Norway welcomes the report of the Independent Expert on the human rights situation in Sudan. The report provides comprehensive and balanced insight into key developments and challenges in the Sudan and South Sudan. Norway fully endorses the recommendations provided to both governments as well as to the UN and the international community.
Norway commends the governments of the Sudan and South Sudan for their efforts to organize the referendum in January this year – a key provision of the CPA – as well as for the commitment by both sides to respect its outcome.
As Sudan and South Sudan now have entered a new era, we urge the authorities in both states to seize this opportunity to strengthen fundamental human rights in the laws now being drafted and revised and to foster a political culture which allows the citizens to freely exercise their legitimate social and political rights. In our view several aspects of the human rights situation in both countries need to be addressed and monitored.
Norway strongly supports the territorial integrity and stability of Sudan. Norway holds that protection of human rights and the expansion of democratic space and practices, as the recent elections and referendum demonstrate, constitute a sustainable example on how to overcome the violent internal conflicts that are going on in South Kordofan, the Blue Nile, Abyei and Darfur.
Norway stands ready to support Sudan to achieve stability, economic growth and prosperity. Implementation of the UN’s recommendations improving the human rights situation in Sudan is an important element in creating a stable and democratic society.
We would like to underline that we fully share the concerns by the independent expert regarding the reports on serious violations of international criminal and humanitarian law in Sudan. The current situation is serious. The first immediate steps to be taken should include opening full humanitarian access for the UN to all parts of Darfur, the Blue Nile, Abyei and South Kordofan. Equally important is protection of the civilian population in conflict areas. We stress the need for solving ongoing conflicts through negotiations in order to achieve peaceful solutions to political problems.
Armed clashes in South Sudan represent serious breaches of human rights obligations. This is a situation of deep concern and conflicts must be resolved peacefully. We are aware that South Sudan has little capacity to dispense justice through the formal system, which is one reason for wide spread impunity. Concerns are also linked to sexual and gender-based violence, forced marriages and abduction of women and children.
The report of the Independent Expert confirms that the realization of fundamental rights and freedoms remains a challenge in both countries which requires continued follow up from governments on both sides, as well as from the international community.
In light of this Norway would like to see a renewal of the mandate of the Independent Expert for Sudan, as well as a new mandate for technical assistance and capacity building in South Sudan, in order to facilitate further progress in the field of human rights.