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Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan in Addis Ababa

Backgrounder

Addis Ababa, May 30, 2013 (SSNA) -- The Second Session of the Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan convened in Addis Ababa on 16 – 18 May 2013. This three-day event was organized by Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre in collaboration with the African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, Darfur Bar Association, Human Rights Institute of South Africa and South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy. The Forum was organised as a civil society contribution to the 21st ordinary session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government.

About 100 participants attended the second session of the Forum. They represent independent NGOs from Sudan and South Sudan as well as Sudan-focused civil society groups from Africa, the Middle East and Western Europe. A number of African diplomats as well as senior officials from the African Union Commission, Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations attended the second session of the Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan.

The key objectives of the Forum are: 1. To strengthen collaboration between Sudanese and Sudan-focused civil society groups and the African Union and to enable them to further support the AU's decision-making bodies and its specialized organs as well as the IGAD Secretariat, 2. To map-out the obstacles to full enjoyment of human rights, including women rights in Sudan and South Sudan and share such findings with relevant AU organ, and 3. To harmonise advocacy activities among Sudan-focused civil society and present their collective vision on the on-going humanitarian situation in the two countries to concerned partners at the continental and the global levels.

The Forum adopted 11 resolutions addressing an array of issues in Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan. The resolutions adopted addressed the following matters:

1. Humanitarian Situation in the Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States.

2. Armed Militias in Sudan.

3. Status of Stateless Persons in Sudan.

4. Human Rights Situation in the Republic of South Sudan.

5. United Nations and African Union Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID).

6. Report of the African Union High-Level Panel on Darfur (AUHPD) .

7. Situation in Darfur.

8. Critical Situation of Women in Sudan and South Sudan.

9. Civil Rights and Political Freedoms in Sudan.

10. Situation in Abyei Area.

11. Civil Society: Current Situation and Recommendations.

1. Resolution on the Situation in Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States

We, the participants at the 2nd Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16th-18th May 2013, within the context of the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government dedicate this session to the legacy and memory of the late Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok of Abyei.

Considering the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), the Charter of the United Nations (UN) as well as those of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other regional and international human rights instruments to which Sudan as a state party, is legally bound to fully and effectively implement the provisions of these instruments, and respect and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms set therein without discrimination on any ground;

Deeply concerned about the catastrophic humanitarian situation, insecurity, violence and massive violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms being committed in Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile states in the Republic of Sudan;

Outraged at the continuing reports of grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in these two states, including indiscriminate aerial bombardment in civilian areas and massive displacement of civilian populations, looting of homes and destruction of property, arbitrary arrests and illegal detention of perceived political opponents, torture, extrajudicial killings, and enforced disappearances of civilians, especially those belonging to the indigenous Nuba and Ingasana ethnic groups in these regions;

Deploring the unwillingness of the Government of Sudan to allow UN agencies and well as independent international relief organizations and humanitarian workers access to the waraffected populations thus putting the lives of a growing number of civilians in these two regions, especially women and children, at high risk;

Welcoming efforts of the AU to address the situation in South Kordofan and the Blue Nile States and recalling in this regard Communiqué PSC/MIN/COMM/3.(CCCXIX) adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council on 24 April 2012, as endorsed by UNSC Resolution no. 2046/2012; provided a comprehensive approach which, inter alia, set out specific timetable for the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N) to reach a peaceful resolution to the armed conflict in those regions;

Noting also that Communiqué PSC/MIN/COMM/3. (CCCXIX) called on the Government of Sudan to accept the tripartite proposal as submitted by the AU, the UN and the League of Arab States to permit humanitarian access to the population in Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States and to date the Government of Sudan has failed to authorize the implementation of this arrangement; and

Fully convinced that lasting and sustainable peace and stability in Sudan as well as a durable end to armed conflicts and political unrest in the country necessitate comprehensive solutions through just and negotiated political settlements that address the root causes of such conflicts in all parts of the country.

We call upon the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to:

1. Demand that the Government of Sudan allows immediate international relief organizations and independent reporters unconditional access to Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States in order to conduct assessments of the situation and to provide the necessary independently monitored humanitarian assistance to the needy civilians in the affected regions.

2. Request the UN Security Council to mandate an immediate international fact-finding mission to visit Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States and to investigate and report back to the UNSC on the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed in these two states since the start of the conflict in June 2011. The Commission of Investigations should recommend to the UNSC measures to hold accountable perpetrators of atrocious crimes documented in its report.

3. Urge the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North to take immediate steps to restart political negotiations and reach an acceptable and lasting settlement of the armed conflict in the Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States in accordance with Communiqué PSC/MIN/COMM/3.(CCCXIX) adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council on 24 April 2012 as endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2046 of 2 May 2012, and that a specific timetable be fixed for the two parties to reach such a political settlement. Learning from previous peace agreements such as the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Darfur Peace Agreement, East Sudan Peace Agreement, Cairo Agreement and Doha Document for Peace in Darfur, and their weak response to the needs for lasting peace and democratic transformation and wider political participation, a holistic approach to address the underlining common causes of all conflicts in Sudan must be agreed upon.

