South Sudan: Arms embargo must be strictly enforced

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
QUOTE

13 July 2018

Responding to the imposition of an arms embargo on South Sudan by the UN Security Council, Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said:

“The UN Security Council’s much-anticipated vote to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan is a step in the right direction towards minimizing harm to civilians in the war-torn nation. This decision is long overdue and critically needed to cut off the flow of weapons into the country.”

“Every day civilians are butchered using lethal arms in full view of the world. All states, especially South Sudan’s neighbours, must now strictly enforce the arms embargo and play their part in silencing the guns. The UN Security Council must also learn from past mistakes and implement robust mechanisms to monitor and enforce strict compliance with the embargo.”

Sudan: Quashing of Noura Hussein death sentence must now lead to legal reform

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
NEWSFLASH
26 June 2018

Today’s decision by a Sudanese court to quash Noura Hussein’s death sentence and replace it with a five-year prison term for killing her husband in self-defence during an attempted rape must be a catalyst for a legal review in Sudan, said Amnesty International.

Noura Hussein was sentenced to death on 10 May 2018. Her husband, Abdulrahman Mohamed Hammad, suffered fatal knife wounds during a scuffle at their home after he had attempted to force himself on her with the help of three other men. The revised sentence means she will spend five years in jail from the date of her arrest and will have to make a dia (blood money) payment of 337,500 Sudanese pounds (around US$8,400).

“While the quashing of this death sentence is hugely welcome news, it must now lead to a legal review to ensure that Noura Hussein is the last person to go through this ordeal,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Noura Hussein was the victim of a brutal attack by her husband and five years’ imprisonment for acting in self-defence is a disproportionate punishment.

“The Sudanese authorities must take this opportunity to start reforming the laws around child marriage, forced marriage and marital rape, so that victims are not the ones who are penalized.”

Background

Noura Hussein has been held in the Omdurman Women’s Prison in Sudan since May 2017.

After fatally stabbing her husband on 3 May 2017, Noura Hussein fled to her family home, but her father handed her over to the police, who opened a case against her. A medical examination report from the fight with her husband indicated she had sustained injuries including a bite and scratches.

At her trial in July 2017, the judge applied an outdated law which did not recognize marital rape.  Noura Hussein was charged under the Criminal Act (1991) and found guilty of intentional murder on 29 April 2018 at the Central Criminal Court of Omdurman.

Noura Hussein was married against her will to Abdulrahman Mohamed Hammad at the age of 16. The first marriage ceremony involved the signing a marriage contract between her father and Abdulrahman. The second part of the marriage ceremony took place in April 2017, when she was forced to move into Abdulrahman’s home upon having completed high school. When she refused to consummate the marriage, Abdulrahman invited two of his brothers and a male cousin to help him rape her. Sudanese law allows children over the age of 10 to marry.

 

Michael Parsons
Interim Media Manager – South East Asia Pacific Regional Office
Amnesty International
Michael.Parsons@amnesty.org
T: +44 (0)207 413 5696

It is time to end impunity for conflict-related sexual violence in South Sudan

 

By Alicia Luedke, South Sudan Researcher, Amnesty International

Angela, a refugee from South Sudan, was six months pregnant when she was raped while her children sat petrified under the bed. We met Angela on a trip to refugee settlements in northern Uganda in September 2017. She is amongst many women and girls who were brutally raped and gang raped in Yei, Morobo, Lainya and elsewhere in the Equatoria region of South Sudan in 2016 and 2017.

“At the time, we could hear gun shots and everyone was running so I ran with all of my children and we hid under the bed. They [the soldiers] came with guns banging on the door saying: “get out of the house, get out of the house” and then they broke down the door. I was pregnant. Immediately, they entered and one of them started removing his clothes and raping me…They told me: “we will do bad things to you whether you are woman, or if we find your husband, we will sleep with him in front of you, you will see!”

 

SEXUAL VIOLENCE CONTINUES   

Today marks the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, which signifies solidarity with survivors of conflict-related sexual violence around the world and recognizes those fighting to end impunity for such violence. But, despite the significant progress that has been made in efforts to eradicate sexual violence in wartime and provide justice for survivors of these horrific crimes, the fight is far from over. Sexual violence continues to be perpetrated by parties to conflicts around the globe, including in Nigeria and Iraq

South Sudan is no exception. Yet, there continues to be a limited appreciation about the scale and extent of sexual violence violations there. Sexual violence has been widespread since the conflict started almost 5 years ago on 15 December 2013. Thousands upon thousands of women, men and children have been subjected to rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, sexual mutilation, torture, castration and forced nudity at the hands of both government and opposition forces with complete impunity.

