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Sudan Tribune

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Sudanese rights group expresses concern over growing violence in Abyei

THE SUDAN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION – CAIRO

Regrettable escalation of media hostilities on Abyei

May 4, 2011 — The Sudan Human Rights Organization-Cairo is gravely concerned for the failures of the governments of Khartoum and Juba, as peace partners, to engage the largest majority of people in a national effort to strengthen the process of peace as a foremost prerequisite to enable the South to build its own State, and to allow democratic transition in the North as well, in accordance with the spirit and text of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Earlier, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague (PCA) decision on Abyei constituted a significant step to ensure the stability and democratic transition in the country, in general, and the Abyei region, in particular. The PCA decision was further promising to help moving the country towards implementation of the other major agenda of the transition to democratic rule, only with principled implementation of the CPA by the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) side-by-side with full participation by the opposition umbrella the Ijmaa al-Qowa al-Wataniya, the National Forces Alliance. We regret the Khartoum rulers rejected the PCA decisions, which prepared the ground for continuous hostilities in the region up to this day.

Enshrined in the spirit and provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, both the GoS and the GoSS are required to enact the laws organizing the upcoming referendum in Abyei; complete the national count of the population by proper census; establish national commissions for human rights and the civil service; remove all suppressive laws, especially the public order and the criminal law; prohibit gender and ethnic discrimination by flogging and the other forms of tortures; resolve the crisis in Darfur by participation of all rebel groups and opposition parties; respect the economic rights of farmers and professionals in the Gazira Scheme, Managil and the other farming groups in the country; and ensure the full enjoyment of the Bill of Rights for people without partisan attitudes to run the national democratic elections, properly.

While these fundamental tasks have not been accomplished by the two peace partners in close collaboration with the opposition parties and civil society groups as stipulated by the CPA, the PCA settlement of the Abyei dispute provided a viable opportunity for the two governments to convene a non-partisan democratic conference on equal terms with the opposition to end the ongoing constitutional crisis.

On December, 2010, the Organization welcomed a presidential decree to establish a high level national committee to facilitate the referendum process in South Sudan. The committee, however, was mainly composed of members of the National Congress Party (NCP), in addition to the non-NCP Government of South Sudan President and the DUP leader. The committee did not include leaders of the other National Forces, including the Umma leadership whose participation is extremely important for the peace and democracy of the country.

o SHRO-Cairo believes that there is urgent need for sustainable cooperation between government authorities and all national forces than a 7-member presidential committee might possibly do.

o We urge the Sudanese governmental and opposition groups to adopt Darfuri resolutions to end the crisis in Darfur, maintain sisterly relationships between the population groups in dispute, and end the escalated gender, ethnic, media, and all other hostilities.

o We urge the CPA peace partners to convene a National Conference for all Sudanese parties, armed or civil society groups, to assure peaceful implementation of peaceful referendum in Abyei.