We wholeheartedly agree with your editorial (7 March) stating that the demonstrators in Sudan calling daily for freedom and the rule of law “do not want a different version of this regime, or more conflict”. The problem is indeed the regime, not just a president indicted for genocide by the international criminal court and for whom, despite their public claims to support the ICC, many external actors seek a “soft landing” in the name of stability. Sudan is not stable for the Sudanese people.
Nevertheless, Britain has engaged in a flawed strategic dialogue with the regime. It has spearheaded the Khartoum process, a supposed partnership with the brutal and corrupt Sudanese regime to “manage” (in other words, to stem) migration to Europe. That process relies on the notorious rapid support forces, mainly former Janjaweed, which the ICC has implicated in war crimes in Darfur. Most Sudanese migrants are in any case refugees fleeing their repressive regime, including the very forces now tasked with capturing them.
As unarmed protesters across the land are shot with live ammunition, tortured in detention or savagely beaten in full public view, it is high time for the UK government to call unequivocally for full respect for fundamental rights and an immediate political transition that brings to an end nearly 30 years of repressive rule and provides the Sudanese people with a genuine democratic choice for their future government.
Lutz Oette Centre for Human Rights Law, Soas University of London, David Alton House of Lords, Dr Amgad Fareid Eltayeb Sudanese doctor, Willow Berridge History lecturer, Gill Lusk Sudan journalist, Azim El-Hassan Sudanese journalist; Najlaa Ahmed Interim executive director, Sudanese Rights Group (Huqooq), Maddy Crowther Co-executive director, Waging Peace
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