Sudan: UN Security Council must challenge sudanese government on continuing human rights abuses in Darfur

Amnesty International said:

“Strengthening the numbers, capacity and resources of international human rights monitoring in Darfur is vital but not enough.

It is clear that monitors cannot work adequately in the present climate of intimidation created by the Sudanese government. The Security Council must give the monitors strong political backing and compel the Sudanese government to account for the gross human rights violations committed by its security forces and its militia, the 'Janjawid'.”

Amnesty International is concerned that, contrary to its promises, the Sudanese government has not disarmed any member of the Janjawid. On 27 August, the UN Special Representative attended a 'disarmament' ceremony of 300 militia members in Jeneina. However, according to people living in Jeneina, those who were allegedly disarmed were given their arms back after the Special Representative left.

A further obstacle to the effective disarmament of the Janjawid is evidenced by their progressive integration into the armed forces, the Popular Defence Forces and the border police. Amnesty International is concerned that this makes it more difficult for international monitors to identify those responsible for human rights violations. The Sudanese government and the UN have designated 'safe areas' for internally displaced people of around 20km around the camps they live. Sudanese government armed forces are permitted to move in these areas. Amnesty International is concerned about the safety of displaced people in these 'safe areas', and by the fact that such a policy is likely to institutionalise displacement, as was the case in the Nuba Mountains in Central Sudan.

Displaced people are also being pressured to return to their villages. In Kalma camp, near Nyala, more than 70 displaced people were arrested by the authorities in August after protesting at government attempts to return them to unsafe villages. Camps for displaced people are monitored by government security forces and military intelligence.

Amnesty International is concerned that the police force, sent by the government to restore security in Darfur, has been accused of sexually exploiting displaced Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls. Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and girls continue to be raped in the vicinity of camps, and can only get medical treatment if they report rape to the police. Members of the police force have refused to take Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights’s accounts of rape. Moreover, many people do not trust the police, who are considered to be part of a government which is responsible for the devastation in Darfur.

Amnesty International is calling for:

  • the Security Council to establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate war crimes, crimes against humanity and allegations of genocide in Darfur; and to recommend ways to bring to justice suspected perpetrators
  • the Security Council to implement a full arms embargo on all of Sudan; and to demand the release of prisoners of conscience

Amnesty International concluded:

'If the international community had taken action sooner, the devastation in Darfur may have been avoided. The UN Security Council, as the embodiment of the will of the international community, should now uphold its responsibility to save the lives of the people of Darfur.'

  • Find out more about Sudan ...

View latest press releases