ADRA Adventist Development and Relief Agency
AI Amnesty International
AMIS African Union Mission in Sudan
ANPPCAN African Network for the Prevention and Protection Against Child Abuse and Neglect
AU African Union
CAC Children and Armed Conflict
CEAWC Committee for the Elimination of Abduction of Women and Children
CFC Ceasefire Commission
CPA Comprehensive Peace Agreement
CPAs Child Protection Advisors
CPMT Civilian Protection Monitoring Team
CPU Child Protection Unit
DDR Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration
DPA Darfur Peace Agreement
DPAA Darfur Peace and Accountability Act
ERW Explosive Remnants of War
EU European Union
FGM Female Genital Mutilation
GBV Gender-Based Violence
GoNU Government of National Unity
GoS Government of Sudan
GoSS Government of Southern Sudan
HRW Human Rights Watch
HSBA Human Security Baseline Assessment
ICC International Criminal Court
ICG International Crisis Group
IDMC Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre
IDP Internally Displaced Person
IGAD Intergovernmental Authority on Development
INGO International Nongovernmental Organization
INEE Interagency Network for Education in Emergencies
IRC International Rescue Committee
JEM Justice and Equality Movement
JRS Jesuit Refugee Service
LRA Lord’s Resistance Army
MAG Mines Advisory Group
MRE Mine Risk Education
MRM Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism
MSF Médecins Sans Frontières
Doctors Without Borders
NCCW National Council for Child Welfare
NGO Nongovernmental Organization
NMAA National Mine Action Authority
OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
OHCHR Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
OIOS Office for Internal Oversight Services
OMCT Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture
World Organization Against Torture
PHR Physicians for Human Rights
RALS Rapid Assessment of Learning Spaces
RI Refugees International
SAF Sudanese Armed Forces
SLA Sudan Liberation Army
SLA-AW Abdul Wahed’s Faction of the Sudan Liberation Army
SLA/M Sudan Liberation Army/Movement
SLA-MM Minni Minawi’s Faction of the Sudan Liberation Army
SNAP Sudan National AIDS Programme
SOAT Sudan Organisation Against Torture
SPDF Sudan People’s Defense Force
SPLA Sudan People’s Liberation Army
SPLM/A Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army
SRSG Special Representative to the Secretary-General
SSDF South Sudan Defense Forces
SSIM/A Southern Sudan Independence Movement/Army
SSUM South Sudan Unity Movement
STI Sexually Transmitted Infection
SUDO Sudan Social Development Organization
UN United Nations
UNAIDS Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIFEM United Nations Development Fund for Women
UNMAO United Nations Mine Action Office
UNMIS United Nations Mission in Sudan
UNSC United Nations Security Council
USAID U.S. Agency for International Development
UXO Unexploded Ordnance
VCT Voluntary Counseling and Testing
WCRWC Women’s Commission for Refugee Women & Children
WFP World Food Programme
WHO World Health Organization
All of Sudan
Estimated 36.2 million, total (World Bank, 2005)
Estimated 7.5 million
(Towards a Baseline, 2004)
Estimated 6 million
(No recent elections have been held in southern Sudan)
(No recent elections have been held in Darfur)
Gross National Income (GNI) per Capita
(World Bank, 2005)
(Towards a Baseline, 2004)
Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)
Estimated 343,600 Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, October 2006)
Estimated 5 million IDPs
Over 200,000 refugees from Darfur in Chad
Estimated 1.8 million IDPs in Darfur
Infant Mortality (under 1)
(Towards a Baseline, 2004)
116/1,000 males, 96/1,000 females
Estimated 1.6% prevalence rate (UNAIDS, WHO and UNICEF, end of 2005)
(Towards a Baseline, 2004)
50% male and 42% female primary school enrollment (UNICEF, 2000–2004)
20% primary school enrollment
(Towards a Baseline, 2004)
Estimated 28% of school-age children (approximately 167,241) in school (UNICEF, 2005)
Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
Conflict-related GBV, including sexual slavery of women and children, rape by military forces, sexual exploitation and forced marriage, is known to be a widespread problem in Sudan. FGM and non-conflict-related sexual violence are also problems.
Conflict-related and post-conflict incidents of GBV have been known to occur in the South.
Prevalence information, however, is scant. Social stigma has likely prevented many survivors from seeking crucial support and services.
Armed groups and forces have subjected girls and women from Darfur to a brutal and systematic campaign of rape and sexual violence. Prevalence information, however, is scant.
Landmines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW)
Mines and ERW are believed to affect 21 of 26 states in Sudan, and UN and national authorities estimate mines or ERW affect up to one-third of the country, with the vast majority located in the South and central Sudan. (Landmine Monitor 2006)
There have been no recent serious allegations of landmine use since the signing of the CPA; UXO remain a problem.
(Landmine Monitor 2006)
Landmine use is not indicated in Darfur and UXO remains a problem.
(Landmine Monitor 2006)
One of the largest build-ups of small arms in the world. Young people, especially males, are heavily armed for military and other purposes.
Widespread presence of unregulated small arms and light weapons. Residents of the South, particularly of the Lakes State, are heavily armed.
Heavy flow of arms from southern Sudan and Chad into Darfur. Government and rebel groups are heavily armed.
UN and EU have active arms embargos on Darfur.
All armed groups in Sudan are known to forcibly recruit children under age 18. Children remain in the ranks of the SAF and are associated with rebel groups and government-backed and tribal militias. (S/2006/662)
Credible evidence that the SSUM and SPLA continue to recruit or use children. Militias that have not joined the CPA continue to recruit in southern Sudan and Khartoum. (S/2006/662)
An estimated 1,000 children have been released since the CPA.
Government-backed militias, JEM, SLA, Chadian opposition forces and Camel Police recruit and use children in Darfur. (S/2006/662)
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict
Optional Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
· Signed (2002)
· Not Signed
· Ratified (2005)
· Acceded (2004)
Other Treaties Ratified
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination; Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and Protocol; Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (signed)
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (acceded 2003); Mine Ban Treaty (ratified 2003)
United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Sudan
United Nations Security Council had not debated the situation in Sudan.
1714 (October 2006), 1713 (September 2006), 1709 (September 2006), 1706 (August 2006), 1679 (May 2006), 1672 (April 2006), 1665 (March 2006), 1663 (March 2006), 1651 (December 2005), 1627 (September 2005), 1593 (March 2005), 1591 (March 2005), 1590 (March 2005), 1588 (March 2005), 1585 (March 2005), 1574 (November 2004), 1564 (September 2004), 1556 (July 2004), 1547 (June 2004)
United Nations Security Council Resolutions on Children and Armed Conflict
1460 (January 2003), 1379 (November 2001), 1314 (August 2000), 1261 (August 1999)
1612 (July 2005), 1539 (April 2004)
The protection and well-being of children and youth in Sudan are at a crucial juncture. While children in the South are enjoying increased protection and access to services, those in Darfur and other areas of Sudan are enduring unspeakable acts of violence and abuse.
Humanitarian agencies in Darfur operate in an extremely volatile environment that poses significant operational challenges and threatens the security of civilians and humanitarian personnel. Government policies that restrict the movement of humanitarian workers and attacks and threats by armed forces and groups have stymied aid operations throughout Sudan, particularly in Darfur, in the East and around Khartoum.
Watchlist is concerned about apparent deliberate efforts by the Government to suppress information and prevent agencies from collecting and disseminating details on attacks against children and their protection needs, particularly in Darfur and the East. These efforts prevented many reliable experts working in Sudan from contributing information to this report, as they expressed concern about the safety of staff and beneficiaries of programs and potential retributive attacks or threats. As a result, some pertinent information related to the well-being of children in Sudan was not included.
Access to information on violations against children is also limited by chronic insecurity. As a result, some sections of this report may detail attacks perpetrated by only a few armed groups. This does not imply greater culpability but reflects instead the limited access to information. Many actors in Sudan have acknowledged that all parties to the conflict have violated children’s rights.
In this report, Watchlist has included information on violations against children in Sudan in each of the major categories identified by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1612 (2005) on Children and Armed Conflict. These violations include killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abduction, denial of humanitarian assistance, attacks on schools, and recruitment and use of children by armed forces and groups. In addition, various other violations, such as forced displacement and torture, also continue to be committed against children and their families.
The following are highlights of Watchlist’s findings:
Killing and Maiming
While most areas of the South have enjoyed improved security, extreme violence and fighting have continued in Darfur, recently escalating since mid-2006. Armed forces and groups operating in Darfur continue to kill and maim children and youth, and humanitarian agencies have documented cases of armed groups shooting, mutilating and torturing children.
Rape and Other Forms of Sexual Violence against Children
Prevalence rates of rape and other forms of sexual violence in Sudan are unknown and difficult to determine given fear and stigma that surrounds reporting, retributive action taken against women and girls who do report, customary and statutory laws that penalize the survivor and humanitarian agencies’ limited or total inability to provide related services for survivors in many parts of Sudan, particularly in the East and Darfur. However, it is widely believed that rates of sexual violence throughout Sudan are high.
In Darfur, incidents of sexual violence are reportedly perpetrated by all armed groups in the region and are often extremely brutal. Sexual violence is used by Arab militias in Darfur and Chad as a tool to subjugate and humiliate non-Arab girls and women, and acts of sexual violence are often accompanied by racial epithets and other degrading comments.
Denial of Access to Humanitarian Aid
While the delivery of humanitarian aid has improved in some parts of Sudan, humanitarian agencies operating in Darfur continue to face challenges in providing much-needed assistance to civilians. Bureaucratic obstacles and complicated administrative procedures imposed by the government further impede the delivery of humanitarian goods and services, while armed forces and groups in Darfur have repeatedly attacked aid agencies. Attacks have included looting property, carjacking humanitarian vehicles, stealing and/or destroying humanitarian goods, confiscating vehicles, harassing expatriates and national staff and levying illegal taxes on humanitarian goods. These attacks have forced some agencies to withdraw from some parts of Darfur or from the region altogether, leaving hundreds of thousands without access to life-saving support and assistance.
Attacks on Schools and Hospitals
While attacks on schools have waned in the South, southern Sudan continues to have the lowest school enrollment rates in the world, with an estimated 25 percent of primary school-age children enrolled in school. Attacks on schools in other areas of Sudan, particularly Darfur, have increased. Schools, students and teachers in Darfur have been attacked by various armed groups and many schools have been forced to close, contributing to the limited education opportunities for children in Darfur.
Reports of recent attacks on hospitals and healthcare facilities in the South are sparse. However, despite the relative abatement of attacks, the South still lacks an adequate health infrastructure and qualified health personnel, with only one doctor for every 100,000 people and one primary healthcare center for every 79,500 people. Attacks on hospitals, medical facilities, medical staff and humanitarian agencies are frequent in Darfur. These attacks have severely hampered access to healthcare, and aid agencies estimate that only 40 to 50 percent of people in Darfur have access to health services.
Armed groups operating in Sudan and in border areas have abducted children to serve as combatants. The LRA is estimated to have abducted over 16,000 Ugandan and Sudanese refugee children, while refugee children in Chad have been abducted by Chadian and Sudanese armed groups and forces.
Girls in Darfur have also been specific targets of abduction by armed groups. Many girls in Darfur are abducted during attacks on their villages and once abducted, may be gang-raped, often multiple times by each perpetrator. Many girls are held in these conditions for a period of a few days and then released, often naked, to find their own way. Some abductions last for months or result in forced marriages.
Children Associated with Armed Forces and Groups
Reports indicate that most armed groups in Sudan, particularly the Janjaweed, Justice and Equality (JEM), South Sudan Unity Movement (SSUM), Sudan Liberation Army (SLA) and Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), recruit and use children. While the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) continue to deny the presence of children in their units, SAF representatives have acknowledged that there are children in other armed groups that have recently been incorporated into their forces. Recruitment of children has declined in southern Sudan, although militias that were not party to the CPA initiated recruitment drives prior to their incorporation into the SPLA or the SAF to bolster their negotiating power. Sudanese militias have also recruited children and other civilians amongst refugee populations in Chad.
In addition to the six egregious violations identified by the United Nations Security Council, Sudanese children continue to face a spectrum of other violence and abuses. These include forced displacement, forced labor and trafficking for labor and sexual purposes. Sudanese girls have been trafficked within and out of Sudan to serve as commercial sexual workers while others have been trafficked to work as domestic servants. Boys as young as four or five years old have been trafficked to Arab Gulf countries to work as camel jockeys and beggars. Children and young people are further threatened by violence and insecurity due to the presence of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) and the widespread availability of small arms and light weapons throughout Sudan.
In this report, the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict makes urgent recommendations to the authorities of the Government of National Unity (GoNU), the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) and the Government of the Republic of Chad; all armed groups operating in Sudan; the UN Security Council; the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS); the humanitarian community in Sudan; and donors. Of primary importance, Watchlist calls on all armed forces and groups operating in Sudan to immediately halt violations against children. Additionally, all actors must take immediate action to protect children and young people in Sudan from further abuse and to find ways to assist and support those who have suffered the consequences of decades of armed conflict.
North-South Sudan Conflict
Sudan’s two-decade civil war, waged mostly between the Government of Sudan in the North and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in the South, was one of the world’s longest-running wars. In January 2005, the warring parties signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement putting an end to direct hostilities (see below: North-South Peace Process). Experts estimate that the war caused over 2 million deaths either directly or indirectly by famine, illness and other threatening situations, though this number has recently been called into question. The war encompassed North-South hostilities and various localized conflicts within different regions. Religion, ethnic identity, colonial history, land, food and desire for control over natural resources, particularly oil, water and grazing land, all played a role in the outbreak and perpetuation of the armed conflict.
Both government forces and armed opposition groups committed massive violations against Sudanese children and other civilians throughout the war years. Parties to the conflict committed egregious violations against children in all areas identified by the UN Security Council in its Resolution 1612 on Children and Armed Conflict (CAC), including killing and maiming of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence against children, denial of access to humanitarian aid, attacks on schools and hospitals, abductions of children and recruitment and use of child soldiers, as well as many other violations, including torture, forced slavery, forced displacement and others.
North-South Peace Process
In January 2005, the Government of Sudan (GoS) and the SPLM signed a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), putting an end to more than 20 years of war between North and South Sudan. The CPA was negotiated over a three-year period with facilitation by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The CPA provides for a six-year interim period, at the end of which the people of southern Sudan will hold a referendum on whether they wish to remain part of a united Sudan, under the government system established by the CPA, or if they wish to secede.
The CPA provided for the restructuring of the GoS, including the adoption of an interim national constitution, the establishment of a Government of National Unity (GoNU) and a semi-autonomous authority in the South known as the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS). Under the one-country, two-system model, the North and South share power, resources and wealth but maintain separate armies. The president of the GoS, General Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, became president of the GoNU while the first vice presidency was assumed by the leader of the SPLM, Dr. John Garang de Mabior, later replaced by Salva Kiir Mayardit. In June 2005, the GoNU and the National Democratic Alliance, composed of SPLM/A and smaller northern-based parties and armed groups, signed an additional peace agreement.
CPA also required all non-legal militias, referred to as “other armed groups” in the agreement, to join either the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) or the SPLA by January 9, 2006. Many non-legal armed groups have followed this regulation. Yet, incorporation into the SAF and the SPLA has been partial and inadequate overall, resulting in continued instability and insecurity in the South. In November 2006, fighting erupted in Malakal between government forces and the SPLA resulting in the deaths of at least 150 people, including 50 civilians, and injuring approximately 400. This incident marked the heaviest fighting between the SPLA and GoNU forces since the signing of the CPA. Insecurity in the South has also led some pastoralist communities to maintain defense forces, such as the White Army, linked to the Lou clan of Nuer ethnic group, in order to protect livestock.
Overall, implementation of the CPA has been extremely slow and difficult. While the agreement ended one of Africa’s longest-running wars, it only encompassed two parties to the conflict, resulting in a lack of broad support throughout the country, according to the International Crisis Group (ICG), Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement: The Long Road Ahead, March 2006. As the international community has shifted attention to the dire situation in Darfur it has failed to remain deeply engaged in the implementation of the CPA, allowing various parties to exploit gaps in the CPA, fuel underlying ethnic tensions and hamper efficient implementation.
Though conflict has long plagued the region of Darfur, the current conflict began in February 2003 when two rebel movements, the Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (SLA/M) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) emerged, calling for an end to the government’s political and socioeconomic marginalization of Darfur. In 2006, the SLA/M leadership split at the highest levels on dissension over signing a peace accord with the GoNU (see below: Darfur Peace Process), resulting in the formation of two separate SLA factions of the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA), one led by Minni Minawi (SLA-MM) and the other by Abdul Wahed (SLA-AW).
Beginning as early as 2002, rebel groups launched attacks on over 80 police stations and military posts, killing several hundred policemen and creating a security vacuum, especially in rural areas. In response to these assaults, the Government of Sudan responded with disproportionate counterattacks and launched a campaign of repression that targeted the civilian population of Darfur. Sudanese military and paramilitary forces began carrying out a bloody policy against these ethnic populations, which included killings, sexual violence and burning of villages.
As part of the government campaign to suppress the rebel movements, the government-backed Janjaweed militia, often in coordination with Sudanese soldiers, continues to commit systematic human rights violations against children and other civilians in Darfur. Government forces have used Antonov aircraft, MiG fighter jets and helicopter gunships to bomb villages, kill civilians and force people to flee their homes, increasing levels of death and injuries in a more horrific and accelerated version of what had already happened in many parts of southern Sudan, according to Amnesty International (AI), Sudan: Arming the Perpetrators of Grave Abuses in Darfur, November 2004. Government aircraft are also used in reconnaissance to support ground attacks by government-backed militias.
Violations committed by government forces and allied militias against children and other civilians have included extra-judicial executions, unlawful killings, torture, rape and other forms of sexual violence, abduction, destruction of property, looting of cattle and property, destruction of means of livelihood and forced displacement, according to AI, Sudan: Rape as a Weapon of War, July 2004. Girls and women have specifically been targets of abduction, sexual slavery, torture and forced displacement. Scores of children have been separated from their families.
By the end of 2004, nearly 2 million people from Darfur had been uprooted from their homes due to the armed conflict. Many fled to other parts of Darfur while others sought safety over the border in Chad. The exact number of those who have been killed is difficult to calculate, however estimates range from 60,000 to 400,000, including those who have died as a direct or indirect result of the armed conflict, according to Physicians for Human Rights (PHR). In November 2006, President al-Bashir stated, responding to a recently released UN report on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Darfur, that the number of deaths had not yet reached 9,000.
In addition to violations against children perpetrated in the course of fighting between government forces, militia and rebels, grave violations have also been committed in the course of fighting between rebel groups and among rebel factions. In an incident in September 2006, fighters loyal to non-signatory rebel groups used mortars and heavy weaponry to attack an SLA faction near Gereida in Southern Darfur, killing approximately 40 people and forcing three major humanitarian organizations to temporarily suspend operations in the area.
Since January 2006, violence in Darfur has reached new levels of intensity and frequency, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Sudanese military tactics now includes broad aerial bombings to clear villages of civilians, followed by looting and violence by ground troops and militia. Refugees fleeing Northern Darfur have reported frequent aerial bombardments by government planes and helicopter gunships, before, during and after Janjaweed attacks. Similar reports have also been recorded in Southern and Western Darfur. In Gereida, Southern Darfur, well over 20 villages were attacked between January and April 2006 by armed militia and/or government forces, according to OHCHR. From August to September 2006, a brutal campaign likely resulting in several hundred civilian deaths, including many children, was conducted by militia groups in the Buram locality of Southern Darfur with the knowledge and material support of the government authorities.
Most of the widespread, systematic and grave violations perpetrated by various armed groups against children and other civilians, mainly of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethnic groups and other agro-pastoralist groups in Darfur, have been committed in an environment of utter impunity. Although the UN Security Council has referred the situation in Darfur to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the GoNU has rejected the ICC’s jurisdiction and denied ICC investigators access to Darfur. The GoNU has since established a special national criminal court to look into grave rights violations committed in Darfur. However, the selection of cases to be investigated appears subjective, ignoring some of the more serious crimes, and sentences in some cases have not reflected the gravity of the crime committed.
