Steps Towards Achieving Justice and Human Rights in Sudan

Haffiya Abdalla

On 25 September 2019, a landmark Host Country Agreement was signed by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Government of Sudan, paving the way for the establishment of a fully mandated UN Human Rights office in Sudan including four field offices in Darfur, Blue Nile, South Kordofan, and East Sudan. OHCHR received the full support of the Government of Sudan for the swift deployment of the start-up team to Khartoum from December 2019. The Deputy High Commissioner declared the OHCHR country office in Sudan operational during the Human Rights Council 44th session on 16 July 2020. The Human Rights Council resolution 45/25 of 6 October decided to end the mandate of the Independent Expert and requested OHCHR to submit a written report to the 48th session of the Council under item 10. OHCHR Country Office works in Sudan on six key areas that match the Government’s priorities and the vision laid out in the 2019 Constitutional Document; which frames the transition period in Sudan. See below the six key areas of work.

UNAMID Human Rights component based in the Darfur region works in close coordination with OHCHR Country Office. The UN Security Council resolution 2525 (2020) adopted on 3 June 20220 decided that UNAMID close down by 31 December 2020.

The UN Security Council also adopted resolution 2524 (2020) on 3 June 2020 establishing the UN Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) with a human rights mandate. OHCHR looks forward to implementing a coherent and integrated human rights program in Sudan that ensures the continuing work of my country office and implementation of UNITAM’s mandate.

Sudan has renewed the country’s commitment to cooperate with the regional and international human rights mechanisms to strengthen human rights situations in the Country.

The ministry of Justice renewed its efforts during the past period including Sudan’s joining several international conventions on human rights.

The international official congratulated Khartoum for joining the international conventions on human rights, explaining the commissions’ redness to extend technical and technological support in this connection.

Sudan Ministry of Justice and the High Commission for Human Rights in Sudan agreed to continue the joint meetings and expand consultations to guarantee the realization of protection and strengthening of human rights.

Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ali Al-Sadiq has affirmed Sudan’s commitment to promoting, developing, and protecting human rights, especially in the transitional period, and implementing all provisions contained in the constitutional document.

The Minister was addressing recently according to Sudan News Agency the training workshop on international human rights law organized by the National Commission for Human Rights, in cooperation with the Human Rights and Child Protection Unit of the Rapid Support Forces and the Arab Organization for Human Rights at Al Salam Hotel here, in the presence of Maj. Gen. Osman Hamed, the Director of Operations Department of Rapid Support Forces and Chairperson of the Arab Organization for Human Rights Alaa Sayed Kamel.

He stressed the importance of concerted efforts to promote human rights and implement what was stipulated in the constitutional document (freedom, peace, and justice) and thanked the organizers of the workshop for their efforts, wishing to continue to spread awareness on human rights, and reviewed the agreements ratified by Sudan.

The Minister affirmed Sudan’s commitment to promoting human rights, citing this in its third report, which is submitted to the Human Rights Council in the past few days.

The acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice and Head of the National Human Rights Mechanism, Hudeida Ali Awad Al-Karim, has praised the great role being played by the National Mechanism within its jurisdiction included in Council of Ministers’ Resolution 25 for the year 2021 on the establishment of the National Human Rights Mechanism.

The remarkable improvement in the human rights situation and the rule of law during the transitional period in response to the aspirations of the revolution’s slogan: freedom, peace, and justice.

She also referred to the great role of the National Human Rights Mechanism in the preparation of periodic reports and the responses submitted by Sudan to the international and regional mechanisms in the field of human rights, following up on the observations and recommendations issued by these mechanisms, and coordinating between all national parties related to the preparation, formulation, and submission of periodic reports as well as Sudan responses in the field of human rights and discussing them in front of the relevant mechanism at the fixed time.

The Undersecretary has affirmed Sudan’s commitment to preparing the third comprehensive periodic report for the review mechanism, in accordance with the standards, bases, objectives, and principles of the review, in fulfillment of international and regional obligations on human rights.

She affirmed Sudan’s cooperation with the Country Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) to provide support for the transitional period.

It is worth noting that In a statement issued recently, the National Human Rights Mechanism welcomed the cooperation of the Secretariat of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Mechanism, especially the effort made to correct the participation of the Sudanese delegation headed by the acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice.

Hereunder Sudan News Agency publishes an unofficial translation of the text of the statement issued by the National Human Rights Mechanism:-

“The National Human Rights Mechanism welcomes the cooperation of the UPR mechanism’s secretariat, especially the effort to correct the participation of the Sudanese delegation headed by the acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice in the UPR session at its 40th session.

It refers to its clarification statement issued on January 31, regarding the protocol complications that prevented the Sudanese delegation from participating in the review session of Sudan’s third report submitted to the UPR mechanism, and expresses its welcome to the steps taken by the Human Rights Council to adopt the official Sudan delegation headed by the acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice and membership of relevant parties to the report.

Based on that, the Mechanism welcomes the decision of the Human Rights Council, in consultation with the acting Charge d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Sudan in Geneva, to postpone the session that was scheduled to be held today, the first of February, to tomorrow, February 2, 2022, and to confirm the participation of the official delegation, which led to Sudan’s approval to participate in tomorrow’s session.

The National Human Rights Mechanism affirms its keenness to cooperate with all international and regional human rights mechanisms, especially the Human Rights Council, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the country’s office of the High Commissioner.

Commending the existing cooperation with all these institutions, it renews Sudan’s commitment to all international charters concerned with human rights and cooperation for the protection and promotion of these rights.”

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