- Sudanese Military Crackdown: An Affront to Human Rights and Peace in Sudan
The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) is alarmed by the violent crackdown in Sudan which has dealt a severe blow to peace efforts in the country and is calling for immediate action by all stakeholders to finalise the political settlement and prevent further loss of lives.
The military crackdown on protesting civilians is an affront to the rights of Sudanese people, which rights are enshrined on a number of African instruments including the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights.
CSVR commends the decision of the Peace and Security Council to suspend the Republic of Sudan in all AU activities until the effective establishment of a civilian-led Transitional Authority.
The African Union has adopted tools to guide transitions and transitional periods and the African Union Transitional Justice Policy is one such tool that proffers guidelines, benchmarks and practical strategic proposals for managing transitions and ensuring sustainable peace.
“We urge stakeholders negotiating peace and the transition in Sudan including the Sudanese Transitional Military Counsel and IGAD to be guided by the African Union Transitional Justice Policy, especially the principles of national and local ownership, and inclusiveness, equity and non-discrimination of all stakeholders including all sectors of society and citizens as beneficiaries and key contributors to a peaceful Sudan,” said CSVR Executive Director, Nomfundo Mogapi.
The parties involved in negotiating the democratic transition and political settlement need to be brought back to the negotiation table. It has been noted that women do not have a place at the negotiating table and are severely under-represented. CSVR urges the Transitional Military Counsel to recognize the role of all civilians in Sudan as significant players in the transition process.
CSVR is appealing for the immediate cessation of violence that erupted in Khartoum on Monday 3rd June resulting in the deaths of at least 108 people and wounding more than 500, according to the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors, after security forces opened fire on peaceful protesters who are demanding a democratic transition to civilian rule.
CSVR notes with concern the worrying trend in Africa, where following military take-overs the citizens and army appear unable to co-exist. This raises serious concerns around leadership in the hands of the military and their ability to lead a peaceful transition to civilian rule.
CSVR is furthermore receiving worrying reports of conflict-related sexual violence, of families being threatened and women being sexually harassed. Psychosocial support and medical support must be provided to address issues of sexual abuse and trauma in a country that has been riddled with conflict.
Reports that armed non-state actors, paramilitary groups and other external parties, who have vested interest in Sudan are meddling and stalling the peace process due to conflicted political priorities further derail efforts at finding lasting peace.
“CSVR calls on all of Africa to stand with Sudan and her people to ensure that the role and needs of all citizen are acknowledged and prioritised.”
The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) is an independent, non-governmental that seeks to understand and prevent violence, heal its effects and build sustainable peace at community, national and regional levels. It does this through collaborating with, and learning from, the lived and diverse experiences of communities affected by violence and conflict. CSVR we work across the African continent through collaborations with community, civil society, state and international partners. CSVR has worked as a technical partner to the AUC-DPA in the development of the African Union Transitional Justice Policy which was adopted by all member state in February, 2019. CSVR continues to support countries in Africa to implement the AUTJP and provide psychosocial support to victims.
UK Government Has Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
The United Kingdom on Wednesday Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine
British government on Wednesday became the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, according to the UK government.
The vaccine will be rolled out from next week and the first dose could be administered as early as December 7th, stated people familiar with the matter.
Last week, the UK government announced it had ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 and appointed Nadhim Zahawi, the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of the vaccines.
British government on Wednesday morning said, “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use”
“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”
Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, revealed that the programme would commence early next week.
“It is very good news,” Hancock said.
Zabarmari Massacre: Buhari to Provide More Resources for the Nigerian Military
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide more resources to the military in the aftermath of the Zabarmari massacre.
On Saturday, Boko Haram killed 43 people with around 70 people still missing in Zabarmari, a village in Borno State.
Reacting to the massacre, Buhari, through his official Twitter handle @MBuhari said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.
“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists.
“We will intensify our cooperation with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels, to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.
“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly. It reinforces our resolve to root out all forms of insurgency and insecurity not just in Borno but everywhere across Nigeria.”
Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria
Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.
The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.
However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.
Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.
In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.
“Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.
“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.
“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.
On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.
The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.
He added that people are facing desperate choices.
“In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.
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