Darfur Peace Process
On April 8, 2004, the GoS, SLA and JEM signed a cease-fire agreement for the armed conflict in Darfur, which included the establishment of an international Ceasefire Commission (CFC) to monitor the agreement. The CFC eventually led to the deployment of the African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS). Despite these steps, violence continued to rage in Darfur.
On May 5, 2006, the GoNU and SLA-MM signed the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA). SLA-AW and JEM officially rejected the DPA, arguing that it does not provide sufficient individual compensation for people affected by the conflict and that it does not provide the people of Darfur with sufficient political representation. On June 8, 2006, another group of rebel leaders, including some formerly associated with SLA-AW and JEM signed a Declaration of Commitment to the DPA. The signing of the DPA sparked an outbreak of protests by IDPs who support JEM or SLA-AW across Darfur, revealing the widespread dissatisfaction with the content of the DPA and the desire for greater international intervention in Darfur.
Armed conflict and violations against children and other civilians have continued to rage in Darfur despite the signing of the DPA and the Declaration of Commitment to the DPA. On June 30, 2006, members of JEM and the Sudan Federal Democratic Alliance and the Deputy Chairman of SLA-AW founded the National Redemption Front and signed a declaration opposing the DPA. Abdul Wahid, the leader of the SLA-AW faction, did not sign the declaration.
Throughout the second half of 2006, various rebel factions merged and split and several new rebel movements were formed. Furthermore, the command and control structures of some movements continued to be ambiguous and fractured. This has created complications in implementing cease-fire and peace agreements and made negotiations with some groups extremely difficult. The continuous shifting of allegiances between armed groups in Darfur and subsequent insecurity in the region has stymied the provision of basic services for children and their families and effective implementation of child protection programs.
Eastern Sudan Conflict
In eastern Sudan, various political parties and armed movements began using violence to protest their perceived historical marginalization by the central Sudanese government in the mid-1990s. The two largest groups leading this movement are the Beja Congress, representing the Beja people, and the Free Lions, representing the Al Rashayidah people. In January 2005, these two groups merged to create the Eastern Front, which is both a political party and an armed group. The Government responded with efforts to undercut the Eastern Front, such as using divide-and-rule policies and creating tribal militias. Government policies in eastern Sudan have made it extremely difficult to express grievances through normal political channels, according to ICG, Sudan: Saving Peace in the East, January 2006.
In March 2005, the UN worked with the Eastern Front to achieve an agreement to suspend hostilities. However, negotiations broke down and fighting again accelerated. By early 2006, both the government and the armed opposition had perpetrated new, violent attacks. In one incident in January 2006, the government used artillery and aircraft to bomb the Eastern Front headquarters near the town of Hamesh Koreb, allegedly killing at least two children.
In June 2006, the Eastern Front and the government agreed to a cease-fire and signed a Declaration of Principles, agreeing to lift the state emergency in eastern Sudan, to release prisoners of war and to refrain from conducting hostile media campaigns. On October 15, 2006, after months of negotiations, both sides signed a power and resource sharing agreement confirming that representatives from eastern Sudan will be permitted to hold positions in the central government.
Sudan-Uganda Border: Lord’s Resistance Army
The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is a northern Ugandan rebel group that has committed countless atrocities against civilians in northern Uganda and southern Sudan for over 20 years. The LRA is estimated to have abducted over 16,000 Ugandan and Sudanese refugee children. Both adults and children have been abducted as war booty and forced to become soldiers, porters, laborers and sex slaves for the rebels. Reports describe rebels forcing child captives to kill, cook and eat human flesh; sew infants into the bellies of cows to suffocate them; and commit acts of brutality against other children and adults. Girls have been held as sex slaves and subsequently become pregnant and contract HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Children who have attempted to escape have been killed with clubs and other weapons in front of the others to discourage future attempts.
The GoS was a longtime supporter of the LRA, while the Government of Uganda had been known to support the SPLM/A for many years. In 2001, under international pressure, the GoS disavowed its support for the LRA and pledged to seek the release of the abducted children, though ultimately these actions did not win the release of the children. In 2005, the LRA increased its presence in southern Sudan, raiding Loka and Lainya on the Yei-Juba road and launching an attack for the first time in Western Equatoria.
Northern Uganda Peace Process
In late 2004, LRA and Ugandan government officials began peace talks, but the initiative broke down early in 2005. Another cease-fire in April 2005 lasted only 18 days. In September 2005, the ICC, with support from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, issued indictments for five senior LRA officials, including the LRA’s chief, Joseph Kony. The indictments were met with minimal support from the local community in northern Uganda, which had long advocated for an amnesty policy and traditional reconciliation mechanisms as the quickest means to restoring peace in the North.
In December 2005, the LRA leadership and the government once again agreed to revive the peace process, although the LRA continued its brutal attacks on civilians. On August 26, 2006, the parties signed the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in Juba, southern Sudan, with facilitation by Riek Machar, vice president of the GoSS. The agreement included a provision for the cessation of military action by both the Ugandan army and the LRA and other activities that could undermine peace negotiations. It also required the LRA rebels to assemble in two designated zones in southern Sudan (Owiny Ki-Bul in Eastern Equatoria and Ri-Kwangba in Western Equatoria) within three weeks of the signing of the agreement. It required southern Sudan’s SPLA to monitor and protect these assembly sites, and required the Ugandan government to ensure the LRA’s safe passage to the designated zones and to allow the LRA rebels to leave the zones peacefully if the peace talks should fail.
The provisions of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement have been fraught with difficulties, such as disagreements about rescinding the ICC indictments and allegations by both sides of staging attacks against them.
Nevertheless, a new phase of the peace talks began in September 2006 with the goals of reaching a comprehensive solution that would cover the LRA’s participation in national politics and institutions, the social and economic development of northern and eastern Uganda, the resettlement of IDPs and the demobilization of LRA rebels.
This phase of the talks has proceeded slowly, yielding limited results due to ongoing accusations and counteraccusations of truce violations by both parties to the conflict. Citing concerns about attacks and government-plotted ambushes around assembly points in southern Sudan, the LRA withdrew from the peace process, bringing the talks to a standstill until December 2006. On December 17, 2006, the parties signed an addendum to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, extending the cease-fire to February 28, 2007, and obliging the LRA to assemble within one month in the two neutral assembly points identified in the original Cessation of Hostilities agreement. However, on January 3 and 4, 2007, the LRA allegedly led two attacks in southern Sudan, killing 13 people. At the time of writing, no further information was available on these attacks.
On March 24, 2005, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1590, which established the UN’s peacekeeping operation in Sudan, United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), and tasked it with supporting the GoNU and the SPLM in implementing the CPA. UNMIS, which grew out of the United Nations Advanced Mission in Sudan (UNAMIS), is also tasked with facilitating the voluntary return of refugees and IDPs, providing demining assistance and contributing towards international efforts to protect and promote human rights in Sudan. While Resolution 1590 authorized UNMIS to deploy up to 10,000 military personnel and an appropriate civilian component as well as civilian police, the more recent Resolution 1706, adopted in August 2006, increased UNMIS’s potential strength to 27,300 military personnel plus additional civilian staff. As of November 2006, UNMIS staff included approximately 10,000 uniformed personnel, including 8,732 troops, 611 military observers and 680 police, and more than 2,800 civilian personnel.
UNMIS military personnel are mandated to take action under Chapter VII of the UN Charter in order to protect civilians and UN personnel under imminent threat of physical violence.
UNMIS is comprised of the following units: Protection of Civilians, Civil Affairs, Gender, HIV/AIDS, Human Rights, Military, Police, Political Affairs, Public Information, Rule of Law and UN Volunteers. The UNMIS Human Rights Unit monitors, documents and reports on violations and abuses against civilians. It is comprised of approximately 80 Human Rights Officers deployed to field offices in el-Fasher, Nyala, Geneina and Zalingei, in Darfur; the transitional areas of Abyei and Kadugli; and Kassala in eastern Sudan and Juba in South Sudan.
UNMIS Child Protection Unit
UNMIS also includes a Child Protection Unit (CPU), comprised of approximately 15 child protection advisors (CPAs) located primarily in southern Sudan and Darfur. The CPAs are tasked with supporting the peace processes in eastern Sudan and Darfur and supporting the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in the South. The primary areas of focus for the CPU are: children in conflict with the law; abuse and exploitation of children; abduction and children’s rights of return; children associated with armed forces and groups; and political, social and cultural participation of children.
The primary activities of the CPU are to:
The CPU also provides training and capacity-building for UNMIS personnel and conducts investigations into allegations of child recruitment and other violations. The CPU reports information about violations against children through UNMIS structures and to cease-fire bodies, such as the Ceasefire Joint Monitoring Commission and the Area Joint Monitoring Committee. It also refers cases requiring intervention to child protection working groups, lawyers, police and military officers.
Humanitarian Assistance in Southern Sudan
The pastoralist economy of southern Sudan has been decimated by years of war, leaving virtually no infrastructure intact in most areas. The UN reported that the region has only 14 kilometers of paved roads, leaving many areas inaccessible during the rainy season. The influx of returning refugees and IDPs to impoverished areas has further strained limited supplies of food, water and other essentials. Aid agencies operating in the South are struggling to assist new returnees and other civilians. The weak infrastructure, limited capacity of new government structures, insecurity, high presence of mines, lack of adequate funding and other logistics have posed significant challenges. Outbreaks of diseases, such as cholera, dengue and yellow fever, have far surpassed the capacity of local medical clinics.
Humanitarian Assistance in Darfur
Currently, Darfur is host to one of the largest humanitarian operations; 92 nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and Red Cross/Crescent Societies and 14 UN agencies maintain a presence. As of October 2006, this included 894 international staff and over 12,500 national staff. However, deteriorating security, poor roads, limited staffing and funding, lack of safe vehicles and government restrictions have prevented aid agencies from reaching children and other vulnerable populations in Darfur. Despite the size of the humanitarian operation in Darfur, approximately one-third of displaced people in Darfur are cut off from humanitarian assistance due to violence and insecurity, according to a UNICEF spokesperson in BBC News, “Darfur Malnutrition “Rises Again,” April 26, 2006. In a statement released on December 15, 2006, six major NGOs operating in Darfur reported that increasing military activity, banditry and direct violence against aid workers had deteriorated humanitarian access in Darfur and left more than one-third of the region inaccessible to aid agencies. Additionally, World Food Programme (WFP) reported that an average of 250,000 targeted people per month had been cut off from assistance in 2006 due to insecurity and subsequent population movements.
Aid workers have been threatened, carjacked, robbed, beaten and killed by various armed groups. In May 2006, the UN reported that NGO vehicles in Southern Darfur had been found with their roofs cut off and machine guns mounted atop for use in combat. In November 2006, the Norwegian Refugee Council, which had led camp coordination efforts in Kalma camp in Southern Darfur for over two years, was formally expelled by the government as a result of continued obstruction and harassment by local authorities. Between 2004 and 2006, the organization’s activities had been suspended five times, for a total of 210 days. From June 25 to 27, 2006, the GoNU suspended all UN activities in Darfur after UNMIS allowed a humanitarian official linked to the SLA to travel in one of its aircraft; exceptions were granted for WFP and UNICEF.
Despite committing to a moratorium on government-imposed restrictions on humanitarian workers in Darfur, the GoNU has continued to impede and restrict humanitarian assistance by harassing aid workers at airports and preventing staff from entering Darfur by denying visas and obstructing travel. The Government and associated militia groups have set up real and de facto blockades of humanitarian assistance in their attempts to isolate the SLA factions by blocking roads and preventing essential items, such as food and fuel, from entering certain SLA-held areas, according to OHCHR.
Attacks on humanitarian workers surged in mid-2006. In July 2006 alone, eight humanitarian workers and two government officials of the Water and Sanitation Department were killed in various incidents in Darfur. Those killed were staff members of international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs) Oxfam, CARE, Relief International and Tearfund, as well as the local NGO Sudan Social Development Organization (Sudo). Other attacks on humanitarian operations in July included carjacking, armed robbery and intimidation of humanitarian staff. In December 2006, Agence France-Presse reported that several aid workers in Gereida were attacked in their compounds by unidentified assailants, subjected to mock executions, beaten and, in one instance, raped. Seventy-one employees of humanitarian agencies were evacuated following this attack, the single largest on humanitarian operations since they began in 2004, according to Agence France-Presse, “Aid workers beaten, raped,” January 5, 2006. Former UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland has warned that attacks against relief workers are relentless and threaten day-to-day operations in many areas.
Lack of funding has also hampered the provision of humanitarian assistance to children and other civilians in Darfur. In 2006, WFP was forced to cut its food rations in Darfur due to lack of resources (see below: Health Situation in Darfur). Also in 2006, UNICEF warned that severe funding shortage for its operations in Darfur including immunization programs for children, provision of water and sanitation programs and support for education.
Human Rights Defenders
NGOs, journalists and politicians who voice human rights concerns and human rights survivors who report violations in Khartoum, Darfur and eastern Sudan are subject to harassment, arrest, detention and physical abuse by police or other government officials, according to OHCHR. Local human rights defenders who raise human rights concerns or who cooperate with the international community are also at risk of arrest and detention. In many cases, the Government has confronted human rights defenders as being enemies of the State. NGOs whose program activities focus on human rights abuses, the rule of law, conflict resolution and peace-building have had their meetings shut down, according to OHCHR.
In one example, a leading Sudanese human rights group, Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT), faced accusations and legal prosecution by the Government in apparent attempts to silence the organization’s public reporting of human rights violations.
In another example, in Kassala, eastern Sudan, national security officers arrested five members of the Kassala Beja Congress between April 3 and 4, 2006, in relation to a peaceful sit-in organized by the group in March; the group was protesting in front of the UNMIS Kassala office against the continued detention of their colleagues and general harassment by government security officials, according to OHCHR.
Ongoing Violence: Killing and Maiming of Children
In August 2006, there were an estimated 5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan, including 1.8 million in Darfur, according to figures compiled by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). Approximately 2 million IDPs, mainly from southern Sudan and Darfur, reside in and around Khartoum. As of October 2006, there were an estimated 343,600 Sudanese refugees living in neighboring countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As in most situations of displacement, approximately 70 to 80 percent of the Sudanese refugees and IDPs are women and children. Responsibility for monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation of IDPs and returnees is divided amongst UNMIS’s Human Rights, Child Protection, and Recovery, Return and Reintegration Units, UNHCR and UNICEF.
IDP Children on the Streets and in Prisons in Khartoum
Sudanese refugees in neighboring African countries continue to face varying levels of insecurity and hardship, dependent largely on the country, camp or urban area of asylum. In many instances, they continue to face violence, abuses and other rights violations while displaced. For example, over 200,000 Sudanese live in refugee camps in western and northern Uganda, where they have faced ongoing attacks, raids, abductions and other abuses by the LRA and other armed groups.
Sudanese refugees living in the Arab world face a different set of challenges. In Syria, Sudanese refugees have faced various logistical obstacles posed by the authorities in their attempts to obtain papers that acknowledge their status as refugees. In one incident in December 2005, a group of approximately 500 Sudanese refugees nominated five refugees amongst them to represent their grievances and requests for assistance to the UNHCR Damascus office. Fearing attack, UNHCR representatives called the Syrian police, who used tear gas against the refugees and made mass arrests. Four refugees sustained serious injuries, including two pregnant women who suffered miscarriages, according to the Sudan Human Rights Organization-Cairo.
In Egypt, Sudanese refugees have faced dire conditions and are consistently denied their rights. In December 2005, 3,000 Sudanese refugees were forcibly and violently removed from a temporary protest camp they had set up several months earlier in Mohandiseen, near the Cairo UNHCR office. Nearly 4,000 Egyptian riot police used water cannons to forcibly remove the refugees. According to IRIN News, upwards of 30 Sudanese refugees were killed, including approximately 15 children.
Sudan is host to approximately 231,700 refugees from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Uganda and Chad, according to the U.S. Committee for Refugees, World Refugee Survey 2006.
Refugees from Sudan in Chad
Over 200,000 refugees from Darfur have sought safety in Chad. Since 2000, UNHCR has established 12 camps along a 400-mile stretch of the Western Darfur border with Chad. The camps accommodate most of the refugees who have fled into Chad. Approximately 4,000 to 5,000 others remain outside the camps, watching over livestock and attempting to earn a living, farming or working in local markets. Many unregistered refugees desire official registration and in some cases have waited several months in order to obtain registration and therefore access to assistance. While UNHCR and various INGOs have moved into eastern Chad supporting the refugees and administrating the camps, clean water, food and other basic necessities have remained in short supply and camps are generally overcrowded.
Once inside Chad, girls and women from Darfur continue to face risks of rape and sexual assault by civilians or militia members when collecting water, fuel or grass near the border, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW), No Protection: Rape and Sexual Violence Following Displacement, April 2005. For example, 10 girls and women from Farchana refugee camp were arrested by Chadian police while collecting firewood and one 15-year-old girl told HRW that during her three-day imprisonment, she was locked in a small cell along with another girl, two women and five men from Chad who repeatedly raped them.
Tensions are often high between the refugees and host communities, according to the Women’s Refugee Commission (WCRWC), “Don’t Forget Us”: The Education and Gender-Based Violence Protection Needs of Adolescent Girls from Darfur in Chad, July 2005. Girls and women in the four camps in Chad—Iridimi, Treguine, Mille and Breidjing—told a visiting delegation from the WCRWC that they had been beaten and raped by local villagers when they ventured out of the camps in search of firewood. In other instances, villagers intimidated the girls and took the firewood they had collected.
The refugees also continue to face attacks by the Sudanese armed groups who have made regular incursions into eastern Chad. During the Janjaweed attacks in Chad, children and other civilians have faced abuses similar to those committed by the armed groups operating in Darfur. In one case, a 13-year-old boy told AI that he was abducted in Chad by Janjaweed and security forces and taken to a camp near Khartoum where he was stripped naked and flogged, according to AI, Sudan: Death and Devastation Continue in Darfur, June 3, 2004. In 2004, amid these incursions, UNHCR and partners arranged an emergency relocation of some refugees away from the insecure border towards the interior; however, attacks continued.
In February 2006, a father told a New York Times reporter that his two daughters, ages 13 and 16, were shot by Janjaweed raiders, one in the chest, the other in the arm while they were collecting firewood near Adré, New York Times, “Refugee Crisis Grows as Darfur War Crosses a Border,” February 28, 2006. In November 2006, the village of Koloy, 20 kilometers from the border of Sudan, was attacked twice by a large number of armed militiamen riding horses and camels and accompanied by two vehicles, identified by inhabitants as Janjaweed. The second attack left 17 villagers dead and wounded 25 others; some were reportedly dragged to death behind vehicles. The attack was so violent that nearly all of Koloy’s 10,000 inhabitants fled north to Adré.
Persons displaced within Sudan generally live in inadequate conditions and have limited access to basic resources and services, such as food, water and adequate sanitation. The majority of Sudanese IDPs, approximately 2 million people, live in and around Khartoum. Approximately 270,000 of these IDPs live in four official camps, while the remaining IDPs are dispersed throughout the capital, living primarily in squatter settlements around the city.
Most IDPs in and around Khartoum live in extremely poor and insecure conditions with limited access to schools, medical support and other basic services. In 2004, the global acute malnutrition rate amongst children living in and around Khartoum neared 30 percent, according to the UN, United Nations and Partners: 2005 Work Plan for the Sudan, November 30, 2004. Many IDP children are unable to attend school and those who do face challenges at school. In Khartoum IDP camps, 48 percent of children are not attending school, according to Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), May 2006. These IDP children are often kept out of school because their labor is critical to their family’s survival or because schools lack the necessary staff and materials to provide adequate education (see below: Education).
Many IDPs in and around Khartoum continuously fear attacks, forced relocation and threats of violence. An estimated 900,000 IDPs and urban squatters living in Khartoum have been forcibly relocated by the Government since 1989, according to figures compiled by IDMC. This includes approximately 250,000 who have been relocated since October 2005, when the GoNU announced its decision to resume demolition of IDP camps and squatter areas in Khartoum.
While the Government claims it intends to allocate permanent plots of land to IDPs, relocation methods are often harsh and many IDPs wind up in desert areas outside Khartoum without access to the most basic services. Humanitarian aid workers caution that further relocations and camp demolitions may create a humanitarian crisis that would further push premature returns to southern Sudan.
