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Sudan Tribune

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SHRO-Cairo : Government Must Adopt Large-Scale Democracy

SHRO-Cairo

Press Release

July 17, 2004

To Solve the Crisis: Government Must Adopt Large-Scale Democracy

Consistent Peace Negotiations, Full Women’s Representation, and All-Sudanese National Reconciliation

The Sudan Human Rights Organization Cairo Office welcomes the Ministry of Justice announcement to appoint women’s legal committees to investigate rape accusations in DarFur, as an overdue step towards assurance of the due process of law in DarFur.

The Organization notes, the intended committees are short of appointing women representing the local communities of the victims as well as the non-governmental human rights’ women activists, especially those ethnically or culturally based on DarFur.

The exclusion of these vital sources from the committees’ membership will negatively influence the committees’ legal procedure and performance. It will further violate the right of victimized women, especially the raped or impregnated girls, to enjoy necessary legal and social protection.

– SHRO-Cairo asks the Sudan Government to ensure full membership of the non-governmental human rights women activists in the intended government-controlled legal women committees.

SHRO-Cairo notes with grave concerns, the Minister of Interior’s incorporation of the Janjaweed government-supported militias in the government regular police and security forces as a plan to disarm the militias has not successfully disarmed the Janjaweed. The minister, also acting President’s Representative in DarFur, added authoritative governmental powers to the unlawful militias to act under legal cover against the law.

The President’s Representative plan regrettably protects the militias form legal accountability of the crimes committed in DarFur. The measure seriously terrorizes the victimized population. The new Janjaweed police and security personnel have already curtailed the victims’ right to collaborate freely with the government-controlled investigation committees. The presidential plan actively hampers the ongoing judicial investigation on the Janjaweed unlawful activities in the region. It is a real disruption of the whole process of justice.

The Sudan Government is fully responsible for the militias’ armament and the ensuing crimes committed by militias or regular troops against humanity in the Region of DarFur. The government must:

– Prevent the Janjaweed incorporation in the regular forces of the state.

– Put to trial all of the accused persons in accordance with proper judicial procedure.

– Carry out firm political and security measures to disarm the Janjaweed government-controlled militias without hesitation or elusiveness.

To immediately save the lives of the DarFur displaced population, the Organization:

– Reiterates recurring appeals to the Sudan Government and the DarFur opposition groups to continue prompt peaceful negotiations, without stoppage.

To prompt the Comprehensive Solution of the state-incited DarFur Crisis, as an organic part of the Sudan’s Crisis, the Sudan Government is strongly urged to:

– Undertake immediate, honest, and principled negotiations with all Sudanese opposition and civil society groups in a national democratic conference;

– Collaborate closely with the UN and the other humanitarian agencies and monitoring personnel, as well as the Sudanese concerned entities, to ensure the protection and the welfare of the citizens victims of the Janjaweed-government attacks; and

– Guarantee full participation of the DarFur human rights groups in and outside the country, as well as Observer Status to the national, regional, and international human rights groups in the Presidential Fact Finding Committee.