Abuses Continue as Southern Sudan Independence Approaches | Freedom House

Abuses Continue as Southern Sudan Independence Approaches

Washington
On the eve of Southern Sudan’s independence, Freedom House expresses deep concern about serious and ongoing human rights abuses in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions and calls on President al-Bashir to cease attacks on innocent civilians and return to peaceful negotiation of critical post-referendum issues.
According to the CPA, the South Kordofan and Blue Nile regions will remain with North Sudan but will decide on wealth and power sharing through popular consultation. On June 5, fighting broke out between the Northern Sudanese forces and the South’s Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) in South Kordofan. There have been allegations against the Northern forces of atrocities that include summary executions, arbitrary arrests, torture, forced disappearances, and destruction of physical infrastructure. The attacks, which have targeted the Nuba population, have displaced more than 73,000 according to UN estimates. Despite a Framework Agreement on Political and Security Arrangements in the Two Areas brokered on June 28 in negotiations facilitated by the African Union High Level Implementation Panel in Addis Ababa, President Bashir has called on Northern forces to continue military operations in Southern Kordofan and raised objections with the agreement that could put further discussions on a cessation of hostilities in jeopardy.
“While all eyes are deservedly focused on the people of Southern Sudan who now finally have the chance to enjoy independence, we cannot forget that al-Bashir’s government is one of the most brutal and repressive in the world and there are many innocent Sudanese who continue to be victimized by his regime,” said David J. Kramer, president of Freedom House. “It is critical that the United Nations maintain a presence in the border states in order to protect civilians, avert a humanitarian disaster and support the implementation of any cessation of hostilities agreement.”
Apart from attacking civilians, the North’s armed forces have made it impossible for the UN and other aid agencies to carry out their work. Furthermore the Sudanese government has compelled the departure of the UN mission in Sudan from Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, and elsewhere in the north by July 9.
Sudan ranks in the bottom tier of the world’s most repressive regimes, earning it a place in Freedom House’s Worst of the Worst: The World’s Most Repressive Societies 2011 report. Sudan is ranked Not Free in Freedom in the World 2011, Freedom House’s annual survey of political rights and civil liberties, and Freedom of the Press 2011.
For more information on Sudan, visit:
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