4. Further urge the parties to the armed conflicts in Sudan to observe a cessation of hostilities arrangement, with immediate effect, end all military activities and attacks against civilians in Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States and put a halt to the grave violations of human and people’s rights, in particular the indiscriminate aerial bombardment of inhabited areas and the forced displacement of civilians, with a specific deadline fixed for the two parties to reach such an arrangement.

5. Call on the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement- North to guarantee the fundamental rights of the victims to the restoration of their properties and land, and to provide reparations for the loss of lives, serious injuries, loss or damage of property, and other harms caused by the belligerents in the course of the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States.

6. Call on the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement- North to include the process of transitional justice in any coming peace agreement.

Done at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 18th May 2013

2. Resolution on Armed Militias in Sudan

We, the participants at the 2nd Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16th-18th May 2013, within the context of the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government dedicate this session to the legacy and memory of the late Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok of Abyei.

Considering the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), the Charter of the United Nations (UN) as well as those of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Protocol Establishing the AU Peace and Security Council, and other regional and international human rights instruments and humanitarian law;

Noting that Article 4 of the AU Constitutive Act reaffirms faith in the dignity of the human person, in the sanctity of human life, and condemns and rejects impunity, thereby establishing the right of the AU Member States to intervene in the territory of any Member State to prevent the commission of grave crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide;

Gravely concerned about the impact of armed conflicts on civilian populations, including women, children and other vulnerable groups, and that armed conflicts represent a real danger to territorial integrity and trans-border stability of concerned states;

Stressing that maintaining peace and law and order is the prime responsibility of the regular security forces of the state and that there is a need for specific instruction of military personnel and security forces to uphold international humanitarian law and human and people’s rights; and

Deeply concerned by the policy of the Government of Sudan to recruit tribal militia groups and paramilitary formations such as the Popular Defense Forces, Central Reserve Police, Borders Guard, and that such groups commit heinous crimes abhorrent to all canons of civilized life targeting defenseless civilian populations in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States in flagrant violation of regional and international human rights and humanitarian law.

We call upon the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to:

1. Condemn in the strongest possible terms the assassination of Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok in Abyei on 4 May 2013

2. Reaffirm its support to the Peace and Security Council's call on the government of Sudan to ensure that all those responsible for the heinous crime are brought to justice immediately.

3. Further reaffirm the need for consultations between the United Nations, the AU, the government of Sudan and South Sudan with the view to urgently establish a credible transparent and independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding this incident.

4. Condemn the government policy to militarize society including the recent national mobilization efforts by the Sudan Parliament and specifically the militarization of Society on ethnic grounds and deployment of ethnic militia groups to areas different from their areas of origin.

5. Urge the Government of Sudan to take the necessary actions to disarm armed groups other than the regular military and police forces in Sudan in general and in the Abyei area in particular.

6. Further urge the Government of Sudan to take immediate measures, in coordination with competent regional and international organizations, to disarm, dismantle and abrogate all laws that protect and organize its relationship with tribal militia groups and paramilitary formations.

7. Condemn the violence and destruction of lives and livelihoods, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and ethnic cleansing committed by tribal militia groups and paramilitary formations against civilian populations in Sudan to which they must be held accountable.

8. Condemn in the strongest possible terms the policy of the Government of Sudan to use militia groups in its military efforts in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States.

9. Express its concern about the integration of the Popular Defence Forces, tribal militias, and other paramilitary forces into the regular armed forces and police including some of the militias which were transformed into border guard forces.

10. Further express its concern about the practice of the Government of Sudan to mobilize and recruit militias from outside the country, and that such militia groups displace local communities with clear intention of demographic change.

11. Urge the Government of Sudan to take the necessary actions to disarm all armed groups other than the regular military and police forces.

12. Invite the AU Peace and Security Council to study the negative impact of the use of armed militia groups and paramilitary formations on the safety and security of civilians in Sudan, as well as the dangers that such groups pose to peace and stability in the African sub-region.

13. Urge the African Union Peace and Security Council, in collaboration with the Government of Sudan, to investigate the claim of deployments of foreign militias in conflict areas in Sudan.

14. Urge the Government of Sudan to ensure wider dissemination of information on international humanitarian law among its security forces and to integrate human rights education within the training programs for such forces.

Done at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 18th May 2013

3. Resolution on the Prevention of Statelessness in Sudan

We, the participants at the 2nd Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16th-18th May 2013, within the context of the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government dedicate this session to the legacy and memory of the late Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok of Abyei.