Rachel, another refugee from South Sudan, told us about how she was gang raped by government soldiers before fleeing for neighbouring Uganda. Since arriving in the refugee settlement, she gave birth to a child she conceived as a result of the rape.

These shocking crimes have continued unabated. Between February and November 2017 154 cases of sexual violence were identified in the capital city, Juba and surrounding areas, some of which involved women having had their ears and fingers removed. Just this April, there were reports of gang rapes and abductions of women and girls in fighting between government and opposition forces in parts of Unity State.

They told me: “we will do bad things to you whether you are woman, or if we find your husband, we will sleep with him in front of you, you will see!”

Angela, Kiryandongo refugee settlement, northern Uganda in September 2017: „It is not just women and girls who are subjected to sexual violence. We have found evidence of sexual violence against men and boys in South Sudan, including rape, castration and torture, with men rendered especially vulnerable when in custody and detention. Children have also been forced to watch their mothers and other family members raped in front of them, compounding the already dire mental health crisis where UNICEF estimates that 900,000 children are in need of psychological support and rehabilitation.“

DEMANDS FOR JUSTICE

But South Sudanese civilians are not giving up hope. Survivors of sexual violence in South Sudan repeatedly told us during research in 2017 that they wanted justice. Many people that we spoke to saw accountability as a prerequisite to ending vicious cycles of violence where the failure to address past abuses becomes a significant driver of renewed violence.

Unfortunately, South Sudanese leaders have continuously failed to make good on their past promises to improve access to justice and to hold those responsible to account. With the shortcomings in the domestic legal system, which has been razed by nearly five years of war, the Hybrid Court for South Sudan provided for by the August 2015 Agreement for the Resolution of the Crisis in South Sudan represents the most viable option for achieving the justice that South Sudanese survivors of sexual violence want and deserve.

Yet, despite the development of a Memorandum of Understanding and Statute for the court’s establishment in 2017, the South Sudan government has been dragging its feet on providing the signature needed for its creation. This signals to those responsible for sexual violence crimes that there will be no consequences for their actions, contributing to the continuation of abuses.

The absence of sustainable peace does not excuse injustice for conflict-related sexual violence and the government of South Sudan must heed to the calls for accountability from their own citizens. Survivors like Angela and Rachel have the right to redress.

The South Sudan government should show its commitment to the thousands of women, men and children who have been subjected to gross violations of human rights and act immediately to establish the Hybrid Court. South Sudanese civilians deserve genuine accountability for the crimes and suffering they have endured for almost five years. It is high-time that the government exercise political will and join the global fight to end impunity for conflict-related sexual crimes.

South Sudan: Victims of Torture and Detention Need Rehabilitation and Reparations

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
OPED

By Joan Nyanyuki

Gatwich, 34, was arrested by the South Sudan Military Intelligence Directorate in the aftermath of the July 2016 clashes in Juba and detained at the Gorom Military Base, 20Km south of Juba. During his initial arrest and interrogation, he was beaten and pierced with a dull knife. In detention, the ill-treatment continued.

Speaking to Amnesty International in December 2017, just after his release, he said: “In Gorom, you cannot talk. When we were heard talking, we are brought out, beaten and tortured. They used logs, bamboo sticks and belts for the beatings. If they decided to kill you, they will put a nail in your head, and make the rest of us watch.” 

But Gatwich is not alone. He is amongst hundreds of people, mostly men, who have been arbitrarily arrested and detained by the National Security Service and the Military Intelligence Directorate since the conflict started in December 2013.

Another ex-detainee 49-year-old Joseph, reflecting on his life before two years of detention, told us: “You cannot talk about before. That’s why people are dying in the sea in Italy. I cannot even send US$50 so my family can eat. The stresses that I have are (from) not being able to support my family. It is better for one to die.”

 Some detainees have died in custody as a result of abuses, ill-treatment and lack of medical services. Others, like Gatwich and Joseph, struggle to get the medical and psychological care they desperately need to get back to normal life. Most former detainees have difficulties rebuilding their broken lives.

“Before detention, my life was okay. There was no problem. But since I was detained – I was there for three years and two months – life has become difficult. When they arrested me, they went to my house and took everything. I was released and found nothing. Now I can’t afford to put the kids in school and pay rent. I cannot look for jobs because they took my documents when they arrested me, and my health is also not good,” said 32-year-old Moses.

