08 January 2010
Protect civilians in Sudan

On 9 January 2010, thousands of campaigners will gather around the world to call on world leaders to prevent a return to severe and widespread conflict in Sudan.

The effort comes one year before a referendum that will decide the future of Sudan, and falls on the five year anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that called for the referendum.

2009 was the most violent year in the South of Sudan since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed, with over 2,500 people killed and 350,000 displaced.

In Darfur, the civilian population continues to bear the brunt of the conflict with more than 2.6 million individuals still living in camps for the internally displaced.

With the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in Sudan in April 2010 and the referendum on independence of South Sudan in 2011, there is a risk of increased violence and human rights violations.  

Throughout 2009, there was a sharp increase in attacks against civilians in the South of Sudan, particularly in the disputed border areas between North and South Sudan and in Jonglei state.  

Recent outbreaks of violence have reignited ethnic conflicts in the South, undermining the relative peace experienced since 2005, and placing civilians at risk of human rights abuses.

In Darfur, civilians continue to face insecurity on a daily basis and UNAMID still lacks equipment and strength to fully fulfil its mandate.  

Amnesty International has called on the UN Security Council to ensure that UNAMID and UNMIS fulfil their civilian protection mandate by clearly defining their goals and priorities.

Amnesty International has also called on member states of the UN Security Council to provide the two forces with the equipment and support they need to effectively fulfil their mandates.

Girl in Kalma IDP camp, South Darfur, Sudan © Evelyn Hockstein/Polaris

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Protect civilians in Sudan

Your Excellency,
I am deeply concerned about the current situation in Sudan.  I urge you
to use your presidency of the Security Council to ensure that civilians
are protected, particularly in the lead up to the 2010 election and the
2011 referendum.
2009 has been the most violent year in the South of Sudan since the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005, with over 2,500
people killed and 350,000 displaced.
Although the former Joint Special Representative of the United Nations
and African Union for Darfur, Rodolphe Adada, and the UNAMID Force
Commander, Martin Luther Agwai, claimed that the war in Darfur was over
in April and August 2009, attacks against civilians continue to occur,
as recognised by the UN Panel of Experts on Darfur on 27 October 2009.  
The UN Security Council must act now.
I congratulate the Security Council on the adoption of resolution 1894
(2009), prioritising the protection of civilians in conflict. I call on
you to ensure that this resolution is specifically applied to the
situation in Sudan.  
I appreciate your calls for clearly defined goals and priorities for
protection of civilians in peacekeeping mandates during the recent
Security Council open debate on protection of civilians.  I also
recognise your view that Governments have primary responsibility for
the protection of civilians.  In this regard I urge you to ensure:
•    That UNAMID and UNMIS pro-actively fulfil their protection of civilians mandate;
•    That the Government of Sudan, the Government of Southern Sudan and
all armed groups allow UNAMID and UNMIS the freedom to carry out their
civilian protection mandate and provide them with the support they need;
•    That contributing countries ensure that UNAMID and UNMIS have the
capacity and equipment to fulfil their mandate to protect civilians.
The upcoming election and referendum in Sudan create a risk of renewed
conflict and large scale human rights violations.  These issues need to
be addressed now before more civilians are killed and displaced.
Yours Sincerely,

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September 2, 2011

India

It is the first duty of government of any nation to protect its civilians. The Sudanese government must protect its civilians.
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