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Sudan: Kampala Declaration
Sudan: Kampala Declaration
Date distributed (ymd): 000724
Document reposted by APIC
Region: East Africa
Issue Areas: +political/rights+ +economy/development+
This posting contains excerpts from the declaration of the
Conference on Human Rights, Democracy and Development in Sudan,
held in Kampala, 17-20 July 2000. The full text can be found at:
Distributed by Sudan Infonet: An information and education service
of the Sudan Working Group -- USA
Web Site: http://members.tripod.com/SudanInfonet
Human Rights, Democracy and Development in the Transition in Sudan
Kampala, Uganda, 17-20 July 2000
Second Kampala Declaration on Human Rights, Democracy and
Development in Sudan
[Excerpts only; for full text see
Convened by the Committee of the Civil Project in Sudan and hosted
by the Pan African Movement, representatives of Sudanese civil
society and the democratic political forces met together in
Kampala, Uganda, to discuss the challenges of human rights,
democracy and development in the coming transition to peace in
The Conference welcomed strong contingents of participants from
inside Sudan, including Khartoum and areas controlled by the
National Democratic Alliance and Sudan People's Liberation
Movement/Army. In particular the Conference welcomed participants
from Khartoum for the first time, and saluted their courage and
commitment to human rights and democracy under extremely difficult
circumstances Their views, expressed in an open and free forum
after so many years of enforced silence, carried great weight in
the Conference proceedings.
Participants expressed their views in total frankness. No topic was
a forbidden zone. The desire to reach consensus was reflected in
the success of the Conference on reaching agreement on even the
most controversial subjects. Women participants were active in all
The Conference welcomed messages of support from some leaders of
the Sudanese opposition who were unable to attend the Conference in
After four days of fruitful and extensive deliberation concerning
human rights, democracy, development, civil society and peace in
Sudan, the Conference adopted the following resolutions:
I. Reaffirmation of Kampala Declaration
The Conference reaffirmed the February 1999 Kampala Declaration on
Human Rights in Sudan, especially reaffirming the importance of:
- Adherence to international treaties and conventions of human
rights as the foundation for human rights and democracy in Sudan.
- The vital necessity of a process of full participation and
democratic consultation in building a new democratic constitution
- The need for full respect for freedom of expression.
- Respect for women's rights as defined in international human
rights conventions and protocols, should be stated in the new
democratic constitution, and the mandate given to the Committee of
the Civil Project to organise the Sudanese National Women's
- The importance of full judicial accountability for past human
- The necessity for wide-ranging judicial and legal reform.
- Self-determination as a basic right for all Sudanese peoples.
II. Civil Society
The Conference applauded the efforts of Sudanese civil society
forces inside Sudan, under the onslaught of the current government
of Sudan, including incessant harassment, intimidation, repression,
torture and killing to defend human rights and strive for
democracy. The Conference also saluted the members of the
democratic opposition inside Sudan and their struggle for a
The Conference called upon the transitional government to do the
- Cancel all laws that contradict basic rights in a way that
ensures full rights for expression and association as well as
women's basic rights.
- Undertake radical transformation in the legal and judicial
structures and amend laws in a way that enshrines the values of
justice, equality and the rule of law and independence of the
- Abrogate any laws that are contrary to freedom of association,
including the Voluntary Work Act 1999.
- Establish an independent human rights commission or high council
for civil society issues within the structure of the government to
ensure the promotion of civil society.
Meanwhile, under the current circumstances, the Conference called
5. NDA, other democratic opposition parties and all civil society
organisations outside Sudan to mobilise various material and human
resources for enhancing and developing civil society inside Sudan
with special attentions to the traditional sector.
6. Human rights activists, organisations and civil society should
coordinate themselves in the collection and documentation of all
evidence regarding human rights violations and crimes against
humanity committed by governments and armed opposition forces since
independence, to ensure that all responsible individuals and
institutions are appropriately prosecuted. ...