Noting that the Government of Sudan has introduced amendments to the Sudanese Nationality Act of 1994, and that the amendments, which were adopted in response to the secession of the Republic of South Sudan entered into force on 10 August 2011;

Deeply concerned that the amendments to the Sudanese Nationality Act of 1994 are discriminatory in nature targeting a specific segment of the Sudanese population, for instance Article 10 (2) provides that "A person will automatically lose his Sudanese nationality if he has acquired, de jure or de facto, the nationality of South Sudan” ; have been retroactively applied, thereby full-fledged Sudanese citizens originating from South Sudan have been collectively and arbitrarily deprived of their citizenship rights;

Noting also that in May 2011, Sudan introduced a new system of national identification (National Registration Numbers) declaring that the measure intends to preserve the Sudanese identity from intruders, and that registration through the new system is required for enjoyment of citizenship rights and access to civil amenities such as obtaining passports and driving licenses, employment in the public and private sectors, university registration, banking transactions and exit visa.;

Gravely concerned about reports that the process of authentication of the identity of the applicants for the National Registration Number has been marred by serious difficulties and implemented in a manner that discriminates against citizens originating from certain regions of the country, and that the security risks as well as the weak infrastructure or unavailability of communication networks are being used by government officials as justification for the exclusion of internally displaced persons and war victims in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States, who have been deliberately left out in the registration process; and

Deeply alarmed by the reports that the process of national identification is complicated, selective and highly politicized and that individuals from some peripheral regions of Sudan or those of South Sudan origin were arbitrarily deprived of their right to procure National Registration Numbers without respect to the evidence that these individuals are full-fledged Sudanese citizens as governed by jus soli and jus sanguinis principles under the Sudanese Nationality Act, thus creating a situation of growing statelessness in Sudan.

We call upon the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to:

1. Urge the Government of Sudan to respect its obligations under the Sudanese constitution, regional and international human rights treaties to which Sudan is a state party, and in particular to protect the rights and freedoms of all individuals living in Sudan, especially those Sudanese citizens with South Sudanese ancestry.

2. Advise the Government of Sudan to eliminate discriminatory and arbitrary administrative measures and practices associated with the procurement of the "National Registration Number" and to facilitate the procedures for obtaining the Sudanese identity documents to all rightful citizens, especially those in Sudan's peripheral areas including the internally displaced persons in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States, without prejudice.

3. Urge the Government of Sudan to take the necessary steps to ensure that the process of national identification does not create a situation of statelessness in the country and that human dignity requires that the individual's volition of its citizens be accorded the utmost respect in matters and procedures for the authentication and establishment of national identity.

4. Urge the government of Sudan and South Sudan to expeditiously implement framework agreement on the status of nationals of other States.

Done at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 18th May 2013

5. Resolution on the Situation of Human Rights in the Republic of South Sudan

We, the participants at the 2nd Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16th-18th May 2013, within the context of the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government dedicate this session to the legacy and memory of the late Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok of Abyei.

Guided by the principles and objectives of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Bill of Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and other relevant regional and international human rights instruments;

Reaffirming the fundamental obligation of States to ensure that all individuals within their territories fully enjoy their human rights, liberties and freedoms and that States have the primary responsibility for the promotion and protection of all human rights, including civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights and the right to development;

Reaffirming also that States need to build the necessary legal and legislative framework and to eliminate any legal vacuum that could exist and create a situation in which individuals and groups are rendered vulnerable to violations of their basic rights, including killings, torture, harassment, intimidation and arbitrary arrest and detentions, and that the absence of legal safeguards enables the security officers to curtail freedoms and liberties without any judicial purview or the authority to do so; and

Acknowledging the growing challenges faced by the Republic of South Sudan in its efforts in the vital fields of state-building and institutional capacity as well as human rights education and training, affirming however, that such challenges should not be considered as pretexts for regression in the area of the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms or for the violations thereof.

We call upon the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to:

6. Condemn in the strongest terms the assassination of Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok of Abyei and urge the authorities to spare no efforts in bringing his murderers before justice.

7. Urge the Government of South Sudan to put an end to extrajudicial executions and to identify and bring to justice the security officers accused of his extrajudicial execution of journalist Isaiah Abraham.

8. Encourage the Republic of South Sudan to speed up the process of elaboration and enactment of the International Treaties Bill.

9. Urge the Republic of South Sudan to take immediate steps to adhere to the major regional and international human rights instruments, particularly the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Children, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, the International Convention against All Forms of Racial Discrimination and other relevant regional and international human rights instruments.

10. Urge the Republic of South Sudan to urgently enact laws to protect freedom of expression, media freedoms, establish and regulate the powers of the national security service, especially with regard to the arrest and detention of people, and conduct independent investigations into abuses and killings of journalists, including the assassination of the late Isaiah Abraham, to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

11. Encourage the Republic of South Sudan to accord particular attention to inculcating human rights culture - through training and education - among members of the law and order forces. This priority should be accorded to training in the area of the protection of civilian populations, the administration of justice and the rule of law, the promotion and protection of women’s human rights as well as the prevention and provision of response to gender based violence.

12. Encourage the Republic of South Sudan to seek technical assistance and cooperation with competent regional and international institutions in the field of human rights education, training and capacity-building. Furthermore encourage the Republic of South Sudan to cooperate with all national and international human rights monitoring bodies including, but not limited to, UN human rights observers, and ensure that those observers are given the freedom to investigate abuses without threat or hindrance from the government.

