Leading Members of Sudanese Civil Society Call for National Conference

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Michael Stulman (202) 546-7961

Leading Members of Sudanese Civil Society Call for National Conference

Africa Action Supports the Call for Peace, Justice and Democracy in Sudan

WASHINGTON - Representatives
of independent Sudanese
civil society organizations, media and rights activists
called on Sudanese government, political actors and civil society
members to
urgently convene a conference to discuss the crisis brought on by the
Sudanese
government’s reaction to the charges brought by the Prosecutor of the
International Criminal Court against the President of Sudan.

In a statement
presented at a press conference in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, civil
society, media and rights activists said reactions within Sudan to the
possible
indictment of President Bashir by the International Criminal Court
(ICC) had
“generated confusion and uncertainty”
forcing the Government into confrontation with both its own people and
the
international community.  There was an
urgent need as a result for all
political forces within Sudan to come together to discuss the
situation
“holistically” with the support of those “regional and international
stakeholders directly contributing to peace, justice and democracy.”  

According to the
statement, the proposed conference is a response to several
concerns about the direction Sudan is
heading at this critical crossroads, just two years before the CPA
interim
period will expire. The statement calls explicitly for the beginning of
“a
comprehensive process for reconciliation and healing throughout Sudan,”
noting
in particular that there had “yet to be a genuine peace process for
Darfur that
addresses the rights of Darfurians and brings them justice.” 

The statement describes the core
objective of
the conference as “a broad
consensus
within Sudan on a course of action that will lead Sudan out of its
current
crisis” rooted within the framework of the
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). This is expected to include
agreement on a practical strategy to “consolidate peace processes and
democratic transition; ensure a just and comprehensive solution to the
Darfur
crisis; respond to the demands of the marginalized regions in a genuine
federal
system; and address chronic social problems such as poverty, poor
living
conditions for displaced persons, unemployment, corruption, gender and
racial
discrimination.”

Today’s call for the conference
comes at a time of increasing
crackdown by Sudanese authorities on those perceived to support the
ICC. In
November, three human rights activist were arrested and two of them
seriously
tortured by government security agents. In December, security agents
arrested
and questioned a prominent member of an opposition party.

Participants in the press
conference emphasized that the civil
society initiative has the support of the silent majority of Sudanese,
including political parties, who are terrified by the NCP’s reactions
to the
ICC. The initiative representatives at the press conference expressed
the hope
that both the proposal itself, and the courage required to launch the
initiative, would contribute to a new momentum and challenge the
current
stalemate. They called on “all democratic voices” at home and abroad,
to lend
their support to the initiative. Speakers at the conference concluded,
“We know
the only way forward is to openly discuss these issues and transform
challenges
into a window of hope.”

For more
information please contact:

In Sudan: Alhaj Warrag @
+249-913666992
In Uganda: Monim Elgak @ +256-753120253
In United States: Michael Stulman +1 202
546 7961

www.africaaction.org
www.darfurconsortium.org/

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Africa Action is a national organization that works for political, economic and social justice in Africa. Through the provision of accessible information and analysis combined with the mobilization of public pressure we work to change the policies and policy-making processes of U.S. and multinational institutions toward Africa. The work of Africa Action is grounded in the history and purpose of its predecessor organizations, the American Committee on Africa (ACOA), The Africa Fund, and the Africa Policy Information Center (APIC), which have fought for freedom and justice in Africa since 1953. Continuing this tradition, Africa Action seeks to re-shape U.S. policy toward African countries.

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