Following Sudan‘s military takeover in October 2021, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk has voiced his support for the country’s return to civilian leadership and its move toward democracy.
In his Friday address to the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr. Türk stated that fresh efforts were required to reinstate civilian government and usher in democracy.
The UN rights head brought up the shooting murder of a 17-year-old protester by a policeman in Khartoum’s Sharq Alnil neighborhood.
He notes that the incident is one of 125 fatalities that have occurred since protests first started more than 16 months ago and that one in five of these victims were minors under the age of 18.
Opponents of the coup, which terminated a power-sharing arrangement between military and civilian officials, have been driving the continued bloodshed.
It was founded when President Omar al-Bashir, who had governed for 30 years, was toppled in April 2019.
Genuine responsibility and transitional justice, said Mr. Türk, were considered by victims as a top priority and, in the end, a requirement for stability and democratic development.
According to the UN’s rights chief, all those accountable for abuses and violations of human rights must be brought to justice according to the law and without undue delay.
In a statement, he emphasized that any revisions to emergency legislation must be in accordance with international law.
The Juba Peace Accord must be fully implemented, Mr. Türk said, referring to the Darfur region where hundreds of thousands died during bloody combat between Sudanese Government troops, militia groups, and rebel militia after 2003.
“To address the root causes of conflict, vulnerable civilians still caught up in the violence and the unrest in the region need security assurances and political commitment.
“My Office stands ready to strengthen its support, including for legal and institutional reforms to promote and defend human rights, the creation of a victim-centered transitional justice process, and to broaden civic space,” the president declared.
Mr. Turk agreed that changes were never simple, but said there were a lot of chances for advancement across the board and more equitable sustainable development.
The UN rights head stated, “I stand in solidarity with the people of Sudan and totally share their hopes and demands for meaningful change, peace, democracy, and justice.
Independent human rights experts nominated by the UN have already denounced the suppression of anti-coup protestors.
They noted persistent accounts of demonstrators being murdered, kidnapped without consent, hurt, tortured, and the victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
“It is essential to ensure Sudan’s sustained transition to a genuine democratic civilian government, including high-level commanders accountable for these atrocities,” they added.
The UN lauded the beginning of negotiations between Sudan’s political parties in January as a significant step toward restoring a civilian-led transition.
“Approximately 9,096 people have suffered injuries since October 2021, many of them life-altering,” the High Commissioner added. These injuries were caused by live ammunition, rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, and other weapons that the security forces indiscriminately fired.
He supported Sudan’s initiatives to ensure accountability for violations of human rights.