13. Urge the Republic of South Sudan to bring an end to abuses of human rights and rule of law, to put in place practical and effective measure to end impunity, and in particular to work towards the strengthening of the administration of justice, the judiciary, and national human rights institutions.

14. Further urge the Republic of South Sudan to initiate a public debate on the abolition of the death penalty.

Done at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 18th May 2013

5. Resolution on the UN and AU Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID)

We, the participants at the 2nd Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16th-18th May 2013, within the context of the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government dedicate this session to the legacy and memory of the late Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok of Abyei.

Noting that the AU Constitutive Act has reaffirmed faith in the dignity of the human person, in the sanctity of life, and that it condemned and rejected impunity and established the right of the AU members to intervene in the territory of any AU member State to prevent the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide;

Fully recognizing the important role played by the United Nations and African Union Hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) in providing services to the civilian populations; yet noting that UNAMID has achieved limited success in its mission of protecting civilians, facilitating the humanitarian relief operations, providing an environment conducive to the attainment of peace and security in Darfur and reporting about violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur, and that more robust action and efforts are needed in this respect;

Deeply concerned that UNAMID's “level of effort” both on the basis of soldiers per sq. km or per 1000 inhabitants is below the accepted universal average, moreover, it continues to face serious obstacles and that it has not reached its authorized capacity, both in military capability and in the deployment of competent personnel, and that such shortcomings could eventually lead to the failure of the predominately African military force and its disgraceful withdrawal;

Gravely concerned that UNAMID personnel are deliberately targeted by armed assailants in Darfur and that the attacks, which frequently take place in areas controlled by the Government of Sudan in proximity of army garrisons or security check points, have, so far, caused the death of over 43 soldiers and the injury of dozens others; meanwhile UNAMID's local staff are systematically arrested and detained by the security forces; and

Paying tribute to the fallen UNAMID personnel and to all other soldiers that were injured or maimed while on the line of duty in Darfur.

We call upon the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to:

1. Reaffirm its determination to put an end to the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and demand that the warring parties end all military operations in Darfur and that the Government ofSudan fully respects relevant UN Security Council resolutions banning military flights, disarm the militia groups and allows the delivery of relief materials to the needy populations without any obstruction.

2. Renew faith in the efforts of UNAMID, strengthen its mandate and provide it with a stronger political and diplomatic support as well as the needed military equipment, including armed vehicles and helicopters to ensure their safety and security.

3. Condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the deliberate attacks, killings, abductions and intimidation of UNAMID personnel and the disruption of their functions.

4. Request the AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council to authorize an independent panel of experts to evaluate the performance of UNAMID and to determine the obstacles faced and make public the evaluation report.

5. Request that the AU Peace and Security Council and the UN Security Council encourage UNAMID to focus on civilian protection, especially by upholding its mandate under Chapter VII of the UN Charter as outlined in relevant UNSC resolutions and in accordance with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).

6. Encourage UNAMID to initiate a grassroots and independent Darfur community dialogue and strengthen cooperation with independent civil society organizations.

7. Request the AU and UN to reconsider the peace process in Darfur and appoint an independent mediation mechanism.

Done at Addis Ababa, 18th May 2013

6. Resolution on the Report of the African Union High-Level Panel on Darfur (AUHIP)

We, the participants at the 2nd Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16th-18th May 2013, within the context of the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government dedicate this session to the legacy and memory of the late Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok of Abyei.

Taking note of the report of the AU High-Level Panel on Darfur (AUPD), as contained in Document (PSC/AHG/2(CCVII), adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council at its 207th Meeting held at the Level of Heads of State and Government in Abuja on 29 October 2009;

Welcoming the findings and recommendations contained in the AUPD's report as an authentic African intellectual contribution agreed upon by eminent African statesmen and experts, and that they represent the best policy options to comprehensively and effectively address the issues of accountability, justice and combating impunity, on the one hand, and peace, healing and reconciliation on the other;

Recalling Communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM.1(CCVII) adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council on 29 October 2009 in which the Council stressed that the AUPD's recommendations provide a sound roadmap for achieving peace, justice, reconciliation and healing in Darfur, and thereby contribute to promoting sustainable peace and stability in Sudan;

Fully endorsing the Council's decision that the AUPD's recommendations shall be the basis of the AU engagement in Darfur and its interaction with international partners;

Taking note of para. 11 (d) of Communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM.1(CCVII) in which the Peace and Security Council requested the Chairperson of the AU Commission to establish an AU High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), composed of Presidents Thabo Mbeki, Pierre Buyoya, and Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, to oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the AUPD report and to promote democratization in the country; and

Fully convinced that the AUPD report provides an important opportunity for better understanding of the root causes of violence and armed conflicts in Darfur and Sudan at large and that full and scrupulous implementation of the recommendations contained therein paves the way for sustainable peace, stability, reconciliation and justice in Sudan.

