The Sudanese people have been protesting since December 2018, when they took to the streets to express their anger over rising costs of living and the decline of political freedom. Their pressure worked, and on April 11, 2019, Sudan’s military overthrew the National Congress Party (NCP) government, arresting President Omar al-Bashir and other senior party leaders.
Bashir’s tenure was marked by war crimes, crimes against humanity, and systematic human rights violations. Bashir was succeeded by a partnership between the Transitional Military Council and the Forces of Freedom and Change alliance, who launched a 39-month transition process to return the country to democratic rule.
Sudan’s transition is extremely fragile and faces several threats from official security forces and allied militias that have committed egregious human rights violations over the last four decades, such as arbitrary detention, torture, assault, and extrajudicial executions, including the massacre of protesters in 2019, killing over 100 in just one attack on July 11. Equally of concern is the fact that the key architect of the killings in Darfur—General Hamdan, known as Hemeti—retains significant control of troops and militias as a member of the Transitional Council.
- The United States supports the people of Sudan, who, after four decades of brutal repression, have demanded democracy and greater respect and protection of human rights by their government.
- The United States calls upon Prime Minister Hamdok to ensure that his administration pursues accountability for past crimes by former President Omar al-Bashir, the RSS, and the Janjaweed militias.
- The United States urges the Transitional Government to repeal the oppressive public order laws that dictate the dress code for women, disband the Public Order Police and the Dedicated courts, and abolish flogging as a form of punishment.
- The White House and the Department of State should publicly indicate US support for the democratic transition in Sudan and fast track funds and technical support for democracy and governance programs.
- Call upon the Department of State and USAID to develop a long-range program of support to serve as an early warning system to prevent and mitigate violence linked to the anticipated elections at the end of the transition period.
- Amnesty International, 17 April 2019, “Why former Sudan president Omar al-Bashir must not escape justice.” (available here)
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