The survivors spoke of how they often wondered whether they would ever make it out of detention alive, whether they would ever see their families again. Now they are free but live each day on edge with lingering fears of being re-arrested.

“I used to move freely without fear but now I have no protection and I am sure they are still following us to see whether their accusations against us are true. Most of us are traumatized; we need trauma healing,” said David, another 49-year-old another detainee, released in 2017 after three years in detention.

In addition to considerable mental anguish, a number described problems with their eyesight, they complained of high blood pressure, difficulty walking, among other medical conditions they contracted, or were aggravated by the cramped, unsanitary conditions in detention.

Due to inadequate healthcare in South Sudan, where even primary health care for the general populace is provided by NGOs, former detainees are not able to get the medical or psychological attention they need, and are entitled to.

Availability of and accessibility to mental health and psycho-social support services is extremely limited in South Sudan. Juba Teaching Hospital – the only public medical facility that provides psychiatric care – had capacity for only 12 patients as of July 2016. The country has very few practising psychiatrists. 

While some NGOs provide support to released detainees, there is a general absence of tailored support for victims. Men are particularly disadvantaged. Although Amnesty International has documented that men are also subjected to sexual and gender-based violence, particularly when in custody, there are hardly any specialised health and support services for male victims.

Prolonged arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment have caused physical and psychological harm to hundreds. The South Sudan government must put an end to these violations, and ensure victims receive full reparation, including compensation for physical and psychological harm, and rehabilitation. The Government also must conduct independent, impartial investigations into reports of torture and prosecute those responsible in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.

While the primary responsibility for the care of ex-detainees lies with the government, national and international NGOs have also a role to play by ensuring that their programmes cater to the full range of violations experienced by victims of South Sudan’s conflict, including prolonged and arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment, sexual and gender-based violence. Mental and psychological health interventions should be mainstreamed to become part of the standard healthcare package provided in South Sudan in view of the on-going crisis.

 

Joan Nyanyuki is the Amnesty International Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes

All names have been changed to protect their identity.

Niger: More than a hundred Sudanese nationals deported to Libya in critical situation and at risk of serious abuses including torture

More than a hundred Sudanese nationals arrested in Niger are at risk of serious abuses including unlawful detention in harsh conditions, torture and other forms of ill-treatment, often for the purpose of extortion, after they were deported back to Libya last week, said Amnesty International.

The group of around 145 people – including women and children – had fled Libya because of the brutal conditions they endured there, and had been living in a displacement camp in the Nigerien city of Agadez where they hoped to claim asylum.

On 2 May authorities in Niger rounded them up, packed them onto trucks and drove back towards the Libya border. Authorities confirmed the deportation, saying it had been carried out because the groups were not ‘’refugees but possible members of armed groups’’ in Libya, and therefore threatened the security of the country.

“By forcibly sending back these people to Libya, authorities in Niger are violating the very principle of asylum and refugee protection,” said Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International West Africa researcher.

“Libya is simply not a safe country. Our research has shown how migrants and refugees are subject to torture, detention and extortion there. The authorities must allow these people back to Niger in line with its obligations under the Refugee Convention and work with the UN refugee agency to find a safe alternative for them.”

Amnesty International spoke to a Sudanese national in Agadez who managed to escape the deportation after being arrested with the group. He stayed in contact with some of them by phone and confirmed that they had been taken to Libya. He said: “When we left the mosque at sundown on 2 May, we found the police waiting for us. They took us all to the police station in Agadez where we spent the night. We were 145 men, and four families with one child around 10 years old. We spent four nights in prison…They took them to Libya. I was supposed to be with them but I managed to escape. Yesterday at 3 am one of those deported called me. They are now in a border location between Libya and Niger. The area is completely deserted and they have been left in the middle of nowhere for five days now.”

The authorities in Niger confirmed that nationals from Sudan had been sent back to the border with Libya and added that “these people did not respect the law and rules of the country” and that “they were threatening the security of the country.”

Over the past five years, thousands of refugees and migrants transited through Niger on their way to Libya and Algeria. At the end of 2017, an estimated 2,000 Sudanese nationals arrived in Agadez. Some of them came from displacement camps in Sudan and refugee camps in Chad, and others were returning from Libya.

