Call for a resolution to establish an Expert on Human Rights & extension of HC mandate on Sudan

Statement at the 50th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Enhanced Interactive Debate on High Commisioners report on Sudan

Delivered by Sibahle Zuma

We welcomed the Council’s Special Session on Sudan last November and its adoption of a resolution mandating a designated Expert on Human Rights in the Sudan. It is imperative that this scrutiny continues.

As the de facto military authorities continue to consolidate their power, human rights violations and abuses have continued unabated. Excessive force against protesters, including sexual and gender-based violence and enforced disappearance, firing live ammunition, stun grenades and tear gas, resulted in at least 13 civilian deaths and thousands of injuries between February and May 2022. There have been 13 cases of gang rape of women and girls and numerous allegations of sexual harassment brought against security forces during the protests in March alone.

The transitional government had relaxed the restrictions and impediments placed on civil society by the previous regime, but civic space has deteriorated significantly since the October 2021 coup. Rights of association and assembly have been hard hit with continued enforcement of the state of emergency and the violent response of authorities to peaceful protests. Freedom of expression and access to information has deteriorated significantly at the hands of security forces who continue to assault and arrest journalists, many of whom had had licenses revoked under spurious allegations of ‘inciting violence’ or committing ‘crimes against the state’.

As the country struggles for sustainable peace, a need for political settlement must be grounded in respect of human rights and accountability for human rights violations, which requires a continued oversight from the Human Rights Council with clear mandate for the Expert on Human Rights in the Sudan.

We urge the UN Human Rights Council to take action that will enable continued scrutiny, including the vital monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation in the country by the High Commissioner and the designated Expert.

We thank you.

 Civic space in Sudan is rated as "Repressed" by the CIVICUS Monitor