We call upon the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to:

1. Renew the mandate of the AUHIP and reaffirm its support to the full implementation of the recommendations contained in the AUPD report as a key policy option that would lead to improved security in Darfur; the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their areas of origin, and to early recovery and development programs; justice and reconciliation and eventually the conclusion of a comprehensive political agreement.

2. Request the Chairperson of the AUHIP to prepare a comprehensive work plan and to propose the necessary mechanisms, which shall include civil society’s participation, to supervise the implementation of the recommendations of the AUPD's report.

3. Urge the International Sudan Consultative Forum, currently known as the Sudan- South Sudan Consultative Forum (SSSCF), to establish a coherent policy towards a holistic resolution of the problems of Sudan that would enable the international community to coordinate its activities relating to the peace and democratization in Sudan.

4. Urge the AUHIP and the Peace and Security Council to increase their efforts in liaising with the Government of Sudan to ensure that viable conditions are established for the return of the internally displaced persons and refugees to their places of origin.

5. Urge the Government of Sudan, the opposition forces (both armed and non-violent, and civil society organizations) to foster national dialogue in order to achieve national consensus for a peaceful resolution of the conflicts and for democratic transformation.

6.

Done at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 18 May 2013

7. Resolution on the Situation in Darfur

We, the participants at the 2nd Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16th-18th May 2013, within the context of the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government dedicate this session to the legacy and memory of the late Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok of Abyei.

Considering the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), the Charter of the United Nations Organization (UN) as well as those of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other regional and international human rights instruments to which the Sudan as a state party, is legally bound to fully and effectively implement the provisions of these instruments and respect and promote the fundamental rights set therein without discrimination on any ground;

Welcoming regional and international efforts to combat impunity, to uphold fundamental justice to the victims and to maintain durable peace in Darfur, including the decision of the International Criminal Court to hold accountable individuals accused of planning, executing, condoning or encouraging the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur;

Highly appreciating efforts of the AU to address the situation in Darfur and recalling in this regard previous resolutions on Darfur adopted by the AU Assembly of Heads of States and Governments as well as those of the AU Peace and Security Council and other AU organs since the beginning of the conflict in 2003; notably Decisions: Assembly/AU/Dec.68(IV) of 31st January 2005 and Assembly/AU/ Dec.54 (III) of 8th July 2004, Communiqué PSC/AHG/Comm. (XXIII) of 10th January 2005 as well as Communiqués PSC/AHG/Comm. (LXVI) and PSC/AHG/COMM.1(CCVII) adopted by the AU Heads of State and Government on 30th November 2007 and 29th October 2009 respectively;

Deeply concerned at the ongoing grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur, in particular systematic attacks on civilians, destruction and burning of villages, aggression against internally displaced persons (IDPs) and civilians by the government security forces, including, inter alia, extra-judicial killings, forced disappearances, forced slavery, torture and detention without charges or trial as well as the lack of adequate protection of and assistance to IDPs and war-affected communities;

Utterly outraged by reports of widespread rape and other forms of sexual violence against women and girls as a means of warfare in flagrant violation of both human rights law and international humanitarian law as well as the reports of abduction and forced labor of women and children committed by the security forces and militia groups within the context of the armed conflict in Darfur;

Deeply concerned that military operations, including aerial bombardments of civilian targets and destruction of water sources as well as other grave violations of international humanitarian law are taking place in Darfur in a systematic manner despite numerous regional and international attempts to put an end to the conflict through negotiated settlement, including the signing of the Doha Document for Peace in Darfur;

We call upon the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to demand the government of Sudan to:

1. Meet its obligations under the AU Constitutive Act, the UN Charter, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and all other regional and international human rights treaties to which Sudan is a state party.

2. Stop, with immediate effect, all military activities and attacks against civilians in Darfur and end the grave violations of human and peoples’ rights, particularly, the ongoing forced depopulation of entire areas in North Darfur State of their indigenous inhabitants, and to cease all support, including the protection of and provision of weapon and other military supplies to the militia groups and other mobilization of militia.

3. Allow immediate and unconditional return of international relief organizations to Darfur and provide the necessary support to all relief agencies and organizations in order to ensure immediate, full, safe and unhindered access to the war-affected population in Darfur and facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance to civilians in need thereof.

4. Cooperate, fully and unconditionally, with the International Criminal Court in its efforts to bring to justice all persons suspected of perpetrating war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide in Darfur and to arrest and hand over such individuals.

5. We further call upon the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to:

6. Urge all States member of the AU and the UN to fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court in fulfilling its mandate, and that they arrest and hand over all persons accused of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and genocide in Darfur.

Done at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 18th May 2013

8. Resolution on the Critical Situation of Women in Sudan and South Sudan

We, the participants at the 2nd Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16th-18th May 2013, within the context of the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government dedicate this session to the legacy and memory of the late Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok of Abyei.