Another Sudanese national who escaped the deportation back to Libya told Amnesty International that he went to Libya looking for work. However when he arrived he was arrested along with around 50 other people, and held in horrendous conditions for six months. He said: “I was beaten every day and sometimes with a stick. I had to work and dig in the ground. They wanted money and told me to call my family. I had no one to call. I saw others around me being beaten and some died following their injuries and diseases. After six months they let me go… From there, I went [looking] for security and everywhere I went there was none. I found a big car going to Niger transporting goods. I got in and went to Niger, where I have been since 2014”.

“Sending back people to Libya where they can be at serious risk of torture constitutes a dangerous precedent,” said Gaetan Mootoo.

“Authorities in Niger should make sure they honor their international obligations to protect the rights of all refugees or migrants and ensure they are not exploited and abused.”

Sudan: Death sentence for raped teenager is an intolerable cruelty

A Sudanese court’s sentencing today of a 19-year-old woman to death for killing her rapist husband in self-defence highlights the failure of the authorities to tackle child marriage, forced marriage and marital rape, Amnesty International said today. 

Noura Hussein Hamad has been held in the Omdurman Women’s Prison since May 2017, and was today handed the death sentence for killing the man her father forced her to marry when she was 16 years old.

“Noura Hussein life-long wish was to become a teacher but she ended up being forced to marry an abusive man who raped and brutalized her. Now she has been slapped with a death sentence by a court which refused to recognize the existence of rape within marriage. Noura Hussein is a victim and the sentence against her is an intolerable act of cruelty,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and to apply it to a rape victim only highlights the failure of the Sudanese authorities to acknowledge the violence she endured. The Sudanese authorities must quash this grossly unfair sentence and ensure that Noura gets a fair retrial that takes into account her mitigating circumstances.”

The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and to apply it to a rape victim only highlights the failure of the Sudanese authorities to acknowledge the violence she endured.

Noura Hussein was married against her will to Abdulrahman Mohamed Hammad at the age of 16. The first marriage ceremony involved the signing a marriage contract between her father and Abdulrahman. The second part of the marriage ceremony took place in April 2017, when she was forced to move into Abdulrahman’s home upon having completed high school. When she refused to consummate the marriage, Abdulrahman invited two of his brothers and a male cousin to help him rape her. Sudanese law allows children over the age of 10 to marry.

On 2 May 2017, the three men held Noura Hussein down while Abdulrahman raped her. The next morning he tried to rape her again but she managed to escape to the kitchen where she grabbed a knife. In the ensuing scuffle, Abdulrahman sustained fatal knife wounds.

Noura then fled to her family home, but her father handed her over to the police, who opened a case against her. A medical examination report from the fight with Abdulrahman indicated she had sustained injuries including a bite and scratches.

At her trial in July 2017, the judge applied an outdated law which did not recognize marital rape.  Noura Hussein was charged under the Criminal Act (1991) and found guilty of intentional murder on 29 April 2018 at the Central Criminal Court of Omdurman.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. As of today, 106 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes and more than two-thirds of the world’s countries are abolitionist in law or practice.

South Sudan: Reveal fate and whereabouts of two men

Delays in peace talks originally scheduled for April 26, 2018 should not excuse ongoing detentions and inaction on enforced disappearances, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today. South Sudan’s leaders should act immediately to impartially investigate the enforced disappearances of two men, and release or charge everyone in their custody who has been arbitrarily detained, the human rights organizations said.

“South Sudanese leaders should demonstrate their commitment to basic human rights and take concrete action on enforced disappearances and unlawful detention,” said Jehanne Henry, a team leader in Human Rights Watch’s Africa division. “They should investigate the shocking forced disappearance of two prominent men and make good on their pledges to release wrongfully held political detainees.”

Dong Samuel Luak, one of the forcibly disappeared men, is a human rights lawyer and outspoken critic of the government who had refugee status in Kenya. Aggrey Idri is a member of the political opposition loyal to Riek Machar, the former vice president and head of the opposition. Idri was also a vocal critic of the government. The two men were abducted from the streets of Nairobi, Kenya on January 23 and 24, 2017, respectively.

On January 27, 2017, a Kenyan court ruled against their deportation to South Sudan. However, credible sources told both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International that they had seen Luak and Idri in National Security Service (NSS) detention in Juba on January 25 and 26. The men were then removed from the facility on January 27 to an unknown location. Their abduction is widely viewed as the result of collusion between South Sudan and Kenya, but both governments have denied having custody of the men, or knowledge of their whereabouts.

Aggrey Idri is a member of the political opposition loyal to Riek Machar, the former vice president and head of the opposition. Idri was also a vocal critic of the government.