Since 2005, both squatter areas and more permanent settlements have been raided by government authorities, resulting in death, injury and imprisonment of IDPs, according to AI. In one example, on August 17, 2005, armed police surrounded Shikan IDP camp, in Omdurman, Khartoum, and emptied the camp of its residents. Five hundred families were moved to Thawra camp while 170 families were moved to Al-Fatah III, according to AI, Sudan: The Rights of Khartoum’s Displaced Must Be Respected, August 23, 2005. Both Al Fatah III and Thawra lack service to meet IDPs’ most basic needs. Water, healthcare and educational facilities are nonexistent in Thawra while Al Fatah III had one water pump at the time the families were relocated there.
In May 2005, security forces entered Soba Aradi settlement, allegedly with tear gas and live ammunition, with the intention of relocating the occupants. In the violence that ensued, an estimated 30 police officers and civilians, including two children, were killed, dozens were injured and hundreds arrested. As a result of this incident, by July 2005, 31 people, including six children, had been convicted of related offenses; the adults were sentenced to prison while the children were sentenced to 20 lashes each.
In August 2006, over 12,000 IDPs were forcibly evicted from Dar Assalaam camp in Al Jazeera State, violating an agreement made between the community and the local government on a proposed plan for resettlement. The camp, which had been in existence for more than 20 years, was surrounded by heavily armed police as bulldozers began to raze dwellings. This incident led to several arrests, injuries and deaths, including the death of a child.
Police and security forces frequently break up groups of IDPs living in camps in Khartoum, questioning participants on their discussions and sometimes arresting individuals, according to International Rescue Committee (IRC). IDPs have reported that government authorities consistently monitor the camps to intimidate rather than to protect them.
Between January and February 2005, approximately 750 IDPs, including young boys and girls and elderly men and women who had fled from Darfur to Khartoum, were sent to a school in Mayo IDP camp in Khartoum. At the end of February, Sudanese police raided the school, using batons and tear gas indiscriminately, according to an account of the incident published by Aegis Trust.
IDPs in Darfur
An estimated 1.8 million people are internally displaced inside Darfur, according to figures compiled by IDMC. Infectious diseases and effects of malnutrition have been the main causes of death among displaced children in camps in Darfur. In Abu Shouk camp in Northern Darfur near el-Fasher, approximately 39 percent of the children were suffering from acute malnutrition in 2004, according to IRC. At that time IRC reported that Abu Shouk camp had some of the best conditions for IDPs in Darfur. In the same camp, IRC reported outbreaks of hepatitis, dysentery and measles. The measles outbreak alone killed 23 children.
Thousands of civilians continue to be displaced, or are displaced for a second or third time, due to attacks on IDP camps by government forces and government-backed militia. Between January and March 2006, 150,000 people were newly displaced or displaced again in Darfur. For example, in January 2006, an estimated 57,000 people were forced to flee Mershing, South Darfur, when Janjaweed militia brutally attacked the town and its residents, including approximately 22,000 IDPs who had been seeking safety there, according to UNICEF. The same month, an estimated 15,000 more people were displaced from Shearia, near Mershing, when alleged members of the Janjaweed militia, with support from government forces, fought rebels from the SLA. As civilians fled into the surrounding hills in search of safety, many children were separated from their families. According to one aid worker in the area, approximately 10 children died under these conditions due to lack of water, IRIN News, “Sudan: Thousands Displaced by Recent Attacks in South Darfur,” February 1, 2006.
The following are additional examples of attacks on IDPs:
Rebel groups have also attacked IDPs. IDPs in Dabanera informed AMIS that on June 29, 2006, soldiers from the SLA-MM attacked and looted Aradip and Martal IDP camps in Southern Darfur, killing nine people, according to UNMIS, United Nations Situation Report, July 2, 2006.
Without access to secondary school, skills-training programs or other productive activities, thousands of displaced youth sit idle in camps. With a growing sense of frustration and little hope for the future, these young people can become a source of violence and insecurity themselves, exploited and recruited by others into gangs and armed groups or forming gangs of their own. These gangs are becoming increasingly powerful.
In some areas of Darfur, youth have formed patrol groups with the stated purpose of providing security to IDPs due to lack of protection by law enforcement authorities and claiming that these authorities are, in some cases, perpetrating acts of violence. However, reports indicate that these groups have also abused civilians and, in the absence of a functional police force, have increasingly assumed security sector responsibilities, illegally imprisoning and arresting people. In one reported case, a youth patrol beat a woman who they alleged had fraternized with the police. In some areas, youth patrols have split along tribal lines, leaving Fur youth to patrol predominantly Fur areas of the camp and so on.
Refugee and IDP Returns to Southern Sudan
As of August 2006, between 1 million and 1.2 million IDPs, primarily those who had remained in the South, had spontaneously returned to their places of origin, according to UN estimates. In addition, approximately 18,600 refugees from neighboring countries had also returned to Sudan with assistance from the UN, and approximately 73,800 had spontaneously returned as of December 2006, according to UNHCR.
Despite an international framework to support the return and reintegration of IDPs and refugees, and the signing of UNHCR-supported repatriation agreements between Sudan and several refugee host countries, returns have generally taken place without support. IDMC explains that as a result of this inaction, the southern states began to independently organize IDP returns. As of April 2006, more than 300,000 returns had been assisted outside the UN system, according to a reliable estimate compiled by IDMC. Southern Kordofan experienced the greatest number of returnees in 2006, receiving an estimated 175,000 returnees, according to IDMC on the basis of UN information.
Long distances, high transportation costs, mines and flooded roads have created enormous logistical challenges for all agencies attempting to organize returns. In many cases, the trip home has been treacherous and fraught with danger. Returnees have reported encountering militia activity, armed civilians, landmines, forced conscription of children and limited supplies of food and water. In some cases, returnees have been robbed, attacked, kidnapped and raped and illegally taxed. In August 2005, the GoNU and South Sudan Defense Forces (SSDF) militia allegedly established roadside checkpoints to harass and tax returnees in the town of Abyei and surrounding areas, according to the Civilian Protection Monitoring Team (CPMT), Report of Investigation No. 102: Assault, Illegal Taxation and Militarization of Misseriya Against Indigenous Dinka by the Government of Sudan (GoS) in Abyei, August 16, 2005.
Many returnees use barges to make the journey home. However, this often entails long delays at way stations in poor conditions and transport in barges that are primarily used for cargo transport and have limited capacity for transporting passengers. Once on the barges, IDPs continue to face harsh conditions because the barges are not equipped with shelter, toilets, water or other facilities for passengers. In some cases, the barges also break down on the way, leaving the returnees stranded.
For example, during a mission undertaken in March 2006, UNHCR reported that some IDPs in Kosti had been waiting at the way station for up to five to eight weeks. UNHCR also reported that many IDPs in Kosti were unaware of the long wait for barge transport and did not have the resources to sustain their prolonged stay. Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) reported that this estimate was not reflective of average wait times in Kosti, which typically total between two and four weeks. ADRA also noted that IDPs at the way station received food rations and nonfood items during their stay. UNHCR found the sleeping and living arrangements to be haphazard, with no separate area for cooking or for people with special needs. They complained of food shortages, despite WFP rations, and running out of money. Additionally, in the chaos of trying to secure a place on the barge, women and children are often muscled out of limited spots, sometimes leading to family separations. To address protection concerns, ADRA has placed child care helpers on barges to assist with first aid and provide support to women and children onboard the barges.
In another case, WFP reported that a family who returned to Northern Bahr el-Ghazal from Khartoum by barge along the White Nile used makeshift shelter and bedding during the multi-week journey. They shared the rusty barge with goats, cargo and approximately 100 other families where food and medical care were limited and there were only three latrines. The Special Representative to the Secretary-General (SRSG) on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced People has reported that passengers, including several children, have fallen off barges and drowned during the voyage home.
A man returning to Malakal told Refugees International (RI) that he had been encouraged to return to his home village so that he could participate in upcoming political processes. However, the trip home was gruesome: three people died of dehydration along the way and he saw several other dead people along the roads.
After arriving home, many returnees are often shocked by the dismal conditions and the complete lack of infrastructure and services, including insufficient schools, health clinics, clean water and sanitation facilities. In some instances, IDPs who have returned to the South later move back to the North, choosing the poor living conditions in Khartoum over the utter lack of opportunity in the South, according to IDMC, Slow IDP Return to South While Darfur Crisis Continues Unabated, August 2006.
Many parents worry that children who attended school in the North will not have education opportunities in the South, as few schools are operational and most are already overburdened. In fact, parents cite fears about limited access to education as a primary reason for not returning home. Some child returnees from the North and former garrison towns may have difficulties attending school in the South, where the official language of instruction is English, after having studied in Arabic in northern schools (see below: Education).
While some UN agencies and NGOs have provided limited humanitarian assistance to returnees, in general such support has been insufficient as the agencies tasked with providing support have been largely underfunded. However, the largest hurdles are due to the general lack of capacity by the GoSS to provide basic services and livelihood opportunities. Absorptive capacity in both rural and urban areas of the South is extremely limited and expected to only slightly increase in the short-term as a result of complications related to the CPA and funding delays. UN officials have warned that refugees and IDPs who have returned could wind up in urban slums in the South, unless massive efforts to provide humanitarian assistance and livelihood opportunities are quickly implemented.
Sudan rely on food assistance while 17 million lack access to safe drinking water. HIV/AIDS is an emerging threat, and malaria, acute respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases kill more than 100,000 children annually. The health of children in Sudan, however, varies widely between regions. While the national under-five mortality rate for Sudan is 90 for every 1,000 live births, the rate in Eastern Sudan (including Gedaref, Red Sea and Blue Nile States) ranges from 117 to 172 deaths for every 1,000 live births.
Health in Southern Sudan
Despite opportunities for improving access to healthcare afforded by the signing of the CPA, one in every four children in southern Sudan still dies before the age of five, according to a UNICEF spokesperson. The South still lacks an adequate health infrastructure and qualified health personnel, with only one doctor for every 100,000 people and one primary healthcare center for every 79,500 people. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that the infant mortality rate in the South stands at 150 deaths for every 1,000 live births.
WHO also reports that the main causes of mortality in the South are infections and parasitic diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, measles, tuberculosis and acute respiratory infections. Sudan continues to report cases of rare diseases including yellow fever, sleeping sickness, leprosy, leishmaniasis, also known as Kala-Azar, and others. Southern Sudan is host to approximately 80 percent of the world’s total cases of guinea worm, according to WHO. Although Sudan had been declared polio-free, the virus has gradually reappeared, with 27 cases reported in 2005. However, WHO reports that the outbreak appears to have been curbed.
In January and February 2006, UNICEF, ICRC and other aid agencies reported an outbreak of acute watery diarrhea and cholera in the Central Equatoria region of southern Sudan. The outbreak began in Yei, moved to Juba, and by April 2006 had spread to seven out of 10 states in southern Sudan. Between January 28 and March 28, over 9,000 cases and 249 deaths were reported. To respond to this outbreak, the Federal Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Health of the Government of Southern Sudan in conjunction with UN agencies and NGOs, coordinated and set up cholera treatment centers and carried out hygiene promotion activities that included town clean-up campaigns and water chlorination to contain the outbreak and limit the spread of the disease, particularly amongst populations of IDPs and returnees. In Juba, MSF-Spain set up a specialized center with support from UNICEF at the el-Sabah Children’s Hospital and MSF-Holland set up a treatment center in Malakal. As of April 2006, the rate of fatalities due to acute watery diarrhea in Juba had fallen below 2 percent.
Food Shortages and Malnutrition in Southern Sudan
Communities in the South lack access to food and water. Less than 40 percent of the population in the South has access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, according to WHO, and in 2006, UN agencies forecast that impending population returns would add further pressures on food security in the region.
Still, some improvements in the health situation throughout the region have been reported. In 2004, UNICEF reported efforts to increase the number of safe water points throughout the South and attempted to vaccinate all children in Sudan against measles. The UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition reported that the agricultural season in the South had provided sufficient outputs in 2006, and the UN forecast that much of the population would have adequate access to food during the forthcoming dry season.
Attacks on Hospitals and Medical Facilities in Southern Sudan
Reports of recent attacks on hospitals and medical facilities related to the North-South conflict are sparse, a marked improvement to the situation reported by Watchlist in 2003. However, some armed groups continued to target these facilities. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported that, beginning in April 2006, clashes between armed groups and direct attacks on villages in the Upper Nile and Jonglei states had forced patients and MSF staff to evacuate clinics in Ulang, Wudier, Lankein, Nasir and Pieri due to threats and outbreaks of violence. In Pieri, most of the patients in the clinic, including 120 being treated for tuberculosis, were forced to flee as armed groups destroyed the clinic, looting medical equipment, drugs and food for patients.
Health in Darfur
Children in Darfur face critical health problems, including lack of access to life-saving medical services and care for treatable diseases and malnutrition. In April 2006, UNICEF reported that acute respiratory tract infections were the main reported illness in children under five years among both camp and village populations. Diarrhea and malaria were reported as the second and third leading causes of illness in children. Both camp and village populations reported that over 45 percent of children had an illness in the two weeks prior to a visit by UNICEF during a survey in the first few months of 2006, UNICEF Darfur Nutrition Update, Issue 3, March/April 2006.
The few health facilities that exist in Darfur find it difficult to operate under the current conditions. Various estimates indicate that only about 40 to 50 percent of people living in Darfur have access to health services. This is in part due to chronic insecurity, which limits the access humanitarian assistance actors have to children and other civilians (see above: Humanitarian Assistance and Humanitarian Workers).
Most people living in Darfur can only receive medical care by traveling to garrison towns, which puts them at risk of being arrested for allegedly associating, or supporting rebel factions. To address this, some humanitarian organizations have deployed mobile clinics and developed other innovative means of reaching vulnerable populations. Mobile clinics provide displaced and village populations with primary healthcare services, prenatal and antenatal care, vaccination services, malnutrition screening for children and other care.
Food Shortages and Malnutrition in Darfur
One of the most severe health situations facing children in Darfur is malnutrition due to severe food shortages. Approximately 70 percent of the population remains food insecure, with 46 percent severely food insecure, and food insecurity has increased in Western and Southern Darfur. In 2004, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) estimated that approximately 2,000 people died every day in Darfur due to effects of malnutrition and disease. In that same year in Kalma camp, Darfur’s largest IDP camp with a population of 75,000 people, 21 children died daily due to the effects of malnutrition. Between January and April 2006, UNICEF reported a 20 percent increase in severely malnourished children, according to an agency spokesperson in BBC News, “Darfur Malnutrition ‘Rises Again,’” April 26, 2006.
Lack of funding has also hampered provision of food rations and other health services. In April 2006, after months of warnings, the World Food Programme (WFP) reduced food rations in Darfur by half and cut rations in eastern Sudan due to lack of donor funding. In May 2006, just 50 percent of the full ration was distributed. After pledges by several donors, the agency announced at the end of May that it was able to increase food rations in Darfur to meet 84 percent of energy needs. Regional insecurity also hampered the delivery of food aid, preventing food distribution to 290,000 people in June 2006 and 470,000 people in July 2006 in Darfur.
Attacks on Hospitals and Medical Facilities in Darfur
Attacks on hospitals, medical facilities, medical staff and humanitarian agencies are frequent in Darfur. These attacks hamper access to healthcare by civilians in Darfur. For example, the UN reported that the SLA practice of hijacking NGO cars led to serious gaps in humanitarian assistance during April and May 2006. As a result of the hijackings, four NGOs were forced to suspend or scale down operations in certain areas of Western Darfur, leading to approximately 1,000 children per month losing out on the opportunity to receive routine vaccinations and approximately 20,000 children under the age of five missing out on polio immunization.
In early August 2006, MSF reported the evacuation of its medical teams in Serif Umra and Jebel Marra, as well as the disruption of mobile clinics and limitations on referrals of emergency cases for surgery due to insecurity and the following attacks on its programs (MSF, Increased Insecurity Hampers MSF Medical Assistance to the Population in Darfur, 8/3/06):
Additionally, in September 2006, an IRC health center, pharmacy and guesthouse in Hashaba, Northern Darfur, were looted and a nurse was killed during fighting.
Precise information about HIV/AIDS in Sudan is lacking. According to WHO, prevalence of HIV/AIDS remains low but is steadily increasing. At the end of 2005, the estimated national adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate amongst people between ages 15 and 49 was 1.6 percent, according to the 2006 Sudan Epidemiological Fact Sheet on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections, produced by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), WHO and UNICEF. The Fact Sheet also reported that 350,000 people in Sudan, including 30,000 children under 15, were living with HIV/AIDS. However, this estimate only includes areas in the North and former garrison towns in the South, towns formerly under the control of the GoS until the CPA was signed.
WHO has reported that HIV prevalence rates likely vary amongst regions. In 2005, UNAIDS and WHO reported that HIV prevalence rates may be increasing in the North. Eastern Sudan also risks increasing prevalence rates due to the Government’s marginalization of this region and the limited amount of international aid and support it receives, according to Ockenden International, Combating HIV/AIDS in Eastern Sudan: The Case for Preventative Action, 2005.
Lack of Knowledge among Children and Youth
Limited information and understanding of HIV creates and sustains high levels of vulnerability. Various reports indicate that, even amongst high-risk populations, awareness of HIV/AIDS and how to prevent its transmission is low.
Only an estimated one-third of young adults in Sudan between the ages of 18 and 25 understand how HIV is transmitted, a UNICEF spokesperson reported in 2005. Many believe HIV can be contracted through mosquito bites. While UNAIDS and Sudan National AIDS Programme (SNAP) have launched initiatives to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS, public discussion of sex is difficult and frowned upon in many parts of Sudan.
Prevention and Care
New programs to prevent the transmission of HIV and provide care for people living with HIV/AIDS are underway. In December 2005, SNAP, UNICEF, UNAIDS and other partners launched a campaign focusing on the impact of HIV/AIDS on children. According to UNICEF, the campaign’s main purpose is to educate young people about HIV/AIDS and how to prevent its transmission. Other recent developments in prevention and care include the launch of a National Strategic Plan for the Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS in Sudan 2003–2007 by the Government; a formal appeal by the GoNU to be included in WHO’s “3 by 5” initiative to treat 3 million people living with HIV/AIDS by 2005; the establishment of a country theme group on HIV/AIDS by UNAIDS and other UN agencies, with the involvement of GoNU representatives as well as international and national NGOs; the establishment by NGOs of a Sudanese AIDS network; and the acquisition of a new grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) to the GoNU for a large-scale initiative to fight the virus.
The National Strategic Plan 2003–2007 identifies refugees and IDPs as vulnerable groups but falls short of explicitly stating strategies and interventions that will target these groups to reduce their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. The government has, however, pledged to uphold international conventions and regulations with regard to refugees and asylum seekers and to work with the concerned organizations to support HIV/AIDS interventions in this group.
HIV/AIDS in Southern Sudan
The relative isolation of some areas of southern Sudan has largely prevented the systematic collection of HIV/AIDS-related data. As southern Sudan is now emerging from years of armed conflict, health experts are concerned that the region might experience a major HIV epidemic due to limited awareness amongst the population about the virus and its transmission, an influx of returning refugees from countries with higher HIV prevalence rates, an increase in cross-border trade, illiteracy, a rudimentary health system and poverty, combined with local cultural practices amongst some populations such as tattooing, scarification, polygamy, female genital mutilation (FGM) and widow inheritance.
Access to information and means of preventing the transmission of the virus and relevant treatment remains low in the South and varies across the region. Individuals wishing to use condoms to prevent the transmission of the virus have difficulty doing so as access to condoms is severely limited. In places where condoms are available, their cost is prohibitive for many people. Additionally, efforts to increase and expand the use of condoms have been difficult amongst Catholic populations of southern Sudan given the Catholic Church’s negative view of condom use.
Southern Sudan’s first voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) center opened in Juba in March 2004 and has since begun providing antiretroviral (ARV) drug therapy to a limited number of people living with HIV. WHO runs ARV treatment centers in and around Juba, Wau and Malakal, while NGOs have established VCT centers in other areas. In addition, the GoSS has established an HIV/AIDS Commission, directly under the president. However, according to the Chairman of the Commission, “not a single penny has been put into the budget.”