Upholding the Constitutive Act of the African Union, the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Bill of Human Rights, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Protocol on the Prevention and Suppression of Sexual Violence against Women and Children;

Noting the provisions of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women, and their review conferences in 2005 and 2010, as well as action of the UN Security Council, notably Resolution 1325 on Women and Peace and Security adopted by the Council on 31 October 2000 and Resolutions 1820, 1888, and 1960 that called for an end of the use of brutal acts of sexual violence against women and girls as a tactic of war and called on states and all warring parties to end the impunity of the perpetrators, and those provisions contained in numerous resolutions of the UN Human Rights Council on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women;

Fully aware that regional and international human rights treaties on the protection of women's rights incriminate and prohibit all kinds of discrimination on the basis of gender and guarantee that women and the girl child fully enjoy their rights and freedoms without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, religious or cultural believes, national or social origin;

Deeply concerned that women in Sudan face multiple forms of discrimination and violations of their fundamental rights and that such violations are consolidated by discriminatory laws, policies and practices including degrading corporal punishments as provided for in the Sudan Criminal Act of 1991 as well as the Public Order Acts enacted by different Sudanese states;

Strongly condemn the systematic violations of women’s human rights in Sudan, particularly the assault against female pro-democracy activists, students and internally displaced women from Sudan's peripheral areas and that they are subjected to extrajudicial killings, torture and corporal punishment, arrest and detention without charges or trial, abduction for sexual enslavement;

Abhorring that women in South Sudan face multiple forms of discrimination and violations of their fundamental rights, including widespread early and forced marriage, the absence of family law, limited women's political participation at all levels of government, and pervasive sexual and domestic violence.

Further abhorring reports of gender-based sexual violence faced by women in both countries, including widespread rape and sexual violence against women and girls in Darfur such as the rape of female students at Al-Fasher University in North Darfur State, committed by security forces, in particular the Border Guards and Central Reserve Police (Abu Tira), the Popular Defense Forces and government-sponsored tribal militia groups, and that during inter-tribal conflicts in South Sudan women and girls are abducted and that sexual violence in internally displaced person’s camps along the border areas in South Sudan is also prevalent;

Mindful that women and children victims of the armed conflicts in Sudan, including Darfur, Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States, as well as in South Sudan represent the overwhelming majority of the internally displaced persons and refugees, and as such they should be proportionately represented in the decision-making process concerning peace and their well-being;

We call upon the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to:

1. Condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the widespread rape and sexual violence committed by government security agents in Darfur and other areas affected by armed conflicts in Sudan and invite relevant AU institutions and United Nations agencies, funds and programs, treaty bodies and civil society actors to place special emphasis on combating rape and sexual violence in Darfur.

2. Encourage the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to eliminate all kinds of discrimination against women, in law and in practice, and to this effect, they should combat all negative social and cultural practices and repeal all federal and state legislations that infringe upon women's rights and freedoms, particularly the Public Order Acts applied in Sudan.

3. Urge the Government of Sudan to fully uphold and implement the laws and agreements, already agreed to, on women's political participation such as the quota system, the prevention and response to gender-based violence, as well as those listed in the African Charter on Human and People's Rights.

4. Urge the Government of Sudan to put an immediate end to the violations of the rights of women pro-democracy activists and to release all women currently held in government custody for political reasons as well as those held under parole.

5. Request the United Nations and African Union Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) and the UN agencies to intensify the work of the Protection Working Group (PWG) and to effectively prioritize its Integrated Strategic Framework (ISF) to combat the impunity with which the security forces commit rape and sexual violence and to protect and rehabilitate the victims.

6. Urge the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to ratify and adhere, without delay, to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa and the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other international norms concerned with protection and prevention with violence against women and their inclusion.

7. Further urge the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to ensure that women are included in key decision-making processes at all levels of local, regional, as well as at the national level.

8. Combat early and forced marriage practices in South Sudan by enacting family laws supported by appropriate advocacy as well as adequate training and education of the communities.

9. Request the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan to give priority to the training of police officers on women's rights and response to gender-based violence, increase the number of female police units and female peacekeepers in both Sudan and South Sudan, and improve the functionality of the Special Protection Units to protect women and girls in both countries.

Done at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 18th May 2013

9. Resolution on Civil Rights and Political Freedoms in Sudan

We, the participants at the 2nd Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16th-18th May 2013, within the context of the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government dedicate this session to the legacy and memory of the late Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok of Abyei.

