Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok Disregarded the Situation on the Ground in Sudan at the 76th UN General Assembly

DWAG would like to express its disappointment with the speech delivered by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok at the 76th United Nations General Assembly. Prime Minister Hamdok failed to address fundamental challenges affecting the people of Sudan and downplayed the situation on the ground by disregarding the insecurity of civilians, displacement crisis, and lack of freedom of expression. Prime Minister Hamdok only broadly mentioned that the government of Sudan is working towards peace, prosperity, freedom, and justice, but failed to provide tangible results; this reflects how the government has not successfully implemented sustainable policies to achieve those goals.

In his speech, Prime Minister Hamdok mentioned that the government is determined to continue improving the security situation in Darfur through the implementation of the Juba agreement, collection of arms, the realization of justice, and ensuring accountability through the implementation of the National Plan for the Protection of Civilians. DWAG expresses strong dismay over these remarks as the government has not implemented the National Plan for the Protection of Civilians nor meaningfully materialized parts of the Juba Peace Agreement—both of which may provide additional civilian protection measures. Innocent civilians continue living in camps and facing violent attacks every day as violence perpetrated by the Rapid Support Forces (RSP) and Janjaweed continues ravaging the region. DWAG urges the interim government to take serious steps toward civilian protection, accountability, and  justice for crimes committed in Darfur and across Sudan 

In addition, DWAG welcomes Prime Minister Hamdok’s pleas to the international community and humanitarian organizations to effectively assist the Ethiopian refugees. Nevertheless, we are gravely concerned that Prime Minister Hamdok disregarded the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and Sudanese refugees in other countries. The resurgence of violence across Darfur and other parts of the country has heightened displacement. The Head of the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan, Volker Perthes, reported to the UN Security Council that a staggering 418,000 people were newly displaced between January and August of this year, six times as high as the previous year. The increase of IDPs demonstrates how the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate and affect those most vulnerable. Moreover, there are about 360,000 refugees from Darfur in Chad alone who are also in need of humanitarian assistance because of their dire situation within the camps. The Sudanese government must work alongside the international community, civil societies, and international aid organizations to address the needs of the people that have been displaced due to regional instability and insecurity and ensure their safe return to their homes. 

Prime Minister Hamdok also stated, “we aim to increase freedom…we have furthered the freedom of expression and opinion. We fought against impunity.” However, the reality on the ground differs. Last week Radio Dabanga reported that two young Sudanese activists were detained from inside a mosque in Ombadda on September 11 by the RSF. The two activists were protesting against Lieutenant General Mohamed Dagalo ‘Hemeti,’ Vice-President of the Sovereignty Council and Commander-in-Chief of the RSF, who was present at the mosque. They were demanding justice and accountability for crimes committed by the RSF against the civilians. DWAG condemns the unlawful detention of the two activists as it violates their right to freedom of expression. We stand in solidarity with the activists and demand their immediate release without condition. We also demand the withdrawal of all RSF forces and affiliated militias from areas around camps and farms and hold those responsible for past and current crimes accountable. DWAG further calls upon the interim Sudanese government to take immediate action to release the two activists and ensure the protection of freedom of expression, as Prime Minister Hamdok expressed at the United National General Assembly.  

The suffering of the people of Sudan has continued for far too long. It is time for the international community to take action to ensure that the government of Sudan takes the necessary step to achieve the revolution’s goals—peace, prosperity, and justice. DWAG calls upon the United Nations Security Council members to hold Sudan accountable for its promise to obtain the revolution’s goals. In order to create lasting peace in Sudan, the international community must be willing to create an enabling environment that will protect civilians and put their human rights above all else.