HIV/AIDS in Darfur
To date, baseline data on HIV/AIDS has not been collected nor has a situation analysis of HIV/AIDS in Darfur been conducted. According to UNICEF, the disruption of family and community life in Darfur, particularly amongst IDPs, has caused a breakdown in social norms related to sexual behavior. This may result in increased risk for transmission of HIV. In 2004, AI reported that there were no adequate medical facilities to provide comprehensive HIV/AIDS-related medical care to the IDP population in Darfur or the refugee population in Chad, as humanitarian organizations operating there are overburdened and chronic insecurity limits their access to certain populations in the region and strains their logistical and operational capacity.
Access to education remains a challenge for many children in Sudan. However, recent reports indicate that some children are enjoying increased access to education. In 2005, WFP reported a 71 percent increase in enrollment rates over a 12-month period in WFP-assisted schools in Northern Kordofan. In Kassala, eastern Sudan, where girls traditionally have limited access to education, WFP reported a 15 percent increase in girls’ enrollment in 2004 and a 28 percent increase in 2005.
Enrollment rates, however, vary greatly across Sudan and in many parts of the country, children still lack access to quality education.
Education in Southern Sudan
Southern Sudan continues to have the lowest school enrollment rates in the world at an estimated 25 percent for children. Additionally, an estimated 75 percent of the approximately 1.4 million children between the ages of seven and 14 in southern Sudan do not have access to education, according to the 2005 Sudan Millennium Development Goals Interim Unified Report. Of those children who do enroll in school, only an estimated 2 percent complete all eight years of primary schooling, according to Towards a Baseline: Best Estimates of Social Indicators for Southern Sudan released in 2004.
The region continues to lack a uniform education curriculum, particularly at the secondary school level, which creates additional obstacles to learning and education for children and youth. Some teachers have compiled curriculum from neighboring countries, such as Kenya and Uganda, while other schools administered by NGOs and religious institutions use other teaching practices and pedagogies. For children who change schools, this can be particularly challenging.
Girls continue to lack access to opportunities in education as early marriage and endemic poverty continue to be major impediments to girls’ education. The 2006 Rapid Assessment of Learning Spaces (RALS) concluded that out of the 2,922 learning spaces assessed, girls accounted for only 34 percent of all enrolled primary school students. In addition, only 14 percent of teachers in the South are women, which may limit female role models for girls attending school in southern Sudan.
Due to their high level of interest in education and their strong desire to attend school, many girls and boys seek ways to generate income to pay school fees, rendering them vulnerable to increased risks of exploitation and abuse. Anecdotal evidence suggests that girls sell baked goods and engage in relationships with local traders to gain funds, while both boys and girls undertake agricultural or domestic work during their school holidays.
Limited training and inconsistent application of codes of conduct have increased risks of corruption and exploitation by teachers. While government officials have noted that any male teacher who impregnates a female student will be subject to prosecution, this rarely happens and the family of the girl usually opts to negotiate a financial settlement with the teacher, independent of traditional and formal government structures.
Poor Conditions in Schools in Southern Sudan
The RALS also found that in 2,922 learning spaces, only 461 have permanent classrooms and 913 conduct classes outdoors. Thirty-one percent of learning spaces have toilets or latrines, while 40 percent have potable water available on-site or within 500 meters of the learning space and 16 percent are receiving food assistance. The 2005 Sudan Millennium Development Goals Interim Unified Report found that out of 1,426 schools surveyed in the South, less than one-third have access to health facilities.
The average student-teacher ratio in the South is 42:1 with a total number of 17,920 teachers working in the 2,922 learning spaces; female teachers accounted for 14 percent. Many teachers work as unpaid volunteers and only 6 percent have been formally trained. Teachers in only 56 percent of learning spaces have had access to some form of teacher training in the recent past as years of armed conflict have extinguished many sources of education in the South.
Many schools in southern Sudan continue to lack permanent infrastructure, with classes held under trees or in locally constructed facilities, and many have limited books and other supplies.
Attacks on Schools in Southern Sudan
Few reports of attacks on schools by parties in the South have surfaced since the signing of the CPA, a marked improvement since the release of Watchlist’s 2003 report on Sudan. It is unclear whether this is because attacks on schools have ceased or because incidents have not been reported. The UN Secretary-General documented one attack on a school by the LRA in his August 2006 report on children and armed conflict to the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict:
· May 23, 2006: LRA forces attacked the Arapi Regional Teacher Training Institute near Juba, Central Equatoria State (S/2006/662). The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) reported that during the attack one government soldier and several civilians were killed while others were injured. JRS also reported that the school was targeted because the agency was operating a food distribution program there for students.
Challenges with Language of Instruction
The GoSS has adopted English as the primary language of instruction in schools throughout the region. This has proved challenging for both teachers and pupils. Some agencies report that children who attended school in the North or in garrison towns, where the primary language of instruction is Arabic, now face challenges in adapting to lessons given in English. In addition, schools in former garrison towns have faced challenges in changing the language of instruction to English as few teachers in these areas have had training in English. In April 2006, out of a total of 17,000 primary school teachers, only 5 percent were trained in the English pattern while 21 percent were Arabic pattern trained. English classes for teachers have been established in several towns throughout the South and agencies anticipate that the transition from Arabic to English will be gradual.
Early Signs of Progress in Southern Sudan
Children in some parts of southern Sudan are benefiting from increased access to education. However, increased enrollment rates have created new challenges. Schools in the South with already overstretched resources face new difficulties in resource allocation as they struggle to accommodate refugee and IDP children who have recently returned to southern Sudan. In Juba, enrollment rates have more than doubled in one year at the Buluk A School in Juba, according to UNICEF, Returning Students Crowd Schools in Southern Sudan, July 31, 2006. As a result, administrators divided the school into morning and evening sessions. Yet, even with the new schedule, classrooms designed to accommodate 50 students are filled with more than 200 students. Facing limited opportunities for education in the South, some youth have returned to Uganda and Kenya to complete their education in refugee camps, where they perceive education services are better.
Several new initiatives are underway to address this and other challenges to education in the South. Most prominently, the GoSS launched a new campaign in 2006 called “Go To School,” which aims to enroll 1.6 million children in school in the South by the end of 2007. Supported by UN agencies, NGOs, local communities and various donors, this campaign will provide over 3.8 million textbooks, teachers’ guides and basic school supplies to schools in the South, construct over 1,500 new classrooms and school structures, and provide accelerated teacher training for teachers and classroom facilitators. In addition, the campaign’s public awareness initiatives are aimed at encouraging parents to send their children, especially their girls, to school.
To address barriers to education faced by girls, several organizations are implementing strategies to increase girls’ access to education. Some organizations have distributed “comfort kits,” which include soap, underpants and six reusable sanitary pads, to teachers and secondary schools to help their female students attend school during menstruation.
Education in Darfur
Darfur’s few schools and education facilities face widespread shortages of teachers, textbooks and other school supplies. Teachers have limited access to training opportunities and receive inadequate compensation. Families of school-age children in rural areas of Darfur are expected to financially support the construction of schools, salaries of teachers and educational supplies for their children.
A WCRWC delegation spoke with several headmasters who had lost teachers because they had gone off to other jobs where they could earn more money, such as collecting firewood. There are no educational opportunities or skills training for children after grade eight in the camps.
For older children there are even fewer opportunities to attend school as secondary schools do not exist in the camps. For many older children, the only chance of attending secondary school is the rare case that a child may be able to afford transportation to the nearest town with an operating school, as well as the regular school fees.
Still, in December 2005, UNICEF estimated that 28 percent of school-age children, nearly half of who were girls, were in school in Darfur. Within the three Darfur states UNICEF reported that 48 percent of children enrolled in school in Northern Darfur were girls, 49 percent in Western Darfur and 42 percent in Southern Darfur. Agencies have noted that the education services provided by the emergency relief effort are the best in the history of Darfur, illustrative of the historical neglect and lack of support from the Government for education in Darfur, according to the WCRWC, INEE Minimum Standards: Darfur Case Study, August 2006. However, these services have been provided in areas of displacement rather than return, affecting the probability of their long-term impact and sustainability.
Attacks on Schools in Darfur
Schools, students and teachers in Darfur have been attacked by various armed groups. In one case, forces from the SLA-MM faction killed 11 students and one teacher as they tried to escape from their school in Dalil during SLA-MM’s attack on villages around Korma town in Northern Darfur between July 4 and 8, 2006, according to AI, Darfur Action Appeal: Korma: Yet More Attacks on Civilians, July 2006.
In 2005, in the Shearia area of Southern Darfur, the Government and armed groups launched attacks against the Zaghawa community and forcibly closed schools. Other violations included beating civilians, systematic looting, arbitrary arrests and denial of access to water and other resources, which eventually led nearly the entire town to flee, according to OHCHR.
Education for Refugee Girls in Chad
Many refugee girls from Darfur who live in camps in Chad have enrolled in school for the first times in their lives. In Darfur, many people lived in rural areas and were subject to marginalization by the Government, which provided little to no services for health and education. In addition, traditional gender norms, which uphold the notion that girls are more suited for domestic tasks, rarely afforded them the opportunity to attend school. Because many refugee families lost property that would typically be maintained by female members of the household, however, girls now have more free time and have thus been permitted by their families to attend school.
Early Signs of Progress in Darfur
IDP girls in Darfur have increased opportunities to attend school, with over 125,000 girls in Darfur enrolled in school in 2005 according to UNICEF Darfur Emergency: July to August 2005 Report. The increasing enrollment rates for girls may be attributed to the separation of displaced families from their homes and livelihoods, which usually require labor from girls, according to UNICEF. In addition, the UN, NGOs and the Ministry of Education have made efforts to conduct enrollment drives and provide school uniforms in the hopes of boosting enrollment rates. Still, a lack of teachers and teachers’ salaries and high school fees remain major constraints for increasing access to education.
To address the shortage of teachers in Darfur, their limited training opportunities and their poor compensation, UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and NGOs launched an in-service teacher training program in July 2005 for more than 2,400 volunteer teachers working in primary schools in IDP camps and host communities. The training program provides participants with a modest stipend, enabling volunteer teachers to remain in their posts, and aims to recruit volunteer teachers for new classrooms, reduce class sizes and increase the knowledge and skills of the volunteer teachers.
As a result of this program and other education initiatives, the total enrollment figures of children in Darfur have steadily increased. In December 2004, approximately 142,330 children (65,470 girls) were enrolled in primary school. By August 2006, close to 510,000 children (224,000 girls) were enrolled in school. The number of volunteer teachers also increased. In August 2005, 1,200 volunteer teachers were working in Darfur; by 2006, this number had climbed to 2,400 volunteer teachers, enabling approximately 120,000 children to attend school. In another positive outcome, the Ministry of Education placed 200 volunteer teachers who participated in the training program in 2005 and 2006 on the payroll for the 2006–2007 school year.
Information on the prevalence of rape and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV) against girls and women in Sudan is difficult to come by. However, this lack of information does not necessarily indicate that violence against girls and women is not occurring or that the incidence is low. Rather, it is likely attributed to chronic underreporting due to social stigma and insecurity, limited access to services and a reduced ability to collect incident-related data. In addition, criminal law stipulates that women and girls can be prosecuted or punished for adultery if they fail to prove that they had been raped.
Government-backed militias, armed opposition groups and tribal militias throughout Sudan continue to sexually exploit, rape and abduct children into sexual slavery, especially girls. In addition, high levels of poverty and prohibitive school fees have driven some girls into sexually exploitative relationships with government soldiers who have a large presence throughout Sudan and interact regularly with civilians.
Sudan has one of the highest rates of FGM in the world, particularly in the north of the country where it is estimated that close to 90 percent of the female population has undergone some form of genital cutting. Infibulation, the most severe form of FGM, is practiced in Sudan. Infibulation involves the excision of the labia majora and the sealing of the two sides through stitching or natural fusion of scar tissue to create a very small opening, sometimes no larger than the head of a match. Legislation in Sudan prohibits medical practitioners from performing FGM but this ban and associated penalties have been difficult to enforce and the practice continues.
Gender-Based Violence in Southern Sudan
In the South, because of the impact of conflict on livelihoods, many families have married their girls off earlier in order to acquire cows through dowry. Common amongst many tribes in the South, a dowry of cows is usually paid to a girl’s family on her wedding day. In a region where many people live on an average of 25 cents per day, girls have increasingly become an important source of income for many families.
Gender-Based Violence in Darfur
Rape as a Military Strategy in Darfur
Since the outset of the Darfur conflict, girls and women have been subject to a brutal and systematic campaign of rape and sexual violence led by the government-sponsored Janjaweed militia and the Sudanese Army and Air Force, according to AI, Sudan: Rape as a Weapon of War: Sexual Violence and Its Consequences, July 2004. The Janjaweed, in collaboration with the government forces, are perpetrating acts of rape and other acts of sexual violence as a deliberate part of their assault on the lives, livelihoods and land of the non-Arab people of Darfur, according to PHR, The Use of Rape as a Weapon of War in the Conflict in Darfur, Sudan, October 2004.
The following are several examples of specific incidents of rape perpetrated by Janjaweed militia and/or associated government forces:
· A 14-year-old girl was raped in a market square in July 2003. The suspected Janjaweed perpetrators threatened to shoot witnesses if they tried to intervene. Other girls were raped in the bush on the same day. (AI, Sudan: Rape as a Weapon of War, July 2004)
· Approximately 15 women and girls were raped in different huts in a village on February 29, 2004. The Janjaweed broke the arms and legs of some of the survivors so that they could not escape. (AI, Sudan: Rape as a Weapon of War, July 2004)
· A girl, aged 17, was raped by six men in front of her mother. Her brother was then tied up and thrown into a fire. (AI, Sudan: Rape as a Weapon of War, July 2004)
· One woman and a group of girls were taken away by attackers wearing civilian clothing and khaki uniforms and raped repeatedly over a three-day period. They were told, “Next time we come, we will exterminate you all, we will not even leave a child alive.” (AI, Sudan: Rape as a Weapon of War, July 2004)
· Girls and women were separated, rounded up and gang-raped by militias launching attacks on the villages of Timit, Sugu, Buza and Ardeba in the Kerenek area east of Geneina in January 2006. (OHCHR, Third Periodic Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Human Rights Situation in the Sudan, April 2006)
Other parties to the conflict have also raped and sexually abused girls and women in Darfur, although these cases are often less documented due to limited access and insecurity. Some examples of rebel-perpetrated incidents include:
· April 19, 2006: The SLA-MM faction launched an attack on six villages in the Tawila area of Northern Darfur as part of the ongoing struggle with the SLA-AW faction. During the offensive, an estimated 400 attackers rode in on trucks, camels and horseback, killing and wounding scores of civilians, raping women and girls and displacing thousands of people, according to the UN. IDPs who fled the attack alleged that the SLA forces were indiscriminately killing, raping and abducting civilians. During the attack, one IDP alleged witnessing the forces raping and killing 15 young women.
· July 4–8, 2006: The SLA-MM faction killed, tortured, raped and abducted civilians and looted civilian property during attacks on the villages of Dalil, Hillat Hashab, Oste, Umm Kitaira, Diker, Talbonj, Magdum and Jafafil around Korma town, Northern Darfur, according to AI, Darfur Action Appeal: Korma: Yet More Attacks on Civilians, July 2006.
Prevalence of Sexual Violence in Darfur
The prevalence of rape and other forms of sexual violence in Darfur is difficult to determine as many survivors never report incidents and humanitarian agencies face obstacles in conducting baseline surveys and assessments. Many girls and women reported being reluctant to report incidents of sexual violence because they fear reprisals and retaliation. One 15-year-old rape survivor, explained, “I did not want to report to the police because they will treat me badly,” according to the Second Periodic Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Human Rights Situation in Sudan, January 27, 2006. Others may fear reporting as some perpetrators are police officers themselves.
In many locations, GBV-related services are limited and security is not guaranteed, presenting ethical obstacles to collecting information on sexual violence. It is believed that many survivors do not report cases, particularly those perpetrated by militants, due to fear of retributive attacks, general insecurity and limited access to confidential and compassionate services. To sketch rough estimates of the prevalence of sexual violence in Darfur, some agencies have used incident-related data, though they acknowledge that this likely represents only a portion of the actual number of survivors.
In its report, The Crushing Burden of Rape: Sexual Violence in Darfur, March 2005, MSF reported that between October 2004 and February 2005, MSF doctors treated almost 500 rape victims between the ages of 12 and 45 years in Southern and Western Darfur. These numbers most likely represent only a portion of the real number of victims in those areas during that time frame. As a result of the release of this report, the director of MSF in Sudan and another MSF staff member were charged with spying and spreading false information and arrested in May, which one analyst reported was part of a larger effort by the Government of National Unity to silence criticism by aid agencies. Though the charges were later dropped and both aid workers released, this case highlights the difficulties agencies face in providing assistance to survivors of sexual violence and publishing reports on sexual violence in Sudan.
The report also noted that out of the 297 girls and women given post-rape treatment by MSF in Western Darfur between 2004 and 2005, two-thirds reported that they had been raped more than once, either by one or multiple assailants. More than half of these 297 survivors were also beaten with sticks, whips or axes. In some cases, visibly pregnant girls and women were raped, leading to at least one miscarriage. In most cases documented by MSF, the perpetrators carried guns or other weapons and wore military uniforms.
PHR has also reported similar findings on rape in Darfur in The Use of Rape as a Weapon of War in the Conflict in Darfur, Sudan, October 2004; in their report, PHR noted that the Janjaweed regularly inflicted other injuries in the course of raping girls and women by beating them, cutting them with knives and sexually mutilating them. Janjaweed rape women and girls vaginally and anally and rape them with foreign objects. Rapes are extremely brutal and often include verbal assaults with degrading racial connotations. Women and girls reported being called “slaves,” “dirty black Nuba” and other epithets by their attackers. To increase the trauma inflicted upon the survivor, her family and her community, rapes are often committed in front of others who are forced to watch, including parents, spouses and other family and community members. At least one reliable report received by PHR indicated that as part of an effort to terrorize civilians en masse, villagers had been rounded up in the center of the village and boys and men were sodomized with sticks.
PHR also explained that rapes primarily take place in the days leading up to a Janjaweed attack on non-Arab villages, during full attacks on these villages and after attacks, as women and girls flee for safety. According to various reports, attacks on women and girls are meant to dehumanize, demoralize and generally humiliate them while seeking to control, terrorize and punish the non-Arab communities to which they belong.
Since the signing of the DPA in May 2006, incidents of sexual violence in Darfur have persisted, particularly in Northern Darfur, where sexual violence has increased and is targeted against females accused of supporting opposing factions of rebel movements, according to OHCHR. Incidents of rape have also continued in Western and Southern Darfur and OHCHR verified at least 12 cases of rape of girls and women in May 2006, just after the signing of the DPA.
More than 200 girls and women between the ages of 13 and 50 were sexually assaulted in and around Kalma camp in southern Darfur during five weeks in July and August 2006, according to IRC, Increased Sexual Assaults Signal Darfur’s Downward Slide, August 23, 2006. According to IRC, this marked a massive increase from the regular two to four reported incidents of sexual assault in Kalma camp each month. In addition to the sexual assaults, which include rape, 200 additional girls and women reported being victims of other forms of attacks such as beating, punching and kicking.
Abduction of Girls in Darfur for Sexual Slavery
Many girls in Darfur are abducted during attacks on their villages and forced into sexual slavery. Once abducted, girls may be gang-raped, often multiple times by each perpetrator, according to PHR. Most girls and women are held in these conditions for a period of a few days and then released, often naked, to find their own way. Some abductions last for months or result in forced marriages.
In one case documented by AI in Sudan: Rape as a Weapon of War, July 2004, a 12-year-old girl was abducted by Janjaweed militiamen on horseback who had killed her father. Following the abduction, more than six men “used her as a wife” for over 10 days. In another case documented by AI, a group of girls, including some as young as eight, were abducted for six days. During that time, five or six men took turns raping them, one after the other, throughout each day.
Physical, Mental and Social Consequences of Sexual Violence in Darfur
Survivors of sexual violence may endure serious physical, mental and social consequences. In Darfur, survivors have suffered severe physical injuries, including broken bones, burns, vesicovaginal and/or rectovaginal fistula and other gynecological injuries. Some survivors have been killed during incidents of sexual violence or have died as a result of injuries incurred during the incident. Survivors also risk contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS, which can subsequently increase the likelihood of a girl or woman encountering complications during pregnancy and increase perinatal and under-five mortality rates.