Considering the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union, the Charter of the United Nations as well as those of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other regional and international human rights instruments to which the Sudan is a state party and that Sudan is legally bound to fully and effectively implement the provisions of these instruments, and respect and promote the human rights and fundamental freedoms set therein without discrimination on any ground;

Appreciating efforts made by the AU and its treaty bodies, including those of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Commission) to address the situation in Sudan and recalling in this regard previous resolutions adopted by the Commission on the situation in Sudan since its 35th Ordinary Session (May – June 2004), and note the failure of the government of Sudan to implement the Commission’s Concluding Observations and Recommendations on Sudan's Third Periodic Report as well as previous decisions in which the Commission, inter alia, requested the government of Sudan to abolish corporal punishment;

Welcoming regional and international efforts to combat impunity, to uphold the fundamental rights to justice for the victims of violations of human rights, international humanitarian and criminal law, and to maintain durable peace in Sudan, including the decision of the International Criminal Court to hold accountable individuals accused of planning, executing, condoning or encouraging the commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur, Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains;

Alarmed by the continuously deteriorating situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Republic of Sudan, particularly the reports of extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment of political detainees, including students, youth leaders and prodemocracy activists and the closing down of civil society organizations, the suppression of political dissidents and the right to hold public rallies and manifestations, arbitrary arrest and detention without judicial preview of political opponents, curtailment of the freedom of expression including through the article 126 of the Penal Code on apostasy, freedom of the press and the media, freedom of association and the dismantling or suspension of independent civil society in the country;

Strongly condemn reports of numerous incidents of ethnically motivated enforced disappearances committed in the regions affected by the armed conflict in Sudan, or against people originating from marginalized regions, including but not limited to the extrajudicial killings of Awaida Agabna and assassinations of students at Al Gezira University and the killings of demonstrators in Port Sudan and Kajibar, and the killing of high school students in Nyala in South Darfur State;

Noting that the construction of Merowe dam has led to the forced displacement of the inhabitants of Hamdab, Amri and Manasir areas and that the Sudanese government has announced its intention to construct the Kajbar and Dal dams shortly despite the growing protest and that Egyptian peasants are being settled in the Nubian Basin West of the Nile on the basis of the Four Freedoms Agreements between Sudan and Egypt.

We call upon the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to:

1. Urge the government of Sudan to comply with its obligations under the AU Constitutive Act, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the African Charter on Democracy, Election of Good Governance, the UN Charter and all other regional and international human rights treaties and covenants to which Sudan is a state party.

2. Urge the government of Sudan to cease all violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including extra-judicial killings and political assassinations, torture and illtreatment of detainees and safeguard personal liberties and the freedoms of the press and media as well as the freedoms of assembly and association.

3. Demand independent investigation of all cases of extrajudicial killings, including the assassination and forced disappearances of 6 students at Al Gezira University in December 2012, the assassination of 12 school students in Nyala in July 2012 and the killing of Ms. Awaida Ajabna in Khartoum, the recent killing of Mr. Sadig Abdelbagi in Omdom (Khartoum North), and bring those responsible for the commission of these crimes to justice.

4. Demand the government of Sudan implement the decisions and recommendations adopted by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, in particular to criminalize torture and all forms of violence against women, end corporal punishment such as amputation.

5. Demand that the government of Sudan revise laws regarding press freedom and freedom of conscience as stipulated in article 126 of the Sudanese Penal Code on Apostasy, and to repeal Article 22 of the National Security Act which confers on members of the security forces total immunity for the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

6. Demand the government of Sudan immediately cease death sentences, and that all persons held in its custody for political reasons or in connection with the armed conflict in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and the Blue Nile States be brought before independent courts of law and be allowed unhindered access to family members, lawyers of their choice and to medical care. All persons held without legal ground or out of judicial preview in Sudan should be released without any further delay.

7. Demand the government of Sudan stop all forms of harassments and seizure of assets against independent civil society, to reverse its decisions to close NGOs and allow independent civil society and research institutes to work freely and without interference and to ensure the safety and security of their members and staff.

8. Further demand the government of Sudan stop all types of harassments against Sudanese human rights defenders, to respect their rights as internationally recognized and allow them space to monitor, research and report on human rights situation in different parts of the country.

9. Demand that the government of Sudan respects the right of all political parties and groups to organize public rallies and activities across the country without hindrance and to stop all forms of harassment of students and youth due to their political affiliation and/or opposition to the government, including but not limited to university students from Darfur, Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile.

10. Demand the government of Sudan fulfills its obligations in combating all forms of exclusion, marginalization and discrimination and to fully implement the recommendations made by the AU High-Level Panel on Darfur, including those concerning the dispensation of justice and to expand regional and international cooperation about apprehension of all individuals accused by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Darfur.

11. Urge the government of Sudan to cease immediately the construction of dams which lead to the forced displacement of the residents of the Nubian region.

Done at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 18th May 2013

10. Resolution on the Situation in the Abyei Area

We, the participants at the 2nd Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16th-18th May 2013, within the context of the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government dedicate this session to the legacy and memory of the late Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok of Abyei.

