Demo organised by No Border Assembly on the 6th February 2021 in Berlin
Statement by Sudanese refugees from Berlin-Brandenburg
Stop deporting Sudanese immigrants in Germany.
The German government claims to defend human rights, but in fact the decisions to deport Sudanese refugees represent a clear violation of human rights, especially the human right to move and choose a country where one can find safety. It is clear to us that the German government is ready to ally with any regime to restrict the right of the Sudanese to move and search for safety. We know the German government’s keenness to implement its externalized borders policy and to prevent what it calls illegal immigration. There is no illegal immigration. Rather, it is illegitimate for the German government to remain silent about the situation in Sudan, which has increased in complexity after the revolution. Insecurity has worsened and civil war has erupted in light of the complicity and weakness of the transitional government and the aggravation of economic collapse, in addition to the clear targeting of activists, enforced disappearances, murders and crimes targeting the lives of anyone who was part of the opposition to the former regime, who rejects the practices of the transitional government in maintaining the institutions of the former regime , or who protests against the failure to hold the symbols of the former regime accountable for their crimes against humanity or who protests against the lack of seriousness in investigating and enforcing accountability on those who participated in the dispersal of the [June 3rd, 2019] sit-in. This is especially the case since media has regularly reported the discovery of mass graves, the latest of which is the discovery of more than a hundred unidentified corpses in a morgue, rotting as a result of the lack of electricity. This is in addition to the support of the European Union, especially the German government, in supporting and strengthening the Janjaweed militias, which pose a great and permanent threat to Sudanese citizens, especially activists, and which threaten the democratic transition in Sudan. In light of all these facts, we find that the deportation of Sudanese refugees a crime against humanity, and we reject this matter first because we are affected and aware of the danger resulting from the deportation and secondly, based on our consistency in defending human rights, which led us to the refugee status.
Statement on the revelation that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) operates illegal interrogation and detention centers in Sudan
Earlier this month, Bahaa-aldin Nouri, was kidnapped at a market in the Kalakla area of Khartoum. Five days later, his dead body was found exhibiting signs of brutal torture.
The Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia is responsible for this. Further background information and our statement on this can be found here.
Sudan's military becomes more powerful
Read the whole interview in German here.
by Johannes Dieterich
read the original article by Frankfurter Rundschaue here.
The Crumbling Revolution
The new beginning in Sudan after decades of dictatorship threatens to fail because of the country's old powers. And the murder gangs from Darfur are also involved. An analysis.
In view of the worldwide complaints about the "year of horror 2020", what should the people of Sudan say? Their state, too, was affected by this year's two scourges, Covid and Trump. But beyond that, the country in North-East Africa, which a year and a half ago got rid of its dictator Omar al-Bashir in a glorious revolution, also has to deal with the consequences of a flood of the century, a civil war in neighbouring Ethiopia, an acute economic crisis and an explosive power struggle between civilian government and the stubborn military. "Sudan is trickling into a multifaceted crisis, which has received far too little attention in this year's general chaos," says Zachary Donnenfeld of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria, South Africa.
Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok is up to his neck in the water. Recently, Donald Trump, the still-US president, urged him to radically redirect his foreign policy: only if he makes peace with Israel will the USA remove the former Islamic Republic from its list of terrorists. Not the only condition for a long overdue step: the Sudanese government also had to agree to pay $ 335 million in compensation for the 1995 terrorist attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salam. Ten million for each person from the USA, 800,000 for each foreigner.
Hamdok had to give in to the pressure from Washington: Only then could he count on an aid package of $ 80 million. After the worst floods in the country for more than 30 years, Khartoum is in urgent need of foreign assistance: More than 100 people drowned, more than 500,000 lost their homes, and the harvest of over one million tonnes of wheat and sorghum was destroyed. A large proportion of the people in Sudan currently have to make do with one meal a day: The UN Relief and Works Agency Ocha has so far been unable to secure even half of the $1.6 billion it needs to support Sudan.
As a result of the floods, people are being attacked by intestinal diseases and malaria: With well over one million cases per month, swamp fever has reached epidemic proportions in 15 of the country's 18 provinces. The corona pandemic is also threatening to spiral out of control, with reported cases rising from 10 to 50 per day in recent weeks. The health system has all but collapsed: Maternity wards have been closed and more than 100,000 children cannot be provided with the necessary vaccinations. The next disaster is looming in the east of the country: Some 50,000 hungry refugees from Ethiopia's Tigray province are in urgent need of help.
Weakened by disasters and political instability, the Sudanese pound has lost more than two-thirds of its value in the past two years. The price of food tripled last year, and an average family now has to spend 75 % of its income on food.
If anyone benefits from the emergency, it is the military, which presents itself as a guarantor of stability: Responsibility for the precarious humanitarian situation is shifted to the civilian government. It is not yet clear how the power struggle between the army and civil society, the mother of the revolution, will turn out. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo (alias Hemedti), the stone-rich commander of the militia "Rapid Support Forces", is considered a candidate for another military coup. Hemedti amassed his wealth in the unofficial gold mines of his homeland, the Darfur provinces, and lent his fighters to Arab friends like the Saudi royal family or the United Emirates for good money. His militiamen fight in Yemen and Libya and are said to be receiving money from the EU itself to control the flow of refugees from the Horn of Africa to the Mediterranean. A man with a dark past and a dangerously bright future.
by Aziz Alnour, Klaas van Dijken, Heiner Hoffmann, Maximilian Popp, Nouska du Saar
read the original article by Der Spiegel here.
