Christian Aid is one of 30 global agencies who are today demanding urgent international action to prevent further violence after the killing of peaceful Sudanese democracy protesters.
In a letter issued today, Christian Aid and other civil society organisations voice strong condemnation of the "horrific" attacks on protesters in Khartoum this week, which have claimed at least 100 lives and injured hundreds more.
Highlighting the grave consequences of inaction, the letter argues that "the international community cannot afford to wait or to stay silent". A separate letter also demanding immediate action was issued to African leaders and institutions earlier this week.
Below is the international statement in full:
“The attack on peaceful democracy protesters in Khartoum that began on June 3 that has reportedly seen the killing of at least 100 people and hundreds more injured demands a strong international response to immediately stop such attacks and ensure accountability for this and other violence in response to peaceful protests.
“At least three cases of rape were also reported during an attack on the sit-in. The attack occurred as protesters were sleeping; they were subsequently pursued in their homes and in hospitals. At least three hospitals were attacked, with reports of doctors assaulted. Since then, key opposition figures have reportedly been detained and beaten.
“These horrific acts clearly 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. It highlights the risk of further political polarization and of mass violent confrontation if urgent action is not taken in support of a peaceful transition to civilian rule.
“The international community cannot afford to wait or to stay silent; the consequences of chaos in Sudan for stability in neighbouring states, the wider region, and global security would be extremely serious. No support should be provided for the TMC or elections in Sudan until a transitional civilian government is in place.
“Cooperation with Sudanese authorities on migration management and other cooperation, except on lifesaving humanitarian aid, should be suspended, and violence should be condemned in the strongest terms. It should be made clear that the TMC cannot be considered a legitimate partner under these circumstances, and call for accountability for crimes committed. An immediate transition to civilian rule must be a pre-condition for international cooperation with Sudan.
“Recalling the letter civil society sent to Members and Observers of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in January 2019, calling on it to dispatch an independent international fact-finding mission to Sudan, we urge the HRC to hold a special session on the human rights situation in Sudan.
“At this special session, the HRC should adopt a resolution requesting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to set up a fact-finding mission to monitor, verify and report on the situation in Sudan with a view to making recommendations on preventing further human rights violations and abuses in relation to peaceful demonstrations, and ensuring accountability for these violations and abuses.
“The resolution should request members of the fact-finding mission to prepare a report to be shared with the HRC by the High Commissioner, and with the UN Security Council. The Council should further ensure that the High Commissioner publicly and regularly reports on the human rights situation in Sudan.
“The strong statements coming from governments around the world are welcome, though it is disappointing that the UN Security Council has failed to condemn the violence. The international community has a responsibility to call for an immediate stop to the violence against protesters, demand a release of all political prisoners, and do everything in its power to prevent the takeover of the government by military factions associated with the abuses and repression of the former regime. There is no time to waste.”
ACS; Act for Sudan, Eric Cohen, Co-Founder, USA; African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies; Africa Initiative for Media and Journalists Safety; Christian Aid; CSW; Darfur Bar Association; DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project); Enough Project; HAKI Africa; International Refugee Rights Initiative; International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH); International Service for Human Rights (ISHR); Investors Against Genocide, Susan Morgan, Co-Founder, San Francisco, CA, USA; Journalists for Human Rights - JHR - Sudan; Justice Central for Advocacy and Legal Consultations; Martha Boshnick, Co-chair: Darfur Interfaith Network, Washington DC; Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur, William Rosenfeld, Director, Boston, MA, USA; MENA Rights Group; Najlaa Ahmed, Human Rights Lawyer NY Coalition for Sudan, New York, NY; STAND Canada; STAND: Le mouvement étudiant contre les génocides et la violence de masse, France; STAND: The Student-Led Movement to End Mass Atrocities, USA; Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa -SIHA; Sudan Democracy First Group; Sudan Unlimited; Sudanese Rights Group (Huqooq); SUDO UK; Waging Peace (London, UK).
PDFs of the two letters issued by the signatories can be downloaded from here.
Christian Aid began working in Sudan and what is now South Sudan in the 1970s. It currently operates with local partners in South Sudan to deliver humanitarian, peacebuilding and development programmes. Although Christian Aid no longer has a field office in Sudan, it continues to maintain solidarity with former partners.