35 African civil society organisations call for strong AU response to popular uprising in Sudan

Published: 6 Feb 2019

6 February 2019

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Excellencies, Representatives of the AU Peace and Security Council Member States,
H.E. Chairperson Mr. Moussa Faki, African Union Commission,

Your Excellencies,

We, the undersigned African civil society organisations, write with deep concern about the deterioration of the situation in Sudan. The combination of long term repression and economic mismanagement has led to an uprising in which the Sudanese people are calling out for democracy, good governance and human rights, in line with the values of the African Union.

Unfortunately, the government of Sudan has responded not by seeking to engage with the concerns of the protesters, but rather by seeking to repress them and to limit their ability to exercise their internationally guaranteed right to freedom of expression. Thousands of Sudanese citizens have been detained, about 50 have been killed and hundreds injured by security apparatus, according to civil society reports. Members of professional associations have been killed. Among the dead are a medical doctor, teacher, students and elders (more details in the background). If urgent action is not taken, it seems likely that violations of the rights of activists and protesters will continue.

The AU Peace and Security Council is mandated to promote democratic practices, good governance, the rule of law, protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms and respect for the sanctity of human life. These are the very aspirations being articulated by the Sudanese people. Yet expressions of solidarity from the African Union have not been forthcoming. In other contexts, however, African states have shown that they can act effectively to address emerging crises where the political will is present. For example, the 2017 intervention of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the Gambia which prevented violence from escalating.

Read the full open letter.

Programmes: Causes of Displacement
Regions: Sudan
Type: Advocacy