South Sudanese leaders agreed to release “any person who has been deprived of his or her liberty for reasons related to the conflict” as part of a December 21, 2017 Cessation of Hostilities agreement signed by parties to the conflict.  While the government had released around 30 people it called “political detainees” in August 2017, both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch believe that many more remain in detention without charge, most of them accused of communicating with, or mobilizing people on behalf of the opposition.

The disappearances of Dong Luak and Aggrey Idri are part of a larger pattern by the South Sudan government to silence its critics by harassing, intimidating, arbitrarily detaining, and forcibly disappearing them, the two organisations said. Both organizations have continuously documented how government agents arbitrarily arrest and detain perceived opponents in official and unofficial national security and military detention facilities across the country. In many cases, people are held for long periods without charge or access to family or lawyers, and have been subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

 

These abuses have reached across South Sudan’s borders. South Sudanese human rights activists and opposition members living in Uganda and Kenya have reported intimidation and threats, allegedly from South Sudan’s government agents. In November 2016, Kenyan authorities unlawfully deported the former opposition spokesperson, James Gatdet, from Nairobi to South Sudan, despite the fact that he had refugee status. He was held in NSS detention in Juba without charge for almost a year, and was then charged with treason and other offenses in August 2017. A court sentenced him to death by hanging in February 2018, in violation of human rights norms. His sentencing occurred despite credible information that the court proceedings for James Gatdet likely did not meet international standards for a fair trial.

“South Sudanese authorities continue to show their total disregard for human life and dignity by appearing to condone or turn a blind eye to unlawful detentions and enforced disappearances,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and Great Lakes. “They must take concrete steps to promptly, effectively and impartially investigate the disappearances of Dong Luak and Aggrey Idri, and charge, or release all remaining political detainees in line with South Sudan’s domestic and international legal obligations.”

 

Südsudan: Lagebericht 2-2018

Die humanitäre Situation im Südsudan ist nach wie vor katastrophal. Es droht eine noch schlimmere Hungersnot als 2017. 50 % der Bevölkerung sind auf Nahrungsmittelhilfe angewiesen und ⅓ sind auf der Flucht, 90 % davon sind Frauen und Kinder. Es kommt immer wieder zu Vergewaltigungen und sexueller Gewalt von beiden Konfliktparteien. Sowohl Regierungstruppen als auch Oppositionsgruppen rekrutieren weiterhin Kindersoldaten, weshalb oft Kinder entführt werden. Vor kurzem wurden zwar 250 Kindersoldaten von den Rebellen freigelassen, aber es gibt schätzungsweise immer noch 20000 im Land.

In Uganda leben mittlerweile etwa 1,4 Mio. Flüchtlinge aus dem Südsudan. Das größte Flüchtlingscamp Bidi Bidi nimmt keine Flüchtlinge mehr auf. Wegen der anhaltenden dramatischen Lage im Südsudan wird international vor einer neuen Flüchtlingswelle gewarnt. Das UNHCR meldet, dass bisher erst ⅓ der benötigten Gelder zur Flüchtlingshilfe eingegangen sind. UNMISS wurde mit 17000 Soldaten um ein Jahr verlängert.

Der seit Jahren anhaltende Konflikt zwischen Regierung und Oppositionsgruppen hat sich eher noch zugespitzt, da es immer weitere Abspaltungen von der Regierung aber auch der Opposition gibt. Der ehemalige Armeechef Malong hat vor kurzem eine eigene Rebellengruppe gegründet und wird jetzt von der Regierung verdächtigt, einen Aufstand zu planen. Weiterhin wird von allen Konfliktparteien Propaganda hinsichtlich der Kampfhandlungen gemacht. Obwohl die Opposition noch nie so geschlossen bei den IGAD-Verhandlungen aufgetreten ist, wurden diese in Addis Abeba erneut abgebrochen, da es zu keinen Einigungen kam. Eine erneute Runde der Friedensverhandlungen waren für Ende April vorgesehen, sind  aber erneut verschoben worden.

Es gibt immer wieder viele Tote und Verletzte bei Kämpfen um Weideland.

