Amnesty International:Peace Agreement must be inclusive and ensure justice
Sudan: Peace Agreement must be inclusive and ensure justice for
As peace talks between the Sudan government and the Sudan People’s
Liberation Movement (SPLM) enter a crucial phase in Naivasha, Kenya,
Amnesty International has stressed that a lasting peace must be
and bring justice to all.
Both sides in the 20-year civil war have stated that some
of agreement would come by year’s end. The peace talks offer hope to
people of Sudan. For the last 10 months of the ceasefire nearly all
civilians in the south and border regions have been able to live in
however fragile. "But the negotiators in Kenya must not ignore the
elsewhere in Sudan," Amnesty International said.
Darfur, in western Sudan, is not included in the peace
negotiations to end the civil war mostly fought in southern Sudan and
between north and south. On 16 December talks in N’djamena, Chad,
the government of Sudan and the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A),
of the armed groups opposing the government in Darfur broke down.
"While the prospects for peace have been fÃªted in Khartoum and
south, in Darfur the life and safety of civilians are again being held
hostage by government forces, militias and armed opposition groups,"
Villages in Darfur have been bombed by government planes while,
the past 10 months, government-aligned militias have been devastating
areas with total impunity. Hundreds of civilians have been killed.
"At least four million people have fled from the conflict between
government, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the
all sides since 1983. Most still suffer in refugee camps or as
people in the north. Now more than 600,000 people have fled the
in Darfur since April to safety in towns. Tens of thousands have taken
refuge in Chad. They live in dire humanitarian conditions, with little
no access to food or water, shelter or healthcare.
"A major cause of the conflicts which have shattered the
of so many Sudanese has been injustice and marginalization. Unless
basic human rights concerns are seriously addressed it will be
have a lasting peace," the organization said.
"Human rights, encompassing justice and an end
discrimination, have to be at the core of any agreement. But human
will not arrive simply through hope and rhetorical declarations, they
to be guaranteed and safeguarded."
Any ceasefire monitoring force must include a human
component and be able to report abuses publicly. Monitors from all
must be supported by international monitors.
"Because there was no human rights component in the
Mountains ceasefire in place since March 2002, ceasefire monitors
helped to keep the peace but failed to preserve physical security
freedom of expression for the people," Amnesty International said.
A truth and reconciliation commission should be set
ensure that the lessons of the past are learnt.
Justice and accountability in the future should be ensured by
formation of a national human rights commission, with members of
highest integrity, impartiality and independence from all parts of
with power to investigate abuses, question government officials and
of the security services and protect complainants and witnesses.
Serious human rights violations which should be monitored
all areas of Sudan include:
deliberate or indiscriminate attacks against civilians and
forced and arbitrary displacement of civilians and non-assistance to
maiming of civilians during conflict and torture of suspected
in detention centres;
abductions and arbitrary arrests, prolonged incommunicado detention,
restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and assembly;
discrimination on grounds of ethnicity or religion; and
violence and discrimination against women.
"Monitoring such abuses will help to end the culture of
impunity in Sudan. The people of Sudan need to know that a peace deal
guarantee their basic rights," Amnesty International added.
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office
London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW.
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