Some survivors have become pregnant as a result of the rape, leading to unsafe abortions with subsequent inadequate emergency obstetric care resulting in death. Maintaining these unwanted pregnancies may increase the stigma and ostracization survivors face from their communities or families. Children born as a result of rape in Darfur are not easily accepted. They may be called names like “Janjaweed children,” “Arabs” or “children of dogs,” according to The Effects of Conflict on Health and Well-being of Women and Girls in Darfur, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNICEF, October 2005. In some instances, the mothers themselves reject the babies, refusing to breastfeed them or giving them names like “son of Arabs” or “son of Janjaweed.” In one focus group led by UNFPA and UNICEF, girls reported that some babies born of rape are not taken to the hospital if they are ill. In another instance, girls reported knowing of cases where infants were thrown into a valley and left to die. However, women’s groups reported to UNFPA and UNICEF that children born of rape are becoming more accepted as the situation becomes more common.
Rape survivors often face a range of psychosocial consequences and psychosomatic symptoms. Girls in Darfur have reported that the psychosocial consequences of sexual violence include shame, depression, stigma and social isolation, difficulty coping and sometimes suicidal ideations and behavior, according to the UNFPA and UNICEF study.
Limited Treatment and Access to Justice in Darfur
Medical and psychosocial services for survivors of sexual violence are generally limited in Darfur. A majority of families prefer to treat survivors of sexual violence with traditional medications, including bathing survivors in hot water or hot tea, according to the study by UNFPA and UNICEF. In the same study, girls reported that they did not seek medical services at health centers because they were ashamed to report the incident, the costs associated with treatment were prohibitive or their demanding schedules and numerous domestic responsibilities left them with little time to visit the health center.
In other instances, local and state clinics turned away rape survivors who sought out treatment and care. PHR learned of a GoS directive that prohibited government doctors from providing care to non-Arab Darfuris in 2004. In one case, a rape survivor told PHR that when five girls in her community were raped, they walked on foot approximately 50 miles to el-Fasher, where a doctor refused to treat them, threw them out of his office and directed them not to perpetuate rumors.
Bureaucratic procedures also pose obstacles to rape survivors seeking justice. In June 2005, two armed men in military uniform raped a 16-year-old girl who was traveling to Nyala with her brother. Upon reporting the case to the local police, the survivor was asked to first report to a government doctor for a medical examination. Using Form 8, an official police form used to document serious physical injuries incurred during attack, the doctor concluded that no rape had occurred and thus the police refused to file a report. Even in cases where a complaint reaches a court, perpetrators are often acquitted for the crime or, if found guilty, are given sentences not commensurate with the nature of the crime.
Until October 2005, the law denied girls and women access to post-rape medical assistance unless they agreed to file charges with the police and submit Police Form 8. In response to international pressure, the GoNU amended this law in 2005 and also publicly acknowledged for the first time that girls and women have been raped in Darfur. The new GoNU Rules of Application stated that health care providers shall face no negative repercussions or harassment for providing treatment to victims of sexual violence, and many survivors can now receive treatment without having to file a complaint with the police. Despite the change in law, most women, Sudanese police and African Union (AU) Civilian Police remain unaware of the change, perpetuating obstacles for girls and women seeking post-rape care.
While the Government has formally acknowledged the problem of GBV in Darfur and created three State Committees to address it and an Action Plan for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in Darfur, the State Committees have failed to fulfill their mandates and the situation for girls and women in Darfur has not improved, according to OHCHR.
Sexual Exploitation by Peacekeepers
In April 2006, a British news agency that had interviewed women at Gereida in Southern Darfur reported allegations that AU peacekeepers in Darfur had paid women and girls as young as 11 years old for sex and that, as a result, some had become pregnant, BBC News, “AU’s Darfur Troops in Abuse Probe,” April 4, 2006. The AU issued a statement explaining that a committee had been set up to investigate the allegations.
In January 2007, a British newspaper reported that UN civilian and peacekeeping staff had allegedly sexually exploited and abused 20 children and women in southern Sudan. In response to these allegations, United Nations staff in New York reported that they would investigate these allegations and take action. Throughout 2006, four peacekeepers were repatriated as a result of findings from an investigation conducted by the UN’s Office for Internal Oversight Services (OIOS).
Rape and Violence during Firewood Collection
Sudan remains a destination and country of origin for international trafficking in women and children, according to the Protection Project. This phenomenon is exacerbated by decades of armed conflict, impunity, flawed or nonexistent birth registration programs that render children stateless and widespread poverty. Boys and girls are trafficked to Khartoum, other African countries, the Middle East and Europe while some children have been trafficked into Sudan from Uganda.
Some Sudanese girls have been trafficked to Syria to serve as commercial sexual workers while others have also been trafficked within Sudan to work as domestic servants or commercial sex workers in small brothels in IDP camps, according to the U.S. State Department.
Boys as young as four or five years old are trafficked to the Arab Gulf countries, such as United Arab Emirates and Qatar, to work as camel jockeys and beggars. These boys may also suffer physical and sexual abuse. The Government of National Unity’s National Council of Child Welfare (NCCW) has worked with a Qatari NGO to help repatriate over 200 Sudanese child camel jockeys. In March 2006, the NCCW, together with UNICEF, established a plan of action to repatriate additional child camel jockeys.
Trafficking and Exploitation in Southern Sudan
Internal abduction and forced slavery of women and children have decreased since the signing of the CPA, according to Refugees International. However, detailed information or statistics about the status of abductions since the signing of the CPA are extremely limited. The UN Secretary-General’s August 2006 report on children in Sudan to the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict stated that several cases were currently being monitored by the UN police in southern Sudan based on complaints made by girls. Between May and June 2006, the Secretary-General confirmed reports of abductions of children in Jonglei State, although exact numbers were difficult to ascertain due to access restrictions.
Between March and April 2004, the Committee for the Elimination of Abduction of Women and Children (CEAWC) was credited with helping to secure the release of an estimated 700 women and children abductees and helping them return to SPLM-controlled areas of northern Bahr el-Ghazal. However, several agencies have raised concerns that some of the CEAWC-facilitated reunions included forced repatriations and some women and children may not have actually been abducted in the first place. In addition, the relocation of some women and children separated them from their families while others reported being forced to return and having nowhere to go upon their arrival. Returnees were provided with insufficient resources, including food and non-food items, and family reunification and community reintegration programs were inadequately prepared to receive them. In 2006, the CEAWC was stalled for several months due to lack of funds.
Separated Children from Southern Sudan
There are many reasons why and how southern Sudanese children have become separated from their families, according to research undertaken by UNICEF, Save the Children UK and Save the Children Sweden in 2005. Evidence suggests that large numbers of children have been separated from their families due to attacks on villages and towns, recruitment into armed groups and other acts of war and traditional labor migration. During raids by northerners and intertribal raiding in the South, children have been abducted and separated from their families. In the past year, a UNICEF-sponsored family tracing and reunification network of 15 child protection partners has reunited over 800 separated children.
In some cases, children who are separated from their primary caregivers have been absorbed into new families, where they are seen as economic assets. These children may be subject to abuse, including sexual violence, discrimination and neglect, according to interviews conducted by UNICEF and Save the Children. Some children are denied food or other basic necessities as biological children in their new families are often given preferential treatment. Girls often face the worst conditions, especially in northern Bahr el-Ghazal and western Upper Nile, where they may be trapped in exploitative conditions and subjected to sexual abuse and forced and/or early marriage.
Trafficking and Exploitation in Darfur
According to the UN Secretary-General, Janjaweed militias, SLA-MM and Sudanese Armed Forces are all responsible for ongoing abductions of children in Darfur (S/2006/662). Some girls are abducted for short periods of time and face ongoing sexual violence during captivity (see above: Gender-Based Violence in Darfur). Boys and girls are abducted and forced to transport goods looted from villages during attacks. Some young boys have allegedly been abducted while trying to protect their cattle, camels and other livestock from looting by armed groups, according to HRW, Sudan: “If We Return, We Will Be Killed”: Rebel Abuses, November 2004. Abductions are also linked to forced recruitment of children (see below: Child Soldiers).
Between May and June 2006, the UN verified and documented 10 cases of abduction of children in Darfur. These were reported by the Secretary-General in his August 2006 report to the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict (S/2006/662); the following are several examples from the report:
· May 1, 2006: A baby was among 15 people abducted during a Janjaweed attack on Dito village in southern Darfur (para. 25a)
· May 26, 2006: Six armed men in SAF uniforms abducted a 13-year-old boy from Wadi Saleh, Western Darfur, while he was collecting wood with his father (para. 25e)
· June 13, 2006: Two men with a suspected affiliation with pro-government militias abducted and beat a teenage girl and three women near Hara village near Kabkabiya, Northern Darfur (para. 25f)
Mines and/or ERW are estimated to affect 21 out of 26 states in Sudan. Reliable information, however, is available only for 10 of those states. Mines and ERW are known to affect the following states in addition to the Nuba Mountains area: Western Equatoria, Southern Kordofan, Upper Nile, Kassala, Red Sea, northern Bahr el-Ghazal, Blue Nile, Bahr al-Jebel, Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei. In addition, the country’s borders with Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Eritrea, Ethiopia, Libya and Uganda are considered mine-affected.
Mines are generally felt to be less of a threat than unexploded ordnance (UXO) or abandoned explosive ordnance. Since the signing of the CPA, which prohibits the use of landmines, there have been no serious allegations of new use of antipersonnel mines by the GoNU, SPLA or other forces anywhere in Sudan, according to the International Campaign to Ban Landmines’ Landmine Monitor 2005 and 2006. Even so, the GoNU has not taken necessary domestic legal measures to implement prohibitions on anti-personnel mines, as per its obligations under the Mine Ban Treaty, which entered into force in Sudan on April 1, 2004.
Assessment and Casualties
Sudan continues to lack a comprehensive system for surveying the extent of landmine contamination, and the sheer size of the country continues to hamper collection of reliable information. As of March 2006, only 14 out of the 40 survey teams required by the 2005 mine action program were operational. By the end of April 2006, 1,023 dangerous areas were recorded by the Sudan mine action program and over 11,000 kilometers of major supply roads were suspected to be mined.
Access to civilian populations by humanitarian aid groups is restricted by the presence of mines on important access roads in both the North and South. In 2005, WFP estimated that the presence of landmines and UXO impacts food security for nearly 2 million people, as reported by Landmine Monitor 2006.
According to Landmine Monitor 2006, there were at least 79 new mines/UXO casualties in Sudan in 2005; 16 people were killed and 63 injured. The vast majority of casualties were civilians and included at least 20 children; only one was military. Unexploded ordinance caused 20 casualties, antipersonnel mines caused eight, and two were caused by anti-vehicle mines; the cause of 47 casualties is unknown. This represented a slight increase from 71 casualties reported in 2004, reflecting better access and improved data collection. In other parts of the country, such as the East, casualty data still remains vastly underreported and incomplete.
The National Mine Action Authority (NMAA) of Sudan was officially launched on March 7, 2006. The NMAA is composed of a National Mine Action Committee, a General Secretariat, a National Mine Action Center, based in Khartoum, and a South Sudan Regional Mine Action Center, which will be based in Juba. An integral component of UNMIS, the UN mine action program is coordinated by the UN Mine Action Office (UNMAO), the institution charged with coordinating UN mined action activities, providing mine action support to peacekeeping operations and building mine action capacities.
According to UNMAO, in 2005 demining organizations cleared 1.37 square kilometers of mined areas and a commercial operator verified 390 kilometers of road. As a result of this survey, one NGO handed over an additional 246 kilometers of “low-risk” road, a significant increase from 2004, when only one-half square kilometer of mined area was cleared and 106 kilometers of road were verified.
Mine Risk Education (MRE) and Survivor Assistance
UNICEF leads MRE in Sudan, within the framework of UNMAO, and provides program coordination, technical and financial support and training to partners throughout Sudan. Between January and September 2006, 377,000 individuals deemed at risk of encountering a landmine or ERW received MRE. Additionally, UNICEF has worked with the Ministry of Education at the federal and state levels to integrate MRE into the curriculum in affected areas.
General assistance from government agencies and NGOs for landmine survivors is provided irregularly and is insufficient to adequately address the magnitude of the problem, according to Landmine Monitor 2006. Additionally, access to rehabilitation services is often restricted by long distances, poor roads, security concerns and poverty. Health centers and hospitals generally have few staff trained in psychosocial support, and teachers are not trained to deal with children with disabilities. However, several NGOs have developed programs to provide psychosocial and rehabilitation support for child and other survivors.
Landmines and ERW in Southern Sudan
No recent reports of landmine use in the South are evident, yet civilians living near contaminated areas continue to face risks. Significant amounts of ERW especially threaten children who may unknowingly tamper with them. For example, in one incident a 10-year-old girl named Nyami was injured by a landmine in February 2006 while she was playing outdoors. Apparently, she picked up and moved what she thought was a stone on the ground. When she stood on it, it exploded and blasted off her left foot. Medical staff at Malakal Hospital in the Upper Nile region told a UNHCR representative that she was immediately brought to the hospital, but was in complete shock when she arrived. Surgeons amputated her left leg. A doctor explained that such injuries are very common because children play with things that they find. He said that over a period of two weeks, the hospital had received three wounded children with similar injuries.
Significant new problems with landmines, UXO and ERW are expected, as large numbers of displaced people return to their home areas as a result of the CPA and reconstruction initiatives. Returnees are expected to face problems both while en route home and as they resettle into contaminated communities.
Landmines and ERW in Darfur
While landmines are not widely used in Darfur, two incidents were reported in 2004. In February 2004, a mine blast injured a staff member of Save the Children UK when his vehicle struck the device on a road in Northern Darfur. In addition, on October 10, 2004, another Save the Children vehicle struck an anti-tank landmine in the Um Barro area of Northern Darfur, killing two staff members who were carrying out programs in the area, which had been completely inaccessible just three weeks prior to the incident. The region is also affected by UXO. In April 2005, two children were killed in Western Darfur when UXO detonated.
Very little new information is available about the proliferation and use of small arms and light weapons in Sudan. Small Arms Survey 2005 reported that in Sudan an estimated 25 percent of the population possessed small arms and light weapons and an estimated 50 percent of the population had knowledge on how to use them.
During unofficial regional intergovernmental meetings held between 2002 and 2004, representatives of the GoS expressed concern that small arms were becoming a threat to public safety and a factor in regional instability. In September 2006, Small Arms Survey published its first Human Security Baseline Assessment (HSBA), Sudan Issue Brief, Number 1, September 2006. This assessment reiterates that the widespread presence of unregulated small arms and light weapons, coupled with a pervasive climate of impunity, is one of the biggest contributors to insecurity and high levels of armed violence in southern Sudan. The assessment also notes that the most commonly held arms include the AK-47 and other automatic assault rifles, revolvers, pistols, shot guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. HSBA reported that many civilians hold on to weapons for security and the protection of property in the absence of legitimate public security arrangements.
Small Arms in Southern Sudan
In June 2006, the nongovernmental humanitarian organization, Mines Advisory Group (MAG), reported on its new initiative to remove and destroy unsecured and abandoned weapons caches along the border of southern Sudan. Initial findings indicated over 100 stockpiles of small arms and light weapons, many found in useable condition, in the areas of Yei, Juba, Morobo and Kajo Keji.
Small Arms Situation in Darfur
The chief supplier of weapons for the Janjaweed is the Government of National Unity, which often uses government aircraft to transfer weapons, according to AI. Small arms have also been smuggled into Darfur from southern Sudan, Chad, Libya and the Central African Republic. Some small arms have also been supplied by foreign governments and private foreign firms in various countries, including China, France, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and others, according to AI.
Janjaweed in Darfur are commonly armed with AK-47s, G3 assault rifles, Belgian FAL rifles and other automatic assault rifles; rocket-propelled grenade launchers; bazookas; and various weapons mounted on jeeps, such as dushkas, according to AI, Sudan: Arming the Perpetrators of Grave Abuses in Darfur, November 16, 2004. These weapons are used to commit grave violations against children and other civilians during Janjaweed attacks on villages, IDP camps and other locations.
The SLA and JEM rebel groups in Darfur have denied receiving arms from other countries or sources and claim to get their weapons from attacks on government forces, police stations and army posts, according to AI.
European Union (EU)
The EU imposed an arms embargo on Sudan (Common Position 94/165/CFSP) in March 1994, which banned European countries from exporting to Sudan weapons and ammunition designed to kill, weapons platforms and ancillary equipment, including spare parts. The embargo also forbade European countries from repairing or maintaining arms and transferring military technology. On January 9, 2004, reflecting on the situation in Darfur, the EU reaffirmed and strengthened the embargo by specifying its application to the sale, transfer or export of arms-related material of all types. None of the EU’s arms embargos entail monitoring mechanisms.
United Nations Security Council
In July 2004, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1556, calling on all states to prevent the sale or supply of arms and related materials to all members of the Janjaweed, other militias and armed opposition groups and individual leaders or combatants operating in Northern, Southern and Western Darfur. The Resolution did not provide guidance for effective implementation of the embargo nor did it establish a monitoring or investigation mechanism.
In March 2005, through Resolution 1591, the UN Security Council expanded its arms embargo to include the GoNU, primarily for its support of the Janjaweed, as well as non-state armed groups. In addition, the Security Council authorized the creation of a sanctions monitoring committee supported by a Panel of Experts to review compliance and impose targeted sanctions on specific arms dealers as appropriate.
Since then, the Panel of Experts has submitted three reports to the Security Council. In April 2006, the Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, adopted Resolution 1672, which imposed sanctions, including a travel ban and an assets freeze against several individuals deemed to be impeding peace efforts in Darfur and the region, violating international law and leading offensive military overflights and other atrocities (see below: UNSC Resolution 1672).
In October 2006, the Panel cited credible reports that indicate that weapons are being delivered from Chad into Darfur and that the GoNU continues to provide weapons and vehicles to the Janjaweed. (S/2006/795) It also reported that the Janjaweed appear to have upgraded their weapons and transport from horses, camels and AK-47s to land cruisers, pickup trucks and rocket-propelled grenade launchers.
In 1997, the US banned defense exports and dual-use goods to Sudan. In October 2006, the US expanded these measures when President George W. Bush signed the Darfur Peace and Accountability Act of 2006 (DPAA), barring transactions of U.S. persons with the GoNU and Sudan’s petroleum and petrochemical industry. The DPAA targets individuals who have orchestrated or committed acts of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity in Sudan and Darfur. It forbids transactions between the US and Sudan in relation to its petroleum and petrochemical industries. However, the order exempts southern Sudan, Southern Kordofan/Nuba Mountains State, Blue Nile, Abyei, Darfur and other marginalized areas around Khartoum, provided that the property or transactions are not connected to the GoNU.
In his August 2006 report on
children and armed conflict in Sudan, the UN Secretary-General noted that
credible evidence exists that all of the following groups continue to recruit
or use children: the Janjaweed, based in Darfur; JEM; South Sudan Unity
Movement (SSUM), based in Khartoum and southern Sudan; SLA; and SPLA.
The report also documented several specific incidents of child recruitment and use by various groups, including incidents in the North. In one incident in May 2006, 14 young soldiers from the SAF unit of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Thiel in Abyei were interviewed by UN staff. Reports of the Eastern Front recruiting children were reported in 2005, though no new cases of recruitment have been reported since then, according to the Secretary-General. This may be due to restricted access.
The Sudanese Armed Forces regularly deny the presence of children in their units, according to the Secretary-General. Yet, SAF representatives have acknowledged that there are children in other armed groups that have recently been incorporated into their forces. The SAF is comprised of approximately 19,000 soldiers; the Secretary-General estimates that a significant number of these are children under age 18.
Child Soldiers in Southern Sudan
The SPLA has continued to acknowledge the presence of children within its armed forces and has made high-level commitments for several years to end its recruitment and use of children. However, some armed groups that have joined the SPLA since the signing of the CPA, such as the SSUM and other groups from the SSDF, have continued to recruit children, even after their incorporation, according to credible reports cited by the Secretary-General. In April 2006, the SPLA Chief Commander and First Vice President of Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, wrote to these other armed groups to demand that they cease their recruitment of children.