Wegen der extremen Korruption und der schweren Menschenrechtsverletzungen im Land haben die USA und Kanada Sanktionen gegen hochrangige Militärs und Regierungsmitglieder verhängt. Die USA verhängten außerdem ein Waffenembargo gegen den Südsudan. Eine Möglichkeit der Ausweitung im UN-Sicherheitsrat ist leider unwahrscheinlich. Die Waffenlieferungen kommen zur Zeit hauptsächlich aus Uganda und Ägypten. Die humanitäre Situation im Südsudan ist nach wie vor katastrophal. Es droht eine noch schlimmere Hungersnot als 2017. 50 % der Bevölkerung sind auf Nahrungsmittelhilfe angewiesen und ⅓ sind auf der Flucht, 90 % davon sind Frauen und Kinder. Es kommt immer wieder zu Vergewaltigungen und sexueller Gewalt von beiden Konfliktparteien. Sowohl Regierungstruppen als auch Oppositionsgruppen rekrutieren weiterhin Kindersoldaten, weshalb oft Kinder entführt werden. Vor kurzem wurden zwar 250 Kindersoldaten von den Rebellen entlassen, aber es gibt trotzdem noch ca. 20000 im Land.

In Uganda leben mittlerweile etwa 1,4 Mio. Flüchtlinge aus dem Südsudan. Das größte Flüchtlingscamp Bidi Bidi nimmt keine Flüchtlinge mehr auf. Wegen der anhaltenden dramatischen Lage im Südsudan wird international vor einer neuen Flüchtlingswelle gewarnt. Das UNHCR meldet, dass bisher erst ⅓ der benötigten Gelder zur Flüchtlingshilfe eingegangen sind. UNMISS wurde mit 17000 Soldaten um ein Jahr verlängert.

Die UN-Kommission fordert eine Anklage von Kriegsverbrechern wegen Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit. Ein Bericht identifizierte mehr als 40 hochrangige Militäroffiziere und Politiker, die in den vergangenen 2 Jahren für die Grausamkeiten im Land verantwortlich waren. Die UN-Kommission für Menschenrechte wurde um 1 Jahr verlängert.

Die geplanten Wahlen für 2018 werden immer unwahrscheinlicher, die jetzige Legislaturperiode läuft noch bis Juli. Die letzte Übergangsverfassung wurde 2015 um drei Jahre verlängert. Es wird wahrscheinlich eine erneute Verlängerung der Übergangsperiode geben.

Der ehemalige Rebellensprecher des Oppositionsführers Riek Machar, James Gatdet Dak, wurde im Februar zum Tode verurteilt.

Sudan: Lagebericht 2-2018

Die Situation im Sudan war in den letzten Monaten geprägt von den Unruhen und Demonstrationen gegen die enormen Preiserhöhungen von Lebensmitteln und Rohstoffen (Brotunruhen). Auf EU-Ebene gab es dazu einen Appell an die sudanesische Regierung. Während der Demonstrationen kam es zu Hunderten willkürlichen Festnahmen durch den Nationalen Sicherheitsdienst (NISS). Besonders betroffen waren Mitglieder von Oppositionsgruppen, Menschenrechtsaktivisten und Studenten. Sie wurden alle ohne Anklage inhaftiert. Am 19.2. ließ die Regierung 80 politische Gefangene frei und im April verkündete Präsident al-Bashir, dass er alle politischen Gefangenen freilassen werde. Daraufhin kamen nochmals 53 willkürlich Inhaftierte frei, aber nach Angaben von AI befinden sich mindestens noch 50 politische Gefangene in Haft.

Die Pressefreiheit ist weiterhin stark eingeschränkt und es werden immer noch Journalisten willkürlich inhaftiert (auch die bekannte, von AI ausgezeichnete, Journalistin Amal Habani), Zeitungen konfisziert und Redaktionen geschlossen.

In einem neuen Bericht von Amnesty wird über die weitverbreitete Anwendung von Folter im Land berichtet. Besonders politische Gefangene und Studenten berichteten nach ihrer Freilassung von schweren Misshandlungen während ihrer Haft. Der Sudan hat die Anti-Folterkonvention bis heute noch nicht ratifiziert.

Bei Studentenprotesten gab es erneut viele Verletzte. Die wirtschaftliche Situation im Sudan ist sehr schlecht und die Korruption extrem hoch. Die Inflationsrate ist mit 122 % die zweithöchste nach Venezuela weltweit. Durch die Aufhebung der US- Wirtschaftssanktionen hofft die Regierung auf internationale Investitionen im Land. Es gibt sehr gute Verbindungen zu Russland und China, aber auch zur Türkei. Zuletzt wurde mit Russland ein Vertrag über den Bau eines Atomkraftwerks im Sudan abgeschlossen.