14.11.2020, 12.55 Uhr
Pact with the devils
Members of the Sudanese mounted militia RSF were involved in war crimes in Darfur. Nevertheless, the UN and the EU wanted to establish the force as a partner in migration policy. Human rights activists are appalled.
They have murdered and plundered, they have raped women and burned villages: The Janjaweed, a mounted militia from Sudan, is estimated by experts to have killed up to 400,000 people in the Darfur region between 2003 and 2012 and to have forced 2.5 million people to flee.
Sudan's former dictator Umar al-Bashir, who once created the Janjaweed, was driven out of office last year. He is now in prison and is to be extradited to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for crimes against humanity.
The Janjaweed are more powerful than ever
But the Janjaweed (English: "devils on horses") are more powerful than ever before. The Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the most powerful paramilitary unit in Sudan, is recruited from former Janjaweed militias. RSF leader Mohammad Hamadan Dagalo, better known as Hemeti, was involved in the war crimes in Darfur. Today, as Vice President of the transitional government, he is the most influential man in Sudan. Above all, the EU was about to upgrade the RSF to a legitimate partner in the fight against migration.
The SPIEGEL and the ARD magazine "Report Mainz" had already revealed in 2016 that Brussels would provide the Sudanese authorities with training and equipment - also to prevent these migrants from travelling on to Europe. This cooperation was financed by a fund to combat the causes of flight.
Following criticism of the plans, the EU had to remove several items from the programme, including the construction of detention centres for refugees. At the same time, Brussels officials launched a PR campaign, published a flyer entitled "Disenchantment of myths: What the EU is really doing in Sudan". The flyer emphasised on several occasions that "under no circumstances do you cooperate with the RSF - not now and not in the future".
But now research by SPIEGEL, "Report Mainz" and Lighthouse Reports shows that the EU did not want to take this promise too seriously.
International diplomats were already rehearsing in February what cooperation with RSF might look like. At that time, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) together with the UN Peace Mission in Sudan (UNAMID) organised a conference in a luxury hotel in the capital Khartoum, to which high-ranking RSF officials, including RSF Chief Hemeti, were invited. A banner in the conference room bore the motto of the event: "Training Human Rights and International Law for the Rapid Support Forces."
War criminals as legitimate partners
If the organisers had had their way, the conference would have been just the prelude to a comprehensive training for the RSF. "We would like to further prioritise this field of work," said UN Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif in July.
And the UN had even already found a sponsor for the planned training of the Rapid Support Forces: the European Union. This is confirmed by statements of high-ranking UN staff and internal documents available to SPIEGEL. As in 2016, the money should come from the EU fund to combat the causes of flight.
Brussels has approved ten million euros for the OHCHR to train Sudanese security authorities, particularly in human rights issues. The RSF should also benefit from these EU funds, as confirmed by several persons in charge of the operations. Experts criticise the planned participation of the RSF in these training sessions - it would make war criminals seem legitimate partners.
"The RSF wants to polish up its image by participating in such events," says Hafiz Ismail Mohamed of the human rights organisation Justice Africa. "Human rights courses are meaningless if RSF officials continue to avoid prosecution," says Kenneth Roth, the director of Human Rights Watch.
OHCHR and the EU nevertheless stuck to their plans for a long time. The financing agreement was fine-tuned throughout the summer. In September, UN staff confirmed to SPIEGEL that training for the RSF would continue - with the help of EU funds. And still in the last week of October, the Dutch government, which has been a major driving force behind the project in the EU, sent a letter: It was not intended to provide "training" to the RSF. But "training", especially in human rights issues - that is something else.
Following enquiries by SPIEGEL and "Report Mainz", the participants are now rowing back hectically. OHCHR announced in early November: "We have come to the conclusion that it is best to stop the training for the RSF. An EU spokeswoman also assured: "The RSF are not part of the work plan."
A sudden change of heart. The EU project description itself could provide an indication of the reasons for this about-turn. Under point 3.3, "Risks of the project", it says: "Loss of reputation by participating institutions whose members may have committed human rights violations."
Read the interview in German here.
Sudan: German Security Policy as a "K.O. Punch" to the Revolution
Read the whole interview in German here.
We want to bring attention to a much neglected aspect of the contentious debate, both inside and outside Sudan, on whether or not the country should normalize relations with Israel: namely, its impact on Sudanese refugees.
Find SudanUprisingGermany's statement on normalization between Sudan and Israel here.
As part of the October International month in Berlin we were organizing a Read-Out/Paint-Out/Teach-Out to express our solidarity with the revolutionaries in our region. Berlin has become the home to many exiles from the MENA region and as the seat of the German state- the most powerful actor in the European Union, is a center of power.
Why Now? Why Berlin?
Revolutionaries in the MENA region are battling a growing mountain of challenges and attacks, all while the EU, led by Germany, cuts deals with authoritarian regimes across the region while it “promotes human rights, democracy and stability” in the region. In Libya, modern-day slave-markets, described as “hell on earth”, boom in large part due to “fortress Europe”. Moria, the largest camp for refugees and asylum seekers in the Greek Island of Lesvos, was on fire as we wrote this, and Germany will not open its door to the camp’s residents
As internationalists who believe that our role first and foremost is to unwaveringly stand behind local struggles for emancipation and defend them however we can. We made this space in this spirit.
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