotiations to pass a resolution that challenges the climate of impunity, reiterates that international law requires providing safe, unhindered humanitarian access, and redirects international efforts to better protect Sudan’s most vulnerable. The consequences of not acting are too grave to imagine.

Signatories (listed alphabetically)

  1. Act for Sudan, Eric Cohen, Co-Founder
  2. African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, Mossaad Mohamed Ali, Executive Director
  3. Africans for the Horn of Africa, Stella Ndirangu, Coordinator
  4. Amnesty International, Agnes Callamard, Secretary General
  5. Association of Sudanese-American Professors in America (ASAPA), Beckry Abdel-Magid, Secretary
  6. Atrocities Watch, Dismas Nkunda, CEO
  7. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Bahey El Din Hassan, Director
  8. Carter Center, Paige Alexander, CEO
  9. Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), Udo Jude Ilo, Executive Director
  10. Center for Peace Building and Democracy in Liberia (CEPEBUD-Liberia), Florence N. Flomo, Executive Director
  11. Committee to Protect Journalists, Jodie Ginsberg, President
  12. Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights, Carol Cohn, Director
  13. Darfur Diaspora Association Group in the United Kingdom, Abdallah Idriss, Director
  14. Darfur Women Action Group, Niemat Ahmadi, Founder and President
  15. DefendDefenders, Hassan Shire, Executive Director
  16. EG Justice, Tutu Alicante, Executive Director
  17. Freedom House, Michael J. Abramowitz, President
  18. Genocide Alert, Gregor Hoffman, Chairman
  19. George W. Bush Institute, David Kramer, Executive Director
  20. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Savita Pawnday, Executive Director
  21. Global Survivors Fund, Dennis Mukwege, President
  22. GOAL, Siobhán Walsh, CEO
  23. HIAS, Mark Hetfield, President & CEO
  24. HUDO Centre, Bushra Gamar, Executive Director
  25. Human Rights Watch, Tirana Hassan, Executive Director
  26. iACT, Sara-Christine Dallain, Executive Director
  27. Institute for Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention at Binghamton University, Kerry Whigham, Co-Director
  28. InterAction, Anne Lynam Goddard, Interim President and CEO
  29. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Eleonore Morel, CEO
  30. International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, President & CEO
  31. Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights, Felice Gaer, Director
  32. Legal Action Worldwide, Antonia Mulvey, Founder and Executive Director
  33. MADRE, Yifat Susskind, Executive Director
  34. Mercy Corps, Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, Chief Executive Officer
  35. Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University, Kyle Matthews, Executive Director
  36. Never Again Coalition, Lauren Fortgang, Director
  37. No Business with Genocide, Simon Billenness, Director
  38. Nobel Women’s Initiative, Maria Butler, Executive Director
  39. Nonviolent Peaceforce, Tiffany Easthom, Executive Director
  40. Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland, Secretary General
  41. Open Society Foundations, Mark Malloch-Brown, President
  42. OutRight International, Maria Sjödin, Executive Director
  43. Physicians for Human Rights, Saman Zia-Zarifi, Executive Director
  44. Plan International, Stephen Omollo, CEO
  45. Project Expedite Justice, Cynthia Tai, Executive Director
  46. Public International Law & Policy Group, Paul R. Williams, President
  47. Refugees International, Jeremy Konyndyk, President
  48. Regional Centre for Training and Development of Civil Society, Mutaal Girshab, Director General
  49. Society for Threatened Peoples, Roman Kühn, Director
  50. Sudan Transparency and Policy Tracker, Suliman Baldo, Executive Director
  51. Sudan Unlimited, Esther Sprague, Founder and Director
  52. Sudanese American Public Affairs Association, Fareed Zein, Board Chairman
  53. The Sentry, John Prendergast, Co-Founder
  54. Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC), Aymen Tabir, Executive Director
  55. US-Educated Sudanese Association (USESA), Samah Salman, President
  56. Vital Voices, Alyse Nelson, President & CEO
  57. World Federalist Movement Canada, Alexandre MacIsaac, Executive Director
  58. World Federalist Movement/Institute for Global Policy (WFM/IGP), Amy Oloo, Consulting Executive Director


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