Considering the provisions of the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and that as state parties, Sudan and the Republic of Sudan are bound to fully and effectively uphold the provisions of these instruments and to respect the decisions and resolutions adopted by these two intergovernmental organizations;

Deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation, insecurity and violence in Abyei as well as the reports of grave violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in this area, including indiscriminate military bombardment, displacement of civilian populations, looting of homes and destruction of property;

Welcoming efforts of the AU to address the situation in Abyei and recalling in this regard Communiqué PSC/MIN/COMM/3. (CCCXIX) adopted by the AU Peace and Security Council on 24 April 2012, as endorsed by UNSC Resolution 2046/2012; and that it provided for a comprehensive approach which, inter alia, set out specific timetable for the governments of Sudan and South Sudan to reach a peaceful resolution to all the outstanding postindependence issues including the final status of Abyei;

Fully convinced that lasting and sustainable peace and stability in Abyei necessitate comprehensive solutions through just and negotiated political settlement as proposed by the AUHIP on 21 September 2012, represents a fair, equitable and workable solution to the dispute between the two countries; and addresses the root causes of the conflict in the area while taking into account the needs and interests of the communities on the ground; and in this respect we commend the government of South Sudan for its cooperative attitude;

We call upon the 21 Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government to:

1. Commit to fully support the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan in their joint efforts to conduct an independent investigation of the killing of the Paramount Chief Kuol and UN Peacekeeper which took place in the Abyei area on 4 May 2013.

2. Endorse the decision of the Abyei Joint Oversight Commission of 2nd May 2013 in which the two governments agreed to completely demilitarize the Abyei area.

3. Condemn any new settlement in the Abyei area that seeks to fundamentally alter the demographic composition of the area.

4. Acknowledge that steps towards the interim governing arrangements in the absence of a final status resolution could be counterproductive and deeply destabilizing to the tense situation in the Abyei area.

5. Call upon the UNSC to review, strengthen and expand the mandate of UNISFA in order to be able to address the current challenges in Abyei area and to fulfill the request for troop increase as made by UNISFA force commander to expand the capacity by 1,126 troops.

6. Expand UNISFA policing capabilities and civilian protection in line with existing mandate and adjust rules of engagement.

7. Support and conduct civic education campaign on the content of the AUHIP proposal; and Assist in disarmament campaign in line with the AJOC May 2, 2013 decision.

8. Immediately endorse the AUHIP 21st September 2012 Proposal on the final status of Abyei and to start with immediate formation of Abyei Referendum as per the AUHIP proposal on Abyei.

9. Mobilize the international community to assist in the safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees from the Abyei area and to support the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Abyei area including the needs and rights of the Arab nomads.

Done at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 18th May 2013

11. Resolution on Civil Society: Current Situation and Recommendations

We, the participants at the 2nd Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16th-18th May 2013, within the context of the 21st Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Government dedicate this session to the legacy and memory of the late Paramount Chief Kuol Deng Majok.

Welcoming the commitment and actions of local, regional and international Sudan focused civil society organizations to peace building, democratic transformation, justice and respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan;

Applauding the continuation of the Civil Society Forum on Sudan and South Sudan as an independent venue for dialogue on issues of peace, conflict prevention and democratic transformation in Sudan and South Sudan

Acknowledging the efforts of civil society in Sudan and South Sudan in promoting a culture of peace, respect for human rights, the rule of law, good governance and democracy;

Recognizing the importance of this Forum in providing the space for civil society to work together to achieve our common objectives of promoting a culture of peace, tolerance, respect for human rights, the rule of law, good governance and democracy in Sudan and South Sudan;

Deeply Concerned by the delay in the peace processes and political negotiations to resolve the post-cessation issues between Sudan and South Sudan and that the absence of an expeditious resolution of the outstanding questions represents a real threat to peace and good neighbourhood between the two nations;

Strongly condemning the systematic rape of women and children, denial of access to humanitarian assistance as well as the deterioration of humanitarian situation and the complete breakdown of the rule of law; and

Condemning the closing down of independent civil society organizations in Sudan as well as the ongoing campaign of repression against human rights defenders and pro-democracy activists.

We, hereby, commit ourselves as Sudanese and Sudan and South Sudan-focused regional and international civil society organizations to:

1. Harmonize our activities at the local, regional and international levels in order to exert pressure on the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan.

2. To cooperate with regional and international actors with a view to realizing lasting and durable peace in the two countries. To do this, we commit ourselves to support the Arrest of Omar Al-Bashir Campaign as well as other suspects.

3. Coordinate our efforts and jointly organize public events, side meetings, seminars and other relevant activities in order to build relationships with the AU Commission, IGAD countries, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, AU Peace and Security Council and other AU organs such as the Pan African Parliament, UN organs.This could include using momentum generated by the AU’s 50th anniversary and Decade of Women to maximize our campaign.

4. Support each other and work effectively in order to be as strategic and to make as much impact as possible. This could include creating an online focal point, such as a common website or social media hub.

5. Make effective use of and support the Livingstone Formula to ensure that civil society is able to directly address and critically engage with policy-makers at the continental African level as well as at the international level.

6. Work together to support constitution building and transitional justice processes within both countries and to share solidarity and lessons learnt from other African nations emerging from similar circumstances.

7. Ensure all stakeholders within civil society are included in our joint work, including members of the youth movement.

8. Disseminate information on the situation within Sudan and South Sudan in a timely manner across our civil society community, to the regional and international media and to key policymakers.

Done in Addis Ababa, 18th May, 2013

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