Die Beziehungen zu Ägypten und Äthiopien sind wegen des Baus eines Staudamms in Äthiopien weiterhin sehr angespannt.

Präsident al-Bashir plant eine Umbildung des Kabinetts. Er möchte wieder mehr Hardliner aufnehmen. Vor kurzem hat der Präsident seinen Außenminister entlassen, weil er die finanzielle Situation im Land kritisiert hatte. Angeblich haben viele hohe Beamte schon monatelang kein Gehalt mehr bekommen.

Mehrere Oppositionsparteien haben sich zu einem Bündnis zusammengeschlossen (Sudan Call), um mehr Druck auf die Regierung auszuüben. Sie lehnen aber den bisherigen Dialog mit der Regierung ab. Dem Sprecher von Sudan Call El Mahdi wird von der Regierung vorgeworfen, mit bewaffneten Rebellen zusammenzuarbeiten.

In den Grenzregionen zu Libyen und Eritrea gehen Grenzsoldaten, Rebellen und RSF(Rappid Support Forces, NISS) weiter gegen Menschenschmuggel vor. Dabei kommt es immer wieder zu Verletzten und Toten. Aufgefangene Flüchtlinge werden inhaftiert und es ist unklar, was mit ihnen passiert. Auf jeden Fall hat der Sudan schon vermehrt Flüchtlinge zurück nach Eritrea abgeschoben, was gegen internationale Menschenrechtsnormen verstößt. AU, EU und UN unterstützen durch ihre Migrationsabkommen mit dem Sudan diese Praxis, da nicht ausgeschlossen werden kann, dass die sudanesischen Sicherheitskräfte Menschenrechtsverletzungen begehen.

Außerdem verüben Angehörige der RSF immer wieder Überfälle mit Verletzten und Toten an der Bevölkerung, besonders an den Grenzen zu Libyen und Eritrea.

Zurzeit gibt es 3,3 Mio. Binnenflüchtlinge im Land, die vorwiegend aus Südsudan, Demokratischer Republik Kongo, Eritrea und dem Tschad kommen.

 

Darfur

Die Menschenrechtssituation in Darfur hat sich etwas verbessert, ist aber trotzdem noch als problematisch anzusehen. In allen Regionen kam es wiederholt zu Kämpfen zwischen Rebellen und Regierungssoldaten mit vielen Toten, Verletzten und Zerstörungen von Dörfern. Besonders betroffen ist die Region Jebel Marra. Vor kurzem wurden dort 13 Dörfer vom Militär geplündert und zerstört. Deshalb sind ca. 30000 Menschen von dort auf der Flucht. Das ist auch der Grund, weshalb die Umsiedlung von Flüchtlingen innerhalb von Darfurs besonders von der internationalen Gemeinschaft als sehr umstritten gesehen wird. Trotzdem möchte die Regierung bis Ende 2018 alle Flüchtlingscamps schließen, Nahrungsmittelhilfe und den Einsatz von Hilfsorganisationen beenden.

Das Mandat für den UNAMID-Einsatz in Darfur wurde zwar gerade um ein Jahr verlängert, aber die Anzahl der Soldaten drastisch reduziert. Vertriebene Darfuris sollen in ihre Heimatdörfer zurückkehren, obwohl ihre Sicherheit dort nicht gewährleistet ist. Immerhin haben UNAMID und die sudanesische Regierung eine Vereinbarung getroffen, um ein Camp in Golo in Jebel Marra zu errichten.  Dies wird hoffentlich den Zugang zu humanitärer Hilfe gewährleisten.

Es gibt weiterhin viele Proteste und Demonstrationen von Studenten in Darfur, mit willkürlichen Inhaftierungen ohne Gerichtsverfahren, Folter und Todesurteile. Es sind noch immer ca. 300 politische Gefangene in Haft, obwohl  der Präsident alle freilassen wollte.

Ein UN-Bericht schildert das weiterhin große Ausmaß an sexueller Gewalt in Darfur, trotz Verbesserung der Sicherheit. Auch der sexuelle Missbrauch an Kindern ist sehr hoch, es gibt jeden Tag 4-6 Fälle.

Auch in Darfur kommt es immer wieder zu gewalttätigen Eingriffen von RSF-Soldaten auf die Bevölkerung. Zuletzt haben sie 66 Migranten entführt und in Untersuchungshaft gebracht. Besonders in Norddarfur ist die RSF verantwortlich für Entführung, Folter und Tote.