However, according to a credible source, the SPLA forcibly entered a school in Upper Nile in October 2006 and allegedly recruited children and teachers into their ranks. Though these people were released the same day by the SPLA unit commander, this incident highlights the lack of knowledge of low-ranking SPLA soldiers regarding their obligations outlined in the CPA.
Southern Sudan Militias
Children are reported to be associated with militias in the South. In May 2006, SPLA forces attacked the White Army and an armed group in Motot, Jonglei State, killing 113 youth associated with the White Army, according to the UN Secretary-General’s 2006 report on children and armed conflict in Sudan. The report also noted that recruitment of children remains prevalent in southern Sudan as militias that were not party to the CPA initiated recruitment drives prior to their incorporation into the SPLA or the SAF to bolster their numbers and negotiating power. Children are regularly included in these recruitment drives. The Secretary-General has also confirmed reports of southern Sudanese commanders actively recruiting children in Khartoum.
DDR in Southern Sudan
All signatories to the CPA were required to demobilize all children in their ranks by July 2005. The National Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Coordination Council is responsible for the coordination of all DDR programs in northern and southern Sudan. The Council has taken steps to develop policy and planning for DDR, with support from UNMIS, UNICEF and several NGO partners. Acting under the umbrella of the Council are the Northern Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission, responsible for the DDR of children and others associated with the Sudanese Armed Forces, and the Southern Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission, responsible for the DDR of children and others associated with armed groups in southern Sudan.
Despite the DDR requirements established by the CPA, the UN Secretary-General reported that as of August 2006 only an estimated 1,000 children had been released from armed groups and all of these were from southern Sudan and transitional areas. According to the Secretary-General, the SPLA has released over 960 children since the signing of the CPA. As of December 2006, 1,040 children associated with armed forces and groups had been removed from the SPLA and other armed groups, including 221 children demobilized and returned to their homes in the transitional areas.
In April 2006, approximately 250 to 300 children, including nearly 40 girls, began the processes of demobilization, reunification with their families and reintegration into their communities in Khorfulus, near Malakal in Upper Nile State. The children participated in a two-hour ceremony during which they exchanged guns and military uniforms for civilian clothes and textbooks. They were primarily from an armed group called “Mobile,” which joined the SPLA after the signing of the CPA.
In June 2006, the 27th Brigade of the SPLA released approximately 200 boys and girls in Julud, Southern Kordofan, in the Nuba Mountains. One girl among this group explained to UNICEF that she spent most of her days studying in the SPLA military compound but that she also was responsible for cooking, collecting water and washing clothes for officers. She, like other children, had received training in the use of small arms and would sometimes be sent to the field to handle heavy guns to prepare for the event of an attack.
Despite this progress, successful family tracing, long-term reintegration programming, schooling and other important support mechanisms that contribute to ensuring successful reintegration remain limited and underfunded.
Disarmament of Militias and Villages in Southern Sudan
Many militias that did not support the CPA have resisted handing over weapons and have continued to recruit children. In January 2006, the SPLA began a forced disarmament of these militias, which incited violence in Jonglei State. Villagers whose weapons had been taken away complained that they had no way of protecting themselves against those who still carried weapons. Hundreds of people, including children, died in this violence.
In July 2006, residents of Akobo County in Jonglei State, including children, relinquished their weapons in a formal disarmament ceremony. Due to severe insecurity in Akobo, many humanitarian organizations had been unable to provide services to civilians there for many years. Villagers were asked to participate in the disarmament process with the promise that humanitarian organizations would then be able to begin new health, education, sanitation and other important services. Some critics have noted that this voluntary process, however, was also coercive in that many Akobo residents stated that they understood the penalties that awaited them should they refuse to comply
Child Soldiers in Darfur
The UN Secretary-General reported in 2006 that the SLA-MM, Janjaweed militias, Chadian opposition forces and the Camel Police are recruiting and using children as combatants in Darfur (S/2006/662). The Secretary-General estimated that thousands of children were associated with armed groups in Darfur and were actively involved in armed conflict.
Between May and June 2006, the UN verified and documented eight cases of child soldier recruitment and use in Darfur. These were reported in the Secretary-General’s August 2006 report on Sudan to the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. The following are several examples:
· April 5, 2006: Most children over age 15 were found to be enlisted in the SLA-AW. (S/2006/218)
· May 15, 2006: Interviews by UN staff with civilians displaced by Janjaweed attacks on villages near Kutum, Northern Darfur, confirmed that there were many child soldiers among the Janjaweed militias who perpetrated the attacks. (S/2006/662, para. 19e)
· June 29, 2006: Six armed boys aged 15 to 17 were observed in the forces of the SLA-MM at Tabet, Southern Darfur. An SLA official claimed that the children joined the SLA voluntarily because they were separated from their families. (S/2006/662, para. 19d)
· June 2006: Many boys under 18 years old are recruited into the Camel Police in Western Darfur. (S/2006/662, para. 19g)
Eyewitnesses also reported to HRW that they observed boys who appeared to be under 18 amongst both the SLA and JEM forces in Darfur, HRW, Sudan: “If We Return, We Will Be Killed”: Rebel Abuses, November 2004. HRW researchers traveling in Northern Darfur in August 2004 observed and photographed child soldiers in the SLA. The youngest child soldier observed appeared to be approximately 12 years old. In Southern Darfur, child protection agencies reported in 2006 that at least half of the combatants present in one of the SLA’s barracks were under 18. Non-signatories to the DPA also continue to recruit and arm children, particularly as new rebel groups are formed and as non-signatories seek to improve their position in future negotiations by increasing their number.
Recognizing obligations set forth in the DPA, SLA-MM has provided assurances to child protection agencies of its intention to demobilize children within its ranks and, in conjunction with UN agencies operating in Darfur, disarmed approximately 500 children in 2005. However, the slow implementation of the DPA has done little to halt child recruitment and the demobilization of children associated with signatories to the DPA has been extremely limited and in some cases nonexistent.
Children in Darfur are also abducted into armed groups. The following are two examples according to the UN:
· May 10, 2006: 108 children are abducted for use as fighters by the SLA. (S/2006/662, para. 25d)
· May 24, 2006: A 17-year-old Tama boy was abducted by Chadian opposition forces from Geneina, Western Darfur. (S/2006/662, para. 19f)
Child protection agencies have also expressed concern at the detention of children suspected of spying. Both the SLA and the GoNU, particularly the military intelligence unit, have reportedly detained children who they allege are spies. Often, these children are imprisoned but not officially charged with a crime. Child protection agencies have closely monitored several of these cases and secured the release of some children.
Recruitment of Child Refugees in Chad
Sudanese militias have begun recruiting children and other civilians among the refugees in Chad. According to an investigation by a UNCHR team and testimonies from refugees in eastern Chad, several hundred men and boys appeared to have been recruited from Treguine, Breidjing and Farchana between March 17 and 19, UN News, “UN Agency Condemns Forced Recruitment of Sudanese Refugees in Chad,” March 31, 2006. Most of the recruits were between the ages of 15 and 35. Several younger boys were also conscripted, according to UNHCR. Although UNHCR has not officially named the perpetrators, some refugees told UNHCR officials that the recruits had been taken to a training base across the border in Darfur.
In 2006, Chadian rebel groups aiming to oust President Idriss Deby also began attacking villages and refuge camps in eastern Chad. Among other violations, they are alleged to have recruited children and adults from refugee populations, according to HRW. Attacks by the Sudanese and Chadian militias have also caused internal displacement among local Chadians, as well as a wave of Chadian refugees fleeing into Western Darfur.
In 2004, the UN Security Council (UNSC) agreed to consider the situation in Sudan on its regular agenda. Since that time, it has adopted 19 resolutions on Sudan, reviewed dozens of reports submitted by the Secretary-General, set up a sanctions monitoring committee, established a Panel of Experts to support the sanctions committee, reviewed Sudan within the context of the Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict and visited Sudan, including Darfur in June 2006.
UNSC Resolutions on Sudan, Including the Situation in Darfur
Since 2004, the Security Council has adopted 19 resolutions relating to Sudan, including the situation in Darfur. The following are selected highlights from the resolutions:
Resolution 1547 (2004) supports the Secretary-General’s proposal to establish, for an initial period of three months and under the authority of a Special Representative to the Secretary-General (SRSG), a United Nations advance team in Sudan dedicated to preparing the international monitoring outlined in the September 25, 2003 Naivasha Agreement and to prepare for the introduction of a peace support operation following the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement. It also reiterates the need for an effective public information capacity for the United Nations.
Resolution 1556 (2004) calls on the Government of Sudan to remove all impediments to the provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected populations in Darfur. It insists on the improvement of the overall security conditions, urging for the respect of the cease-fire by the rebels and encouraging a political solution for Darfur. It demands that the Government of Sudan fulfill its commitment to disarm and prosecute the Janjaweed responsible for human rights and humanitarian law violations. It decides that all states shall prevent the sale or supply of arms and related materials, technical training or military assistance to nongovernmental entities and individuals, including the Janjaweed, operating in Darfur. It encourages the creation of a peaceful and unified Sudan and calls on the international community to provide the financial support needed for this purpose, as well as “assistance to mitigate the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Darfur.”
Resolution 1574 (2004) supports the efforts of the Government of Sudan and the SPLM/A to reach a Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and declares, upon the signing of the CPA, its readiness to establish a peace support operation and its commitment to assist Sudan in post-conflict reconstruction.
Resolution 1590 (2005) authorizes the deployment of the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), for an initial period of six months, to support the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The Security Council authorizes UNMIS, under Chapter VII, to take the necessary actions to protect UN personnel, facilities, installations and equipment.
Resolution 1591 (2005) deplores the failure of parties to the conflict in Darfur to meet their commitments. Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council establishes a Committee, consisting of all the members of the Council, to conduct a series of activities, including designating individuals subjected to sanctions measures set forth in the Resolution, and monitoring the implementation of these measures. These sanctions measures include the freezing of all funds, financial assets and economic resources. The Security Council also establishes, for a period of six months, a Panel of Experts comprised of four members to assist the Committee on monitoring the implementation of sanctions measures.
Resolution 1593 (2005) refers the situation in Darfur since July 1, 2002, to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court and requires the Government of National Unity and all other parties to the conflict in Darfur to cooperate with the Court and the Prosecutor.
Resolution 1627 (2005) extends the mandate of UNMIS to March 2006 and authorizes the renewal of its mandate for further periods. The Security Council urges troop-contributing countries to take action to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse perpetrated by their personnel working with UNMIS.
Resolution 1663 (2006) stresses the importance of reaching a successful conclusion to the Abuja Talks and peace agreement as soon as possible and welcomes the African Union Peace and Security Council’s decision to support in principle the transition of the African Union Mission in the Sudan (AMIS) to a United Nations Operation, to pursue the conclusion of a peace agreement on Darfur by the end of April 2006 and to extend the mandate of AMIS until September 30, 2006, with the intention of exploring its renewal in the future. The Resolution also asks the Government of National Unity to finalize and implement national institutions for disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants, with the assistance of UNMIS.
Resolution 1672 (2006), with the authority of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, decides that all States shall implement the sanctions measures specified in paragraph 3 of Resolution 1591 (2005) with respect to the following individuals:
· Major General Gaffar Mohamed Elhassan (Commander of the Western Military Region for the Sudanese Armed Forces)
· Sheikh Musa Hilal (Paramount Chief of the Jalul Tribe in Northern Darfur)
· Adam Yacub Shant (Sudanese Liberation Army Commander)
· Gabril Abdul Kareem Badri (National Movement for Reform and Development Field Commander)
Resolution 1679 (2006) recalls Resolutions including 1612 (2005) on children and armed conflict, 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security, 1674 (2006) on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, and 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, and acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, asks parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement to respect their commitments and urges those parties that have not signed to do so without delay, and expresses its intention to consider taking measures against any individual or group that violates or attempts to block the implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, such as imposing travel bans and freezing assets.
It also endorses the transition of AMIS to a United Nations Operation and asks that the Secretary-General submit recommendations to the Security Council within one week of the return of the joint African Union and United Nations assessment mission on all relevant aspects of the mandate of the United Nations Operation in Darfur, including force structure, additional force requirements, potential troop-contributing countries and a detailed financial evaluation of future costs.
Resolution 1706 (2006) resolves that UNMIS shall be expanded and strengthened and that it shall be deployed to Darfur and therefore invites the consent of the Government of National Unity for this deployment. Acting under Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Security Council authorizes UNMIS to use all necessary means to protect UN personnel and facilities, to support early and effective implementation of the Darfur Peace Agreement, to prevent attacks and threats against civilians and to seize, collect and dispose of arms in Darfur whose presence violates the Agreements. The mandate of UNMIS in Darfur will also include cooperating with UN agencies on the voluntary return of refugees and internationally displaced persons and humanitarian assistance, contributing to efforts to protect, promote and monitor human rights in Darfur, providing assistance in the mine action sector and addressing regional security issues. The Security Council requests joint consultations on developing a plan and timetable for transition from AMIS to UNMIS in Darfur and decides that certain elements shall be deployed no later than October 1, 2006, to begin the transition. UNMIS shall take over responsibilities from AMIS upon the expiration of the AMIS mandate, no later than December 31, 2006.
The Security Council also requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on the protection of civilians in refugee and internally displaced persons camps in Chad.
Resolution 1714 (2006) decides to extend the Mandate of UNMIS until April 30, 2007, with the intention to renew it for further periods.
UNSC Resolutions on Children and Armed Conflict
Since 2003, the UNSC has adopted two resolutions on children and armed conflict, adding to the Security Council’s four previous Children and Armed Conflict (CAC) resolutions. These set out important and practical steps to be taken by various members of the UN system, donors, NGOs and others to expand child protection in conflict-affected areas. However, all actors have failed to fulfill their obligations to fully implement the child protection measures requested by the UNSC in Sudan and other war-torn areas. The following are highlights of the two CAC resolutions.
Resolution 1539 (2004)
· Strongly condemns the recruitment and use of child soldiers by parties to conflict and other CAC violations
· Requests that the Secretary-General regularly review compliance by parties to conflict to halt the recruitment and use of child soldiers
· Calls upon parties to conflict to prepare action plans for halting the recruitment and use of child soldiers, which will be coordinated by focal points identified by the Secretary-General
· Expresses its intention to consider imposing targeted and graduated measures such as, inter alia, a ban on the export or supply of small arms and light weapons and other military equipment and assistance
· Reiterates its request to all concerned to include children in all DDR programs and to monitor demobilized children in order to prevent re-recruitment
· Requests UN bodies to implement HIV/AIDS education and voluntary counseling and testing for all UN peacekeepers, police and humanitarian staff
· Expresses intention to take appropriate measures to curb linkages between illicit trade of natural resources, the illicit trafficking of small arms and cross-border recruitment and armed conflict
· Requests the Secretary-General to propose effective measures to control the illicit trade and trafficking of small arms
· Requests countries contributing to peacekeeping missions to incorporate codes of conduct for peacekeeping personnel and to develop disciplinary and accountability mechanisms for peacekeeping personnel
· Decides to include child protection provisions in the mandates of UN peacekeeping missions and to deploy CPAs
· Reiterates the request to the Secretary-General to include child protection information in country-specific reports
Resolution 1612 (2005)
· Strongly condemns the recruitment and use of child soldiers by parties to conflict and other CAC violations
· Expresses serious concern regarding the lack of progress in developing and implementing action plans to halt the recruitment and use of child soldiers
· Reiterates its intention to consider imposing targeted and graduated measures such as, inter alia, a ban on the export or supply of small arms and light weapons and other military equipment and assistance
· Requests that the Secretary-General implement a monitoring and reporting mechanism (MRM)on violations against children in five armed conflict situations, including Sudan
· Decides to establish a working group of the Security Council on children and armed conflict consisting of SC member states
· Urges member states and other parties concerned to take appropriate measures to control the illicit trade of small arms to parties to armed conflict
· Requests the Secretary-General continue to take all necessary action in relation to the zero-tolerance policy on sexual exploitation perpetrated by peacekeepers
· Urges troop-contributing states to take appropriate preventive and disciplinary action to ensure full accountability and compliance with UN policies on sexual exploitation and abuse
· Decides to continue deploying CPAs to UN peacekeeping missions
· Reiterates its request to the Secretary-General to include child protection information in country-specific reports
Implementation of Resolution 1612: The Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism
UN Secretary-General’s Reports to the Security Council
Reports on Sudan and Darfur
Since 2004, the UN Secretary-General has submitted nearly 30 reports to the UN Security Council related to Sudan and Darfur. These have included monthly reports on the situation in Darfur, progress reports on UNMIS, general progress reports on Sudan and others. None of these reports include specific sections on Child Protection, as requested by the UN Security Council resolutions on children and armed conflict. However, several do address child protection issues, such as abduction of children, killing and maiming of children, forced recruitment of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence against girls, vulnerability of IDP children in Darfur, lack of medical care for girls, demobilization of children and children separated from their families.
Reports on Children and Armed Conflict
In February 2005, the UN Secretary-General included in his fifth report on Children and Armed Conflict to the Security Council (S/2005/72) a section on developments in Sudan, briefly describing demobilization, re-recruitment and use of children by Janjaweed, SLA/M and JEM. In Annex 1 of the report, the Secretary-General named five armed groups that recruit or use children, including Janjaweed (based in Darfur), JEM, SSUM, SLA and SPLA.
In November 2006, the UN Secretary-General included in his sixth report on Children and Armed Conflict to the Security Council (S/2006/826) a section on developments in Sudan, briefly describing the killing of children in southern Sudan, abductions of children in southern Sudan, sexual violence against girls in Darfur and worsening humanitarian access in Darfur. The report also noted that the security situation in eastern Chad remains volatile and that hundreds of children have been killed, raped and abducted in attacks on displaced settlements throughout eastern Chad. In Annex 1 of the report, the Secretary-General also named six categories of armed groups operating in Sudan that recruit and use children, totaling nine specific armed groups responsible for this grave violation. These are:
· Parties under the control of the Government of National Unity
1. Government-supported militias in Darfur, also called Janjaweed (This party has also been responsible for killing and maiming, abductions and committing rape and other grave sexual violence against children)
2. Police Forces (Camel Police)
3. Sudan Armed Forces (This party has also been responsible for killing and maiming, abductions of children and denial of humanitarian access)
· Former rebel parties who have accepted the Darfur Peace Agreement
4. Sudan Liberation Army/Movement (This party has also been responsible for killing and maiming, abductions and committing rape and other grave sexual violence against children)
· Parties under the control of the Government of Southern Sudan
5. Sudan People’s Liberation Army (This party has also been responsible for killing and maiming of children)
· Parties under the control of both the Government of National Unity and the Government of Southern Sudan
6. Joint Integrated Units of the Sudan Armed Forces and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army
· Groups of tribally linked armed civilians involved in inter-communal fighting or confrontations with parties
7. The White Army (Lou Nuer) (This party has also been responsible for killing and maiming of children)
· Other groups active in Sudanese territory
8. Chadian Opposition Forces
9. Lord’s Resistance Army
To the Authorities of the Government of National Unity
· Strictly comply with all signed agreements and uphold international human rights and humanitarian law, paying particular attention to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). This includes submitting regular reports on the CRC to the Child Rights Committee in Geneva and collaborating with NGOs so that they may submit alternative reports.
· Comply fully with all provisions and commitments outlined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
· Strengthen and enforce legislation and increase the capacity of relevant actors to promote a more effective judicial system. Legislation must provide for the prosecution of those responsible for crimes committed against children, including sexual violence.
· Ensure that policies to protect the security and rights of children in Sudan are an integral part of all government institutions.
· Increase socially oriented spending in the budget, with a focus on programs that target youth, and utilized oil revenue to support education efforts and the provision of social services for children and young people.
· Provide humanitarian actors with unrestricted and secure access to all areas of Sudan, and guarantee all civilians safe, unimpeded and sustained access to humanitarian assistance, including emergency relief supplies.
· Ensure that human rights defenders are protected, support their efforts to bring to public attention information about violations of human rights and child rights and support programs and policies that would halt such crimes.