7. Civil society in all parts of Sudan, especially women, youth and
others, should put pressure on the current Sudan Government to stop
human rights violations, including aerial bombardment, in the war
zones of Sudan.
III. Women's Rights
The Conference benefited from strong and vigorous contributions
from women participants, from both political parties and civil
society. The Conference noted the suffering of women in Sudan,
South, East, West and North, on account of war, dictatorship and
discriminatory, extremist laws and policies. The Conference
reaffirmed the resolutions of Kampala 1 with regard to the
importance of women's rights. In particular, the Conference
- A future transitional government should cancel any laws and
policies that are incompatible with the rights of women as
enshrined in international human rights conventions.
- All political parties should ensure adequate representation of
women at all levels including the highest. ...
IV. Freedom of Association
The Conference affirmed and called upon the future transitional
government to respect the following:
- Freedom of association is a basic human right enshrined in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International
Covenant for Civil and Political Rights. The right to form
political parties, trades unions and civil society organisations,
is a fundamental right and a basic component of democracy in Sudan.
V. Religion and the State
The Conference unanimously and emphatically affirmed that religion
must be separate from the state. Any attempt to build a religious
state in Sudan can only result in the perpetuation of war, human
rights abuses and the division of the country. Specifically, the
conference affirmed that:
- Sudan is a multi-religious, multi-ethnic country in which it is
vitally important to ensure freedom of conscience and tolerance of
all religions. The basis for rights in Sudan must be citizenship
alone, not adherence to any religion.
VI. Disarmament and Demobilisation
The Conference discussed the need for disarmament and
demobilisation following the achievement of a comprehensive peace
settlement in Sudan. The Conference was aware of the grave threat
to human rights, democracy, development and peace that is posed by
the militarisation of Sudan under the current government.
Conference participants were deeply concerned by the proliferation
of weapons in Sudan, and the multiplication of armed groups
including militias and security forces. The Conference resolved
- The use of child soldiers and the forcible recruitment of youth
and students, are an abuse of fundamental human rights. ...
- Disarmament and demobilisation should be governed by the
provisions of a comprehensive peace settlement that will hopefully
be in place when the transitional government comes to power.
- It will be important to 'demilitarise the mind' and create a
culture of peace: i.e., remove militarism from the wider Sudanese
culture, ensuring that there is a professional military force under
civilian control. ...
The Conference affirmed that Sudan is a multi-ethnic,
multi-cultural country and that it is vitally important to ensure
equality and respect for all nationalities, cultures and religions
in the country. Participants in the Conference, who hailed from
every corner of Sudan, stressed the importance of the devolution of
power to the regions in a genuine federal system or comparable
arrangement that empowers the disparate peoples of Sudan, to enable
them to protect their traditions and cultures.
Specifically, the Conference resolved that:
- Self-determination is a basic right for all peoples.
- There is a political consensus among all Sudanese parties, that
the people of Southern Sudan shall exercise the right of
self-determination before the expiry of the interim period.
- The provisions in the Asmara Declaration (Article 7.3) relating
to the right of self-determination of the marginalised peoples of
the Nuba and Southern Blue Nile, require further elaboration in
order to ensure that their rights are fully recognised.
- The transitional period should be an opportunity in which a
democratic government can address and redress the structural and
long-standing grievances that have divided the Sudanese people.
VIII. The Right to Food and Freedom from Famine
The Conference stressed that the right to food is a basic human
right, and all Sudanese should be able to live without fear of
famine. Participants agreed that famine is not only the outcome of
adverse natural factors, but that political factors play an
important role. Among the factors creating famine are actions by
the current government including aerial bombardment, forced
displacement and bans on humanitarian relief flights. Famines
resulting from political incompetence and deliberate military
action are crimes against humanity and their perpetrators should be
IX. Refugees, Exiles, Expatriates and Internally Displaced Persons
The Conference stressed the importance of addressing the wide range
of issues that arise concerning Sudanese refugees, exiles,
expatriates and internally displaced persons. ...
