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FCO Human Rights Report 2010
FCO Human Rights Report 2010

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Published by: Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Mar 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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This is a critical time for Sudan. As stipulated in the Comprehensive PeaceAgreement, a historic referendum on self-determination for South Sudan tookplace in January 2011. A credible, peaceful, free and fair referendum, thesuccessful completion of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement andagreement on all the remaining outstanding issues such as citizenship,delineating the border between North and South, international debt relief andsecurity can provide the basis for peaceful coexistence between North andSouth Sudan. This has implications for human rights in Sudan.Overall the human rights situation across Sudan remains grave. Althoughthere has been some positive action such as the passing of the Child Act,many of the obligations enshrined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,such as the establishment of an independent National Human RightsCommission, have yet to be acted on.The Sudanese government¶s participation through the Advisory Council for Human Rights with the UN, and EU in human rights dialogue and theestablishment of the Darfur Human Rights Forum, are welcome. However,this does not replace the need for a genuinely independent national HumanRights Commission.Although the Sudanese government has ratified many of the international andregional human rights treaties, implementation remains limited. Sudan hassigned but not ratified the UN Convention against Torture. Sudan has refusedto sign the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discriminationagainst Women citing concerns over its compatibility with Sharia law andSudanese tradition. The government is still considering these treaties, andwe have offered our full support to help the government adhere to them.We continue to have serious concerns about a range of human rights issuesincluding arbitrary arrests and detention; the death penalty ;
punishments (amputation, flogging and stoning); restrictions on freedom of expression, association, assembly and movement; women¶s rights; and a lackof justice and accountability for serious crimes. The application of the PublicOrder Act continues to result in Sudanese citizens suffering inhuman anddegrading treatment, as highlighted by the public flogging of a woman inKhartoum by the public order police in December.The Sudanese government continued to refuse to cooperate with theInternational Criminal Court on the outstanding arrest warrants for Governor Haroun, militia leader Mr Kushayb and President Bashir. On 12 July, theInternational Criminal Court added charges of genocide to the existingcharges of crimes against humanity and war crimes against President Bashir.As William Hague made clear during his visit to the UN Security Council inNovember, we continue to urge the government of Sudan to cooperate withthe Court.In Khartoum, our Embassy worked with other EU missions to raise humanrights issues. At the request of the UK and others, the EU specialrepresentative met with the Advisory Council in December to discuss thedeteriorating human rights situation in Sudan and some specific cases of thearrest and detention of Sudanese citizens. A formal meeting between theAdvisory Council and EU Heads of Mission will take place in early January2011.In September, and with strong UK ministerial support, the UN Human RightsCouncil voted to extend the mandate of the UN independent expert on thehuman rights situation in Sudan. The renewal of the mandate ensured thathuman rights in Sudan will continue to be internationally monitored .We continued to raise human rights concerns bilaterally through our Embassyin Khartoum and our office in Juba. Parliamentary Under-Secretary of StateHenry Bellingham and the Secretary of State for International DevelopmentAndrew Mitchell visited Sudan in July and November respectively. Bothraised human rights issues with senior members of the governments in North
and South Sudan. William Hague also raised our concerns with theSudanese foreign minister, Ali Karti, in New York on 16 November.Promoting human rights in South Sudan is a huge challenge given thecapacity-building challenges. We have opened a new office in Juba that hasalready strengthened our ability to provide diplomatic, development andhumanitarian assistance in the South. All-party constitutional discussions inthe South and a possible drive towards a robust multi-party democracy willhelp foster a better environment for human rights. We engage with the churchorganisations in South Sudan to encourage the government of South Sudanto include civil society organisations and opposition parties in the futuredevelopment of South Sudan. We also work with the government of SouthSudan to ensure that the Sudan People¶s Liberation Army is moreaccountable for its actions and that the government is able to address thecontinued threat of inter-tribal violence.In the North, the government must build on the small gains made inimplementing legislation. Human rights forums must be improved to be ableto genuinely hold the government to account. Addressing the continuedfighting and ongoing human rights abuses in Darfur will remain a priority. Wewill continue to provide a substantial amount of humanitarian assistance inDarfur to help improve the lives of the people, but all parties must address thehigh levels of insecurity which are preventing the full distribution of aid andassistance. We will continue to work towards a comprehensive and inclusivepeace agreement for Darfur with the Sudanese government andrepresentatives of the Darfur armed movements, in support of the AfricanUnion/UN Joint Chief Mediator Djbril Bassole and the Qatari government, whohost the current mediation process.The future stability of North and South Sudan is reliant on agreeingoutstanding issues under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Followingthe referendum on Southern secession, held on 9±15 January, the people of North and South Sudan will need reassurance that the gains promised under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement will be fully realised and the freedoms

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