· As required by Resolution 1612, fully support and facilitate UNMIS and UNICEF’s development of a monitoring and reporting mechanism on violations against children, including killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, recruitment and use of children, abduction, denial of access to humanitarian assistance and attacks on schools and hospitals.
· Ensure that any military personnel integrated into or otherwise enlisted in the government forces have not been convicted or accused of human rights and/or child rights violations.
· Play a supportive role in peace initiatives in northern Uganda to promote regional peace, security and stability.
· Immediately halt all forced relocations of IDPs, particularly those living in and around Khartoum. Cease all attacks on displaced communities by government actors and others, and ensure that those who attack civilians are punished.
· Improve food security and increase access to essential health services and basic resources for children, such as immunizations, clean water, insecticide-treated bed nets and treatment for common illnesses.
· Ensure that all children, including refugees and IDPs, have free and safe access to primary and secondary education in line with Interagency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies. To this end, ensure that all teachers are paid fair salaries on a regular basis.
· Abolish all policies and laws that restrict or limit children’s access to education, including those that make entry into university conditional on the successful completion of post-secondary school military training and those that restrict or limit the access of pregnant girls or young mothers to opportunities for formal education.
· Create and strengthen existing protocols and policies to explicitly prohibit, punish and respond to all forms of sexual violence perpetrated by school administrators, teachers and others in the education sector, and work with relevant NGOs, UN agencies and government authorities to monitor and enforce these measures.
· Ensure that policies and protocols related to Form 8 are uniformly implemented and communicated to all relevant actors and that all barriers survivors face in accessing Form 8 and GBV-related health services are removed. Ensure that all survivors receive clinical care regardless of their decision to complete Form 8.
· Issue a strict code of conduct for all Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and all government-supported militias, prohibiting all forms of sexual violence. Develop and implement clear accountability and disciplinary measures, and ensure that all forces integrated into the SAF receive training on child rights, human rights and the prohibition of sexual violence.
· Improve and strictly enforce national legislation and policies that comply with international standards to eliminate trafficking within Sudan and across its borders, including legislation that explicitly outlaws all forms of trafficking.
· Establish means to appropriately, safely and ethically identify and assist victims of trafficking, including a comprehensive package of services and materials to assist and help reintegrate survivors of trafficking.
· Increase support for mine risk education programs, with a focus on displaced children and other high-risk groups.
· Prioritize weapons collection and destruction programs, with special emphasis on weapons in the hands of young people, and develop nationwide norms for possession of small arms and light weapons.
To the UN Security Council
· Maintain and fully fund UNMIS’s Child Protection Section and encourage donors to provide sufficient resources to address child protection concerns in Sudan, in accordance with UNMIS’s mandate.
· Continue to give priority attention to Sudan and use all means available to effectively implement UNSC Resolutions on Sudan and on children and armed conflict, particularly Resolutions 1539 and 1612, and hold the GoNU to its obligations outlined in these Resolutions.
· Call on UN member states to ensure that humanitarian programs and services that benefit Sudanese refugees and internally displaced peoples in Sudan are fully funded, in particular the 2007 Work Plan for Sudan.
· Insist that all troop-contributing countries properly investigate and apply appropriate disciplinary measures for all peacekeeping personnel accused of sexual exploitation or abuse. Commitment to follow through on these actions should be a prerequisite for accepting troop contributions.
· Call on all armed forces and groups operating in Sudan, as well as all neighboring countries and others providing arms to Sudan, to end the illicit trade and stockpiling of small arms and light weapons. Maintain the arms embargo on Sudan and support UNMIS’ increased mandate to monitor compliance with the embargo, with specific emphasis on the most porous border areas.
· Insist that all troop-contributing countries provide UNMIS civilian and military personnel with extensive training in international humanitarian and human rights law as it relates to children and as noted in Security Council Resolution 1379, paragraph 10b.
· Facilitate coordination and cooperation between UN agencies tasked with monitoring and reporting on the situation of IDPs and returnees, ensuring that all information is collected in a manner that respects international best practices on data collection in conflict-affected and post-conflict areas.
· Insist that all troop-contributing countries provide HIV/AIDS education and voluntary HIV testing and counseling services for all UNMIS civilian and military personnel, as noted in Security Council Resolutions 1379, paragraph 10b, and Resolution 1460, paragraph 11.
· As a matter of urgency, implement child rights and sexual exploitation and abuse prevention training for all military and civilian personnel associated with UNMIS, and ensure that all such training is periodically reviewed during deployment.
· Cooperate closely with the OIOS mechanisms to investigate reports of sexual exploitation and abuse by UNMIS personnel. Cooperate fully to ensure that timely and effective investigations are conducted and appropriate disciplinary measures are applied. Ensure that the outcome of the investigations into sexual exploitation and abuse are made public, and provide appropriate reparations for survivors.
· Improve training for UNMIS personnel on investigating trafficking of small arms, light weapons and landmines, with a focus on cross-border transfer of weapons. Ensure that UNMIS personnel monitor the illegal flow of small arms and light weapons as thoroughly as possible, as mandated by the Security Council.
To the Humanitarian Community
· Promote acceptance and reintegration of repatriated Sudanese refugees and returning IDPs by supporting relevant social and economic structures and programs, giving special attention to the needs and rights of returning children and adolescents.
· Ensure that communities receiving returnees are given adequate support to expand their capacity to provide social services and improve their overall absorptive capacity.
· Ensure that psychosocial support and services are an integral part of the emergency programs for children in Sudan and that children and adolescents have access to nongovernmental centers that provide culturally-relevant counseling and trauma-related services.
· Prioritize HIV/AIDS programming throughout Sudan by:
o conducting emergency assessments to ensure that prevention measures are well-informed;
o providing voluntary counseling and testing services as well as treatment for HIV and other STIs; and
o providing care and support, including in-home visits, to people living with HIV/AIDS.
· Utilize international standards, such as the INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies, and conduct training on such standards to improve the quality of education interventions, and increase accountability of teachers and other education officials. Ensure that all teachers are afforded opportunities to enhance their professional skills.
· Prioritize the implementation of the actions outlined in the Inter-Agency Standing Committee’s Guidelines on Gender-Based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings, including training for all humanitarian aid workers on their responsibilities outlined in the code of conduct on sexual exploitation and abuse.
· Work to improve access of survivors of GBV to relevant health services administered by trained and compassionate health workers in line with WHO standards and international best practices.
· Develop effective, safe, accessible reporting mechanisms that allow community members to report allegations of sexual violence, including sexual exploitation, perpetrated by humanitarian aid workers, and ensure prompt investigations and support for and protection of victims.
· Implement and expand current programs to trace the families of separated children and reunify these children with their families.
· Collect and disseminate accurate and comprehensive data on landmine and ERW incidents that involve children and adolescents, ensuring that data is disaggregated by sex, age group and geographic location.
· Monitor the re-recruitment of children by armed groups in DDR plans and continue to emphasize community rehabilitation, psychosocial support and education as integral parts of reintegration programming.
To Other Governments
· All member states of the United Nations should use all available means to ensure that the Government of National Unity upholds its commitments and obligations outlined in relevant Security Council Resolutions and international law.
· Increase and sustain human and financial resources to adequately protect children in all parts of Sudan. This includes providing major contributions towards the humanitarian and recovery components of the 2007 Work Plan for Sudan. Funding should provide and improve access to:
o basic medical care and immunizations for Sudanese children;
o neonatal and antenatal healthcare to improve the health of mothers and their infants;
o HIV/AIDS education, prevention services, voluntary counseling and testing and treatment, with attention to the particular needs and vulnerabilities of girls and adolescents;
o formal and nonformal educational opportunities, with special attention to displaced children and youth who have missed opportunities to go to school during the war;
o emergency medical care and long-term support for survivors of sexual violence, including access to post-exposure prophylaxis for HIV/AIDS and treatment and prophylaxis for other STIs, culturally-appropriate psychosocial support and assistance with rehabilitation and reintegration into their communities; and
o family tracing and reunification programs to protect separated and orphaned children, street children, children associated with armed forces and groups and other unaccompanied minors.
· Expand support for local organizations working to defend human rights and protect the rights of children.
· Increase support for mine action programs, such as mine awareness education, landmine and ERW removal, mine impact assessment and recovery programs for individuals injured by landmines, with special attention to the threat and impact of landmines and ERW on children.
· Immediately suspend all transfers of arms and related dual-use logistical and security supplies to Sudan, especially those likely to be used by armed groups or forces to perpetrate violations against children.
To the Authorities of the Government of Southern Sudan
· Comply fully with all provisions and commitments outlined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
· Ensure that policies to protect the security and rights of children in southern Sudan are an integral part of all government institutions.
· Prepare and strengthen legislation and capacity to promote an effective judicial system. Legislation must provide for the prosecution of those responsible for crimes committed against children, including sexual violence.
· Expand the technical capacity of government child protection and social service agencies through capacity-strengthening projects, ensuring that the needs of children and adolescents are identified, assessed and addressed.
· Increase socially-oriented spending in the budget, with a focus on programs that target youth, and utilize oil revenue to support education efforts and the provision of social services for children and young people.
· Work closely with UNMIS, UNICEF and local and international child protection organizations to develop an effective and sustainable monitoring and reporting mechanism on violations against children, including killing and maiming, rape and other forms of sexual violence, recruitment and use of children, abduction, denial of access to humanitarian assistance and attacks on schools and hospitals. Efforts to monitor the abuse of children in the context of forced displacement, trafficking and other relevant situations in Sudan should also be considered.
· Ensure that human rights defenders are protected, support their efforts to bring to public attention information about violations of human rights and child rights and support programs and policies that would halt such crimes.
· Continue to play an active role in supporting peace initiatives in northern Uganda to promote regional peace, security and stability. To this end, continue to facilitate peace talks in southern Sudan.
· Ensure that relevant government agencies work together with corresponding agencies from the North to better protect IDPS returning to the South by providing accurate and timely information for IDPs to help them make an informed decision about return.
· Ensure that communities receiving returnees are given adequate support to expand their capacity to provide social services and improve their overall absorptive capacity.
· Improve food security and increase access to essential health services for children, such as immunizations, clean water, insecticide-treated bed nets and case management of common diseases.
· Ensure that all children, including refugees and IDPs, have free and safe access to primary and secondary education in line with INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies.
· Ensure that all teachers are regularly paid fair salaries and afforded opportunities to enhance their professional skills, and prioritize the hiring of more female teachers.
· Create and strengthen existing protocols and policies to explicitly prohibit, punish and respond to all forms of sexual violence perpetrated by school administrators, teachers and others in the education sector, and work with relevant NGOs, UN agencies and government authorities to monitor and enforce these measures.
· Prioritize the development of a coordinated response to sexual violence, in line with WHO standards, that includes support, care and treatment for all survivors, as well as testing, care and treatment for HIV/AIDS. This should include increased HIV/AIDS education for women and girls in areas with high levels of armed personnel.
· Make weapons collection and destruction programs a priority, with special emphasis on weapons in the hands of young people.
· Work with UNMIS, UN agencies and NGO partners to monitor, report and respond to attempts by any armed group to re-recruit children and adolescents into armed forces and groups in southern Sudan.
To the UN Security Council
· Ensure that the Government of Southern Sudan, as well as the Government of National Unity, complies with all provisions of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, monitoring compliance and renouncing violations by all sides.
· Ensure that all IDPs and refugees returning to the South are protected and have safe passage during return, and report any attempts by any party to attack or harm returnees.
· Increase the number and distribution of UNMIS civilian staff in the South to monitor and address the needs of returnees, and support the capacity of local government agencies and nongovernmental organizations to provide adequate and sustainable support to returnees.
To the Humanitarian Community Operating in Southern Sudan
· Strengthen and expand programs that protect and assist children in southern Sudan, particularly unaccompanied and separated children, out-of-school youth, girls and others who may face higher risks of violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect.
· Support formal and nonformal education and vocational training initiatives for young people to prepare them for productive futures.
· Expand accelerated learning programs to address the education needs of youth who have missed years of formal education.
To Other Governments
· Provide human and financial resources to improve governance, expand the rule of law and increase the capacity of institutions of the Government of Southern Sudan to provide essential services.
· Ensure that DDR funding supports programs to address the special needs of girls, including girl mothers and their children, and the long-term reintegration needs of children formerly associated with armed forces and groups.
To the Authorities of the Government of National Unity
· Acknowledge the role of authorities of the Government of National Unity in supporting and condoning attacks on humanitarian aid operations and civilians, particularly women and children, and contributing to the continued destabilization of Darfur.
· Immediately cease all attacks on civilians and halt all violations perpetrated by government armed forces, government-supported militias, police or other officials against the security and rights of Sudanese children and adolescents.
· Publicly condemn all attacks against children and other civilians committed by all armed groups, including the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), police officers, militias and other security forces.
· Allow all human rights organizations free and safe access to Darfur to collect and disseminate information related to rights violations without fear of repercussions.
· Cooperate and comply with requests and measures taken by officials from the International Criminal Court, as mandated by Security Council Resolution 1593, and grant investigators and other ICC personnel unimpeded access to Darfur.
· Cease all shipments of arms and dual-use supplies, end all support to members of the Janjaweed militia and other armed groups operating in Darfur and responsible for attacks on civilians in Chad and initiate efforts to disarm and disband these groups.
To the Authorities of the Government of the Republic of Chad
· Immediately cease all attacks on refugees and other civilians, and halt all violations perpetrated by government armed forces, police or other officials against the security and rights of Sudanese children and adolescents.
· Publicly condemn all attacks against children and other civilians committed by all armed groups operating in eastern Chad and Darfur.
· Call on all armed groups operating in eastern Chad to immediately cease and desist all attempts to recruit children from displacement camps in Chad and Darfur.
· Guarantee safe, unimpeded and sustained access to humanitarian assistance for all Sudanese refugees in Chad, and allow free and safe movement of humanitarian personnel and emergency relief supplies.
· Strictly comply with all signed agreements and uphold international human rights and humanitarian law, paying particular attention to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
To All Armed Groups Operating in Darfur
· Take immediate steps to ensure respect for the rights of children, in particular by halting all attacks on and abuses against children and adolescents and ceasing all efforts to recruit and enlist children into armed groups.
· Strictly comply with international human rights and humanitarian law, paying particular attention to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children and Armed Conflict.
· In accordance with Security Council Resolution 1539 (2004), engage in dialogue with a UN focal point to devise time-bound action plans for halting the recruitment and use of Sudanese and Chadian children. This should include immediate issuance of formal demobilization orders for all children currently associated with armed groups and unrestricted access for humanitarian personnel to military installations to identify and support the demobilization of children.
· Coordinate and collaborate with UNMIS human rights monitors in Darfur to improve monitoring and reporting on human rights abuses in the region and facilitate victims’ access to services that address their needs.
· As a matter of urgency, implement child rights and abuse prevention training for all military and civilian personnel associated with AMIS, and ensure that all such training is periodically reviewed during deployment. And that all AMIS personnel fully understand and abide by the Code of Conduct on sexual exploitation.
· Identify and implement ways to reduce risks of sexual violence facing women and girls in camps in Darfur and Chad by, for example, increasing the consistent presence of AMIS troops in and around camps, host communities and settlements and increasing firewood collection patrols, ensuring patrols are made on a regular basis and appropriately communicated to community members.
To the UN Security Council
· Call on all parties to the conflict in Darfur to immediately halt the recruitment and use of children associated with regular and irregular armed forces and groups. To this end, call on the Government of National Unity to immediately implement commitments to halt the recruitment and/or use of children, as required by ratification of the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Sudanese national law.
· Authorize a fully -resourced deployment of military and civilian personnel to the border between Chad and Darfur, with a robust mandate to protect civilians, monitor and deter human rights violations, prevent and report on cross-border recruitment efforts and attacks by armed groups and increase protection for displaced Sudanese and Chadians.
· Coordinate and collaborate with AMIS human rights monitors in Darfur to improve monitoring and reporting on human rights abuses in the region and facilitate victims’ access to services that address their needs.
To the Humanitarian Community Operating in Darfur
· Identify confidential and secure means to report attacks on civilians and humanitarian aid personnel in Darfur to ensure that actors are able to report this information without fear of jeopardizing humanitarian operations.
· Continue to provide and, where possible, increase humanitarian services and emergency relief supplies to civilians in Darfur, particularly food supplies, emergency medical services, including GBV-related health services, and nonformal and formal education services.
· Increase food supplies and livelihood opportunities for displaced girls and women in Darfur and Chad to reduce their need to leave zones of relative safety in search of sustenance for themselves and their families.
· Ensure that teachers are afforded opportunities to enhance their professional skills and that the needs of female students and teachers and other vulnerable groups are addressed.
· Continue to explore viable alternatives to firewood, such as fuel-efficient stoves, and implement programs that employ these alternatives to help reduce the need for women and girls to make long and distant trips to collect firewood.
· Expand income-generating opportunities for girls and women in Darfur and Chad to reduce their dependency on the collection of firewood as a source of income.
To Other Governments
· Key trading partners and allies of Sudan, notably the People’s Republic of China and members of the League of Arab States, should use all available means to ensure that the Government of National Unity upholds its commitments and obligations outlined in relevant Security Council Resolutions and international law. These partners should also compel the GoNU to accept a fully-resourced international peacekeeping force with a robust mandate to protect civilians and help ensure the safe distribution of humanitarian aid.
· Increase and sustain logistical
and financial resources to AMIS to adequately protect civilians in Darfur.
Highlights from WATCHLIST’S 2003 Report ON SUDAN
The following section includes highlights from the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict’s 2003 Report on Sudan.
In 2003, there were approximately 4.4 million displaced Sudanese people, including an estimated 4 million IDPs, the largest internally displaced population in the world. Sudanese refugees and asylum seekers were primarily located in Uganda, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea and Egypt. Sudan also hosted nearly 310,000 refugees, primarily from Eritrea, Uganda and Ethiopia.
Often, Sudanese people have found themselves displaced more than once. Some remained within their own regions, moving from place to place due to limited alternatives; others moved to displaced persons camps, Khartoum and other urban areas. Displacement was often forcible and violent and in some instances linked to deliberate depopulation of oil-exploration areas by the GoS.
Most IDP children were living in extreme poverty in urban and rural settings; few lived in camps or had access to humanitarian assistance, protection or other basic services. Anecdotal evidence suggested that health conditions and educational opportunities for IDP children, both within and outside camps, were extremely poor. GoS forces, government-backed militias, and the SPLA recruited, abducted, raped and committed other abuses against IDP children. Orphaned and unaccompanied refugee and IDP girls were found to be particularly vulnerable to sexual abuse, forced marriage and beatings.
In 2003, between 1.5 million and two million IDPs lived in Khartoum. Approximately 220,000 lived in official camps, while others lived amongst the northern Sudanese urban poor in dilapidated, squatter neighborhoods primarily in and around Khartoum. Many of these children worked to help support their families, with boys selling plastic bags or water, shining shoes or working as waiters, and girls often performing domestic activities. These responsibilities, in conjunction with the prohibitive cost of school fees, prevent many children from attending school.
In 2003, the SPLM and the GoS issued a formal policy on IDPs based on the United Nations’s Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. The United Nations also created a North-South IDP Task Force.
Specific conditions for Sudanese refugees living in nearby countries varied significantly depending on the country or camp they lived in and whether they lived outside a camp or in urban areas. In most cases, refugee children faced various types of difficult conditions, such as severe insecurity, extreme poverty and having inadequate access to food, material assistance, housing and medical care. Some refugee children were subject to attack, injury, abduction, rape, forced pregnancy and other forms of sexual violence and death.
IDP Children on the Streets and in Prisons in Khartoum
In 2003, Watchlist reported that the overall health situation in southern Sudan was grim. Food shortages, destruction of health services, killing and dispersal of trained personnel, high rates of infectious diseases and lack of access to humanitarian assistance were fundamental and endemic problems. At least one child out of every 10 in Sudan died largely from preventable diseases before the age of five; this figure was closer to one in five in the South. Lack of safe water and inadequate sanitation were also underlying causes of high infant and child mortality rates. According to UNICEF, Sudan had one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world. Maternal mortality levels were particularly high for adolescent mothers.