Concerning the future transition, the Conference agreed that:
- The problems of refugees, exiles, expatriates and IDPs can be
resolved only on the basis of addressing the root causes of the
problem, specifically the ongoing war and human rights violations,
and impoverishment of the Sudanese people.
- The atrocities inflicted upon IDPs by the current government are
completely unacceptable and any transitional government should
ensure full respect for the rights of displaced persons including
abolition of all relevant unjust laws.
X. Land Rights
The Conference affirmed that the special claims of the local
inhabitants of marginalised areas to their land and other natural
resources need special consideration and protection. However, the
natural resources of Sudan belong to all Sudanese. Unequal and
exploitative relations between traditional farmers and commercial
farmers and landowners have been one of the factors in creating
conflict, impoverishment and environmental crisis in Sudan, and
there needs to be attention to the question of reforming land
tenure to protect small-holder farmers and pastoralists, with
particular attention to the rights of women. ...
Citizens adversely affected by oil development should be entitled
to a just compensation during the transitional period. In the
meantime the Conference called upon multinational companies
exploiting oil in Sudan to suspend their operations with immediate
effect and wait for a democratic government in Sudan with which
they shall enter into new agreements taking into account the rights
of the people. ...
XI. Economic Planning Strategies and Social and Economic Rights
The Conference, having taken note of the miserable and
deteriorating economic conditions of the Sudanese people, strongly
condemned the current government for having destroyed available
economic resources and having created an unequal society. All
foreign companies, including particularly international oil
companies, should make accessible the details of their contracts
with the government, especially as regards security arrangements
and inputs, both financial and non-financial, to government forces
and militias operating in oil development areas. ...
The Conference discussed the different peace activities and
processes in Sudan. The Conference noted the onerous responsibility
facing the NDA's Committee for Comprehensive Political Settlement
Initiatives, and especially recognised the challenge of merging the
Libyan-Egyptian initiative with the IGAD peace process. In
- The Conference stressed the importance of a comprehensive and
just peace for Sudan and rejected incomplete or partial agreements
that do not resolve the enduring causes of the war and address the
demand for human rights, democracy and equitable sustainable
development. If the current war is to be the last in Sudan's
history, it is imperative that the war is resolved in a manner that
ensures that the legitimate demands of all of Sudan's peoples are
met, and the rights of all are respected.
- The Conference welcomed the opportunity for open and
constructive dialogue between the democratic political forces in
Sudan and civil society organisations
- In this regard, the Conference asserted that the NDA's Asmara
Declaration (excepting articles 5 and 7.3) and the IGAD Declaration
of Principles form the foundation for the achievement of peace in
Sudan. The Conference called upon all democratic forces in Sudan to
ensure that these principles remain the basis for a comprehensive
and lasting settlement.
- The Conference strongly supported the 'People to People' peace
process under the aegis of the New Sudan Council of Churches and
other civil society groups in Southern Sudan, as embodied in the
Wunlit Covenant and Resolutions and Liliir Covenant. The Conference
also endorsed the extension of 'People to People' peace processes
to cover the whole of the South and, where and when feasible, to
the interface zone between South and North Sudan and within North
- The Conference welcomed the 'Engendering the Peace' process and
applauded the inclusion of women in all aspects of peace processes
and the struggle for, and sustainability of, a just and
- The Conference urged that civil society should be part and
parcel of the peace process. ...
The Conference on Human Rights, Democracy and Development in the
Transition in Sudan was a landmark and a success. The discussion,
debate and recommendations were wide-ranging, an accurate
reflection of the realities of Sudan. The spirit of the Conference
was truly democratic and pluralistic.
The Conference was an historic opportunity in which Sudanese civil
society met with itself and with the leadership of the democratic
opposition in order to join forces in shaping the future of the
country and ensuring that, in a future transition, the opportunity
to achieve a just peace, democracy, development and human rights is
taken and