Mr. António Guterres Secretary – General United Nations
Mr. Dennis Francis
United Nations General Assembly New York
The ongoing violence in Sudan that threatens millions in the country and region demands greater action by the United Nations. Since April 15, 2023, when conflict erupted between the Sudan army and its militia, the UN has in fact taken important actions (please see the attached list). The UN’s engagement, however, must continue with a frequency and intensity that reflects the seriousness of the crisis and crimes committed and that exerts significant additional pressure to end violence and enormous suffering.
What more can be done?
Last month, the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, in partnership with the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, published “A Framework for Action for Responsibility to Protect, A Resource for States”. The Framework outlines strategic steps for the UN Secretary General, the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly to take to prevent and respond to atrocity crimes. Some steps have already been taken, but many instrumental actions remain, such as:
Adding a debate on Sudan, as an item of an important and urgent character, to the agenda of the UNGA’s regular session to constructively consider what the UNGA can do to avert or halt the commission of atrocity crimes and to include testimony by Human Rights Council special procedures or mechanisms, special representatives or envoys of the UNSG, the Special Advisors on the Prevention of Genocide and R2P and civil society experts.
We, the undersigned human rights organizations, scholars and leading activists urge your offices to take these and other recommended steps to prevent and respond to atrocities in Sudan (please see the attached list of actions).
The lack of accountability and subsequent acquiesce to atrocity crimes sends a dangerous message and creates an insidious precedent that entirely undermines peace and security in Sudan and beyond. The United Nations own “Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes” recognizes that when atrocity crimes are not adequately addressed historically and currently, they are more likely to be repeated, which has been the case in Sudan for decades in southern Sudan, escalating 20 years ago in Darfur, and expanding to the Nuba Mountains, Blue Nile, Eastern Sudan, Abyei, Khartoum and elsewhere.
This year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, criminalizing genocide and requiring states to pursue its enforcement. In 2005, the Responsibility to Protect was unanimously adopted at the UN World Summit to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Your Excellencies, we urge you to lead boldly and to uphold these and others foundational principles of the United Nations for the good of Sudan and to maintain international peace and security. On your watch, the United Nations can and must respond urgently and decisively to violent conflict and atrocity crimes in Sudan.
Act for Sudan
Africa Civil Society Forum
Darfur Action Group of South Carolina
Darfur and Beyond
Darfur Bar Association
Darfur Interfaith Network
DefendDefenders (East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project), Uganda Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect
Jews Against Genocide
Joining Our Voices Ministries
Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur
Never Again Coalition
New York Coalition for Sudan
Operation Broken Silence
Regional Centre for Training and Development of Civil Society (RCDCS), Sudan
Rights for Peace, United Kingdom
Society for Threatened Peoples
Stop Genocide Now
Sudanese American Public Affairs Association, Inc. (SAPAA)
Ambassador (Rtd.) Akec Khoc