Die humanitäre und medizinische Versorgung ist nach wie vor in vielen Regionen Darfurs mangelhaft. Besonders die Anzahl der Todesfälle durch Cholera steigt ständig. Bisher sind daran 35000 Menschen gestorben.

 

Two Areas : Südkordofan/Blue Nile

Die Auseinandersetzungen zwischen Regierungstruppen und Rebellen der SPLM-N in den Nuba Bergen und der Region Blue Nile bestehen weiterhin. Es kommt zu Angriffen und Bombardierungen auf die Zivilbevölkerung. Da sich die Oppositionsgruppen der SPLM-N immer mehr zersplittern, gibt es keine einheitliche Verhandlungsbasis der Opposition mehr.

Die Friedensgespräche zwischen Regierung und SPLM-N El Hilu, die vor kurzem in Addis Abeba stattfanden, sind gescheitert, da die Regierung nicht bereit ist, den Zugang für Hilfslieferungen zu erlauben. Die Regierung möchte zuerst eine Sicherheitsvereinbarung durchsetzen. Außerdem nimmt nur eine SPLM-N-Gruppe an den Gesprächen teil, da die anderen die Bedingungen der Regierung ablehnen, aber auch wegen der Brotpreisproteste im Land.

Ein großes Problem sind auch die zunehmenden Erkrankungen durch Umweltverschmutzungen in den Goldminen und durch die Erdölförderung, besonders in Südkordofan. Es wurden viele Missbildungen bei Kindern festgestellt.

Südsudan: Lagebericht 1-2018

Obgleich ein Waffenstillstandsabkommen zwischen Regierung und bewaffneter Opposition unterzeichnet wurde, herrscht in vielen Teilen des Landes weiterhin Krieg. Die Leittragenden sind die Zivilbevölkerung, die zu mehr als 50 Prozent von Nahrungsmittelhilfe abhängig ist, größtenteils, weil ihr durch die bewaffneten Auseinandersetzungen der Zugang zu den Feldern unmöglich wurde. Über eine Million Menschen sind nach Uganda geflohen, 770.000 in den Sudan und 340.000 nach Äthiopien. Eine halbe Million Menschen wird seit dem Ausbruch des ersten Krieges im Dezember 2013 in Camps der UN Blauhelmmission versorgt. Über 85% der Flüchtenden sind Frauen und Kinder. Allen bewaffneten Gruppierungen, inklusive der Armee, werden der Tötung von Zivilisten, Angriffe auf zivile Ziele und Vergewaltigungen vorgeworfen. Krankenhäuser und Schulen sind zu großen Teilen zerstört und geplündert.

Das Land entwickelt sich rapide zu einem Warlordstaat, in dem weder Regierung noch Oppositionsführung die Kontrolle über große Teile der bewaffneten Gruppierungen hat.

Seit dem Scheitern des Friedensvertrags 2016 sind die ethnischen Gräben noch tiefer geworden, was eine Mobilisierung zu weiteren Gewaltanwendungen vereinfacht.

Die Ökonomische Situation im Land ist katastrophal, Gehälter im öffentlichen Dienst und Sold an die Soldaten wurde seit mehr als sechs Monaten nicht ausbezahlt, Investitionen werden unter den gegebenen Sicherheitsbedingungen kaum getätigt und die Ölförderung ist weiterhin größtenteils ausgesetzt. Die Bevölkerung ist auf Hilfe von außen angewiesen. Zusätzlich zur Kriegsführung und verbreitetem Viehdiebstahl nehmen andere kriminelle Tätigkeiten, wie das Erpressen von Geldern von Hilfsorganisationen und Wegzölle, deutlich zu.

Die Regierung in Juba schränkt politische Freiheiten deutlich ein, vor allem der Geheimdienst ist gegen Journalisten und politische Oppositionelle aktiv. Journalisten werden verfolgt und Oppositionelle verschwinden. Straflosigkeit ist ein umfassendes Problem, trotz Berichten von Kriegsverbrechen und politischer Repression wird niemand zur Rechenschaft gezogen.

Unter Führung der Regionalorganisation IGAD versuchen die Nachbarstaaten mit Unterstützung der internationalen Gemeinschaft die beiden Kontrahenten; Präsident Salva Kiir und den ehemaligen Vizepräsidenten und Führer der bewaffneten Opposition Riek Machar zu einer Wiederaufnahme der Friedensgespräche zu bewegen. Kurz vor Weihnachten kam es zur Unterzeichnung eines Waffenstillstandes, der allerdings schon wenige Tage später gebrochen wurde.