Title: 'Security Sudan, rights for citizens first, then national dialogue': CSOs
Author: Radio Dabanga
Date: 04-06-2014, 02:47 PM
Sudanese civil society organisations have urged that the start of a national dialogue requires security and basic rights for all citizens, as well as a lift of the state of emergency and a cessation of hostilities.
The 18 organisations demanded in a statement on Thursday that the national dialogue, proposed by President Omar Al Bashir in January this year, should include all the parties concerned. Hafez Mahmoud, Director of Justice Africa Sudan, one of the signatories of the statement, told Radio Dabanga that the dialogue process should not be limited to political parties. “Participation of the society is lacking.”
Other signatories of the statement are the Darfur Bar Association of lawyers, the centre of Alkhatim Adlan for Enlightenment and Human Development, the Nuba Relief and Rehabilitation Centre, and Sudan Democracy First.
Security as a precondition
The director called for the need to secure civilians in Sudan's conflict areas as a precondition for the establishment of a national political dialogue. “Give priority to the cessation of hostilities within the period set by the Peace and Security Council of the African Union, which will end on 30 April.”
Mahmoud described the situation in South Kordofan and Blue Nile as “dangerous” owing to aerial bombardments of civilians on daily basis. “Last February saw the highest number of casualties among civilians since the conflict had begun.” He stressed that most of the population in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile are deprived entirely of humanitarian assistance. “Humanitarian aid should not be linked with any political process.”
Darfur's newly displaced
On Thursday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that a total of 207,633 civilians were newly displaced in Darfur since violence erupted in January this year. In addition, more than 2 million people remained displaced in 2013, since the conflict in Darfur erupted in 2003.
The 18 civil society organisations confirmed that the situation in Darfur “has reached the worst ever”. “During the past few weeks, the government has supported the militias, and ignited clashes between Arab tribes. This comes along with the rebels' escalating attacks.”
File photo: Displaced in South Darfur camp (World Vision)