SUDAN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATION –
December 16th, 2010
Presidential committees are short of national representation:
All-Sudanese national conference to facilitate South referendum
Disturbing news indicate the CPA ruling parties in the country are increasingly engaged in mounting tensions concerning the referendum in Abyei, mutual attacks between population groups in the region and neighboring States, and various media hostilities. 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.
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 South Sudan; 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 properly 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. We regret the
Khartoum rulers rejected the PCA decisions, which prepared the ground for continuous hostilities in the region up to this day.
The Organization is deeply concerned for the mounting hostilities to the South referendum: a constitutional dispute is already under way on the legality of registration by “independent lawyers” in
Khartoum, and serious kidnapping of southerners heading to the polls via Abyei by Misseriya warriors in retaliation of cattle dispossessed in the
State escalated the ongoing tensions in the region. The Organization welcomed the 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.
There is urgent need for sustainable cooperation between government authorities and all national forces than a 7-member presidential committee might possibly do. SHRO-Cairo urges the CPA peace partners to convene a national conference for all Sudanese parties, armed and civil society groups to assure peaceful implementation of the referendum in the South, consolidate Darfuri resolutions to end the crisis in
Darfur, maintain sisterly relationships between the population groups in dispute, and end the escalated gender, ethnic, and media hostilities.