As of 2003, many health facilities in South Sudan were not functioning, mainly because both the GoS and the SPLA had deliberately destroyed health facilities and nutrition centers, looted medical supplies and killed and intimidated health workers. The GoS was known to use aerial attacks on hospitals and other civilian targets, while the SPLA carried out ground attacks and burned buildings.
Watchlist reported in 2003 that approximately 2.5 million people in Sudan were in dire need of food and other emergency supplies and thousands of children suffered from marasmus, the most severe degree of malnutrition. These conditions were exacerbated by the denial of access to humanitarian assistance as a result of increased insecurity and flight bans, which cut off agencies’ access to hundreds of thousands of people in need.
The estimated national adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate was 2.6 percent, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and WHO. UNAIDS and WHO also estimated that in Sudan approximately 450,000 people, including 30,000 children of ages 15 and under, had HIV/AIDS at the end of 2001, and 62,000 children had lost either a mother or both parents to AIDS. The Sudan National AIDS Programme (SNAP) estimated the national prevalence rate in northern Sudan at approximately 1.6 percent, with significant regional variations. Estimates of the prevalence rate in the southern sector ranged from 3 to 20 percent.
By 2003, little was known about the extent of HIV/AIDS infection in Sudan, especially among children and adolescents. Anecdotal evidence suggested that prevalence rates were likely to be far higher than the national estimate. Information and knowledge about HIV/AIDS was extremely limited, especially among children and adolescents and rural populations. In some areas, sickness and disease, including HIV/AIDS, was associated with witchcraft and curses, indicating little understanding about ways to prevent HIV and treat symptoms of the virus. Condoms were reportedly present in high-population areas and refugee camps. Watchlist reported, however, that their use was often stigmatized. Rudimentary healthcare was available for some children living with HIV/AIDS. However, many did not have access to such services and social support for children was negligible.
In 2001, the SPLM established the New Sudan National AIDS Council. Additionally, the GoS was running SNAP to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in areas under its control. However, the impact of these programs had not been evaluated as of 2003.
In 2003, Watchlist reported that an estimated 48 percent of school-age children were enrolled in school in northern Sudan, with a 3 to 5 percent gender gap. There were, however, significant variations in enrollment rates between northern rural and urban areas and garrison towns in the South. Less than 30 percent of school-age children in southern Sudan were enrolled in school, with a 60 to 75 percent gender gap. Day-to-day attendance rates were even lower. Children had limited access to school and other educational opportunities due to massive displacement, lack of clothing and high enrollment fees. Girls faced the same barriers plus additional ones that further limited their educational opportunities, such as early and forced marriage, household chores and other domestic responsibilities.
Watchlist also reported that trained teachers and educational materials were in short supply. Teachers in southern Sudan generally did not receive a salary and many taught on a voluntary basis. Schools in southern Sudan were generally in poor condition, with inadequate materials, a dilapidated infrastructure that forced some classes to be held outdoors and limited access to potable water sources. These poor conditions, compounded with war-related trauma and stress, impacted students’ behavior and ability to learn.
In 2003, the GoS and opposition forces targeted schools in military operations, destroying and looting educational materials.
Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
In 2003, conflict-related gender-based violence (GBV) was known to be a widespread problem in Sudan. However, statistics were difficult to collect and little prevalence data was available. It was believed that many incidents of GBV went unreported due to social stigma and widely supported attitudes that blamed survivors of GBV, a limited police presence and other GBV-related services for survivors, a fear of reprisal attacks and an overall lack of confidence in service providers and their ability to take action and keep information confidential. In addition, criminal law stipulated that women and girls could be prosecuted or punished for adultery if they failed to prove that they had been raped. In fact, in northern states, women and girls had been known to abandon babies from unwanted pregnancies in order to avoid punishment for adultery. Some women traveled to Khartoum to give birth and then left their child in the care of a friend, relative, care center or elsewhere. As a result, most GBV cases went unreported and most perpetrators enjoyed impunity.
In Western Equatoria and other areas, government security forces and pro-government militias, as well the SPLA, were known to rape, gang rape, sexually exploit and abuse girls and women. Government-backed militias, armed opposition groups and tribal militias were also known to sexually exploit, rape and abduct children into sexual slavery, especially girls. Additionally, high levels of poverty and prohibitive school fees had driven some girls into sexually exploitative relationships in order to meet their basic needs. Many had entered into relationships with soldiers who had a large presence throughout Sudan and interacted regularly with civilians.
Female genital mutilation (FGM), a harmful traditional practice, was known to be a widespread practice in many areas of Sudan and was spreading to new areas due to massive population movements. A study in the mid-1990s estimated that 10 to 30 percent of Sudanese girls who had undergone FGM died as a result, especially in areas where antibiotics and medical treatment were not readily available.
Watchlist also reported in 2003 that marriage patterns were changing as a result of increased insecurity and the decreasing number of men. Girls tended to marry at early ages to avoid pervasive sexual violence, according to Throwing the Stick Forward: The Impact of War on Southern Sudanese Women, a study sponsored by UNICEF and UNIFEM. Early marriage increases the risks of health hazards, such as obstructed labor and subsequent gynecological problems related to early pregnancy, HIV and other STIs.
Trafficking and Exploitation
In 2003, Sudan was both a destination country for trafficked persons and a country in which internal trafficking in persons was widespread. The GoS had estimated that 14,000 southern Sudanese women and children were abducted, primarily in connection with the armed conflict, while NGO and UN sources estimated the number between 10,000 and 17,000. Information about the extent and details of abduction and slavery were limited, primarily due to obstacles generated by the GoS and SPLM/A to prevent information collection. The 2002 Report of the International Eminent Persons Group, Slavery, Abduction and Forced Servitude in Sudan verified that a significant number of abduction cases fell under the international legal definitions of slavery.
In 1999, the GoS created the Committee for the Elimination of Abduction of Women and Children (CEAWC). However, humanitarian actors had many legitimate questions about the CEAWC initiative, such as a lack of transparency and professionalism, slack financial management, partial commitment and other fundamental flaws. Although it established CEAWC, the GoS was still known to arm, transport and assist slave-raiding militias by providing compensation to raiders, protecting troops and disrupting and terrorizing southern communities. Government-backed armed militias of the Baggara tribes, known as “murahaleen,” carried out raids in southern Sudan, primarily against the Dinka tribe in Bahr el-Ghazal, where they captured women and children and forced them into slavery. Intensified fighting in new oil development areas had led to abductions in western areas of Upper Nile.
When abducted, women and children were held for domestic servitude, forced labor or as slaves, including for sexual slavery. Abducted and enslaved children suffered physical and sexual abuse. Girls and young women were reportedly gang-raped and tortured, forced into prostitution, beaten, denied food and subjected to prolonged exposure to the sun with their hands and feet tied together. Others were forced into early marriages, mentally abused, raped, had their genitals mutilated and were forced to bear children. Some abducted women and children remained enslaved in areas of Southern Darfur or Western Kordofan, while others were trafficked to Khartoum or destinations in the Middle East, Europe and elsewhere.
The SPLM/A was also known to abduct children primarily for conscription into the armed forces and for forced labor. Tribal militias also carried out abductions in relation to tribal disputes.
Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)
Data about contamination was extremely limited because no comprehensive survey of the threat of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) existed. The GoS estimated between 2 million and 3 million mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) in 32 percent of the country, while the UN and NGOs estimated between 500,000 and 2 million. Mines had been planted in places like forests, water points and fields, which creates particular vulnerability for women and children who often perform domestic duties in such areas. Contamination also limited children’s access to medical facilities, schools, vaccination programs, safe drinking water and other important goods and services. Reported casualties were low because few mine victims survived long enough to make it to health centers due to scarcity of medical facilities and poor roads.
The GoS signed the Mine Ban Treaty in 1997 and signaled its intention to move towards ratification. The SPLM/A signed the Geneva Call Non-State Actor declaration in 2001. The GoS and SPLM had both made commitments to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict that they would not use anti-personnel landmines in the southern conflict zone. The GoS and the SPLM/A signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2002, committing to support UN efforts to remove landmines and establish a national mine action strategy. However, as of 2003, there were strong indications that both government and rebel forces continued to use mines in the South.
UNICEF was working with NGO partners to collect comprehensive data on landmine-related incidents and to deliver Mine Risk Education.
In 1995, Sudan was said to have experienced the biggest relative arms build-up in the world. The price of small arms and light weapons in Sudan was extremely low. Rights abuses against children and other Sudanese civilians facilitated by the proliferation of small arms included killings, forced disappearances, denial of humanitarian assistance, forced displacement, abduction of women and children and looting of civilian property. The circulation of massive amounts of small arms also led to violent raiding, banditry and heavy arming of civilian populations, with little or no accountability.
Despite sanctions against the GoS imposed by a number of states, small arms continued to flow into the country and were used by and against children. Trafficking in small arms and light weapons along the borders with Kenya and Uganda was rampant. China, Malaysia, Iran and South Africa were known as primary sources of arms for the GoS. France, Iraq and other states were also suppliers.
In 2003, Watchlist reported that the GoS was also allegedly supplying small arms to some armed opposition groups in the South, using revenue from oil development to fund this practice. This activity contradicted the general tenor of the UN Convention Against the Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Small Arms, which Sudan has ratified. Other alleged sources of small arms for the armed opposition groups included Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Uganda.
In 2003, Watchlist reported that both the GoS and opposition forces were extensively using children as combatants, including some as young as 10 years old. Children were both forcibly conscripted and joining “voluntarily” due to a lack of protection or limited access to food, shelter or other basic resources.
The GoS had made repeated commitments to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict to cease recruiting and deploying children under the age of 18. Still, in 1997 the GoS adopted a decree requiring all boys aged 17 to 19 to perform compulsory military service in order to receive a certificate required for entry into university. In addition, government forces and aligned paramilitary and armed groups were known to abduct and forcibly recruit children. The GoS was also reported to forcibly conscript youth in oil development areas to help protect these resources. They were ordered to carry out human rights abuses against neighbors and relatives, including killing people, burning villages and looting food. Anecdotal evidence suggested that adolescent boys in Khartoum faced potential abduction from schools, parks and other public places by government armed forces, and that following abduction they would be provided with brief training and deployed for active combat duty. The GoS also provided military support to the LRA, which abducted and forcibly recruited children in the South.
Representatives of the SPLA repeatedly assured the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, the Executive Director of UNICEF and the UN Special Rapporteur on Sudan that they would discontinue the use of child soldiers. However, in 2003 the SPLA was still known to forcibly recruit children under age 18, generally in advance of a particular offensive. The SPLM/A admitted to having 13,500 child soldiers, while the former Sudan People’s Defense Force (SPDF) was believed to have at least 3,500 children in its ranks. In November 2002, the UN Secretary-General stated that the number of children remaining in SPLA ranks was unknown.
Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR)
In 1997, UNICEF, Save the Children Sweden and the Southern Sudan Independence Movement/Army (SSIM/A) began a DDR program for child soldiers from the SSIM/A in Upper Nile. However, renewed fighting disrupted the process and many children were scattered or re-recruited by the factions.
In 2001, the SPLA began cooperating with UNICEF and other organizations in the demobilization of child soldiers. During the first phase, UNICEF reported that 3,551 children were demobilized through an airlift evacuation from the SPLA areas. The GoS formally protested the evacuation, claiming that the airlift was conducted secretly, in violation of agreements between the UN and GoS. Various NGOs raised concern that some of the released children may not have actually been soldiers. During a second phase, as many as 11,500 children may have been demobilized in Eastern and Western Equatoria, Upper Nile, Nuba Mountains, Leech State, Latjor State and Bieh State.
Communities that received demobilized children had few resources to consistently provide follow-up care and protection to children once they were reunited with their families. No data was available regarding the numbers of demobilized children who may have been re-recruited as a result.
. Data reported from Towards a Baseline only includes areas controlled by the SPLM/A before 2005.
. IDP numbers are estimates. It is very difficult to obtain precise numbers due to the country’s vast size, inadequate infrastructure, lack of access to various conflict areas and complexity of the situation.
. This figure includes parts of the North and former garrison towns in the South.
. For more information on the context of armed conflict in all areas of Sudan, see the Periodic Reports of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Human Rights Situation in Sudan and reports from agencies such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group.
. For more information on violations against children in the North-South conflict prior to the CPA, please see Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict: Sudan, March 2003, available at www.watchlist.org.
. The CPA consists of several separate documents, including the Machakos Protocol, Power-Sharing Protocol, Wealth-Sharing Protocol, Resolution of the Abyei Conflict, Resolution of the Conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile and Security Arrangements. The CPA applies to southern Sudan and three Transitional Areas: an expanded South Kordofan state (Nuba Mountains), the southern section of Blue Nile state and the district of Abyei in Kordofan.
. Several other governments also provided additional financial, technical and political support, including Norway, the UK and the US.
. On July 30, 2005, Dr. Garang was killed in a helicopter crash. The days following his death were marred by violence in Khartoum, Juba, Malakal and other locations throughout southern Sudan. The SPLM quickly appointed Salva Kiir Mayardit as its new chairman, president of the GoSS and first vice president of the GoNU.
. Over 50 “Other Armed Groups” joined together under as the South Sudan Defense Forces (SSDF), an umbrella organization led by Major General Paulino Matiep of the South Sudan Unity Movement (SSUM).
. For more details on the political background regarding implementation of the CPA, see ICG, Sudan’s Comprehensive Peace Agreement: The Long Road Ahead, Africa Report No. 106, March 31, 2006.
. The SLA/M and JEM are principally comprised of members of the Fur, Zaghawa and Masalit ethnic groups.
. The campaign has been carried out by militias from the Habbania tribe, one of the main Arab tribes of Darfur, against civilians described as being of “African origin,” according to OHCHR.
. The African Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) arrived in Darfur in June 2004 to monitor and report on the cease-fire agreement. As of November 2006, AMIS is comprised of approximately 7,000 peacekeepers with a mandate to contribute to securing the environment for delivery of humanitarian relief and for the return of IDPs and refugees; contribute to the improvement of the security situation throughout Darfur; protect civilians under imminent threat; and provide visible military presence. Due to limited resources and capacity, AMIS has not been able to efficiently fulfill its mandate. In December 2006, the Government accepted a UN proposal to deploy a joint UN-AU force to Darfur, though the size and the command of this hybrid force had not yet been agreed upon. For more information on AMIS, see www.africa-union.org/DARFUR/homedar.htm.
. Due to insecurity and limited access in eastern Sudan, information about violations against children in the context of the conflict in eastern Sudan is extremely restricted. As a result, this report contains limited information about children in eastern Sudan.
. For detailed documentation of these attacks, see the Fifth Periodic Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Situation of Human Rights in the Sudan, October 2006.
. For detailed documentation of these attacks, see the Fifth Periodic Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the Situation of Human Rights in the Sudan, October 2006.
. This section includes information on population movements and security of Sudanese refugees and IDPs. For specific thematic information, please see the sections on health, HIV/AIDS, education, GBV, trafficking and exploitation, landmines and ERW, small arms and child soldiers.
. For a detailed breakdown of IDP location and numbers as of April 2006, please refer to IDMC, “More than 5 Million Estimated IDPs in Sudan,” 4/06.
. These figures must be treated with caution as the UN tracking systems do not generally capture information about people who have returned to Khartoum or other areas of displacement, those who move back and forth or those whose families have split.
. As per definitions set forth by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, gender-based violence is an umbrella term for any harmful act that is perpetrated against a person’s will, and that is based on socially ascribed (gender) differences between males and females. Examples include sexual violence, including sexual exploitation/abuse and forced prostitution; domestic violence; trafficking; forced/early marriage; and harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation, honor killings, and widow inheritance. Sexual violence is any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic a person’s sexuality, using coercion, threats of harm or physical force, by any person regardless of relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home and work. Examples include rape/attempted rape; sexual exploitation and abuse; and sexual slavery.
. In Sudan, non-consensual sexual intercourse cannot be proven without the eyewitness testimony of four adult witnesses (the testimony of two women is equal to the testimony of one man). In cases where the testimony of four witnesses cannot be provided, a woman may be charged with adultery. These testimonies are a prerequisite to proving rape. Punishment for adultery according to the 1991 Criminal Act (article 146) is death by stoning if a woman is married and 100 lashes if she is unmarried.
. Protocol V of the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) defines explosive remnants of war (ERW) as explosive ordnance that have been used or fired but have failed to explode as intended (unexploded ordnance) and stocks of explosive ordnance left behind on the battlefield (abandoned ordnance). On November 12, 2006, Protocol V of CCW became binding international law for all signatories.
. For more detailed information on supply of military aircraft, vehicles, artillery, small arms, light weapons and training to Sudan by foreign governments and firms, see AI, Sudan: Arming the Perpetrators of Grave Abuses in Darfur, November 16, 2004 (AI Index AFR 54/139/2004).
. For more information on the Panel of Experts, see www.un.org/Docs/sc/committees/Sudan/SudanselectedEng.htm.
. For more information on recruitment and use of children by militias in southern Sudan prior to the signing of the CPA, please see Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers, Child Soldiers Global Report 2004, www.child-soldiers.org.
. Previously, between 2001 and 2004, the SPLA had demobilized an estimated 16,000 children, including 600 girls, according to Child Soldiers Global Report 2004. At that time an estimated 2,500 to 5,000 children were still believed to remain inside the SPLA.
. The Camel Police is a legally regulated force used to mediate and control disputes between pastoralists and farmers.
. For more information on the Security Council Mission to Sudan 4–10 June 2006, see UN document S/2006/433.
. Readers should note that many of these recommendations concur with others made by organizations, government agencies and other institutions working to protect civilians and promote peace in Sudan.
. In Sudan, non-consensual sexual intercourse cannot be proven without the eyewitness testimony of four adult witnesses (the testimony of two women is equal to the testimony of one man). In cases where the testimony of four witnesses cannot be provided, a woman may be charged with adultery. These testimonies are a prerequisite to proving rape. Punishment for adultery, according to the 1991 Criminal Act (article 146), is death by stoning if a woman is married and 100 lashes if she is unmarried.
. Approximately 90 percent of girls in northern Sudan are subject to FGM. This may not be a direct result of conflict, but it is a harmful traditional practice based on customary behaviors that has sustained and reinforced abuses against girls throughout the armed conflict.
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World Refugee Survey 2005
President Bush Signs Darfur Peace and Accountability Act: Issues Executive Order Blocking Khartoum’s Property and Transactions, 10/14/06
Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict
Sudan, March 2003
Women’s Refugee Commission www.womenscommission.org
Don’t Forget Us: The Education and Gender-Based Violence Protection Needs of Adolescent Girls from Darfur in Chad, 7/05
Finding Trees in the Desert: Firewood Collection and Alternatives in Darfur, 3/06
INEE Minimum Standards: Darfur Case Study, 8/06
Education in Darfur: A Critical Component of Humanitarian Response, 11/06
From the Ground Up, 1/07
World Food Programme www.wfp.org
Difficult Return for South Sudanese Coming Home, 1/16/06
Sudan Boosts Self-Help with School Meal Support, 4/5/06
New Donations Boost Rations in Darfur but More Contributions Needed For Sudan, 5/29/06
World Health Organization www.who.int
Female Genital Mutilation, Fact Sheet 241, 6/00
Sexually Transmitted and Other Reproductive Tract Infections: A Guide to Essential Practice, 2005
Health Action in Crises: Sudan, December 2005
WHO Work in Greater Darfur, Sudan, retrieved 2006
Consolidated Appeal 2006: Sudan, 2006
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) www.omct.org
Sudan: Minor Girl Raped During Attack on Passenger Bus by Men in Military Uniform, 7/6/05
Case SDN 091204.VAW.CC
Case SDN 23095.VAW.CC
Case SDN 300306.CC
Watchlist works within the framework of the provisions adopted in Security Council Resolutions 1261, 1314, 1379, 1460, 1539 and 1612, the principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its protocols and other internationally adopted human rights and humanitarian standards.
Information is collected through an extensive network of organizations that work with children around the world. Analysis is provided by a multidisciplinary team of people with expertise and/or experience in the particular context. Information in the public domain may be directly cited in the report. All sources are listed in alphabetical order at the end of this report to protect the security of sources.
General supervision of Watchlist is provided by a Steering Committee of international nongovernmental organizations known for their work with children and human rights. The views presented in this report do not represent the views of any one organization in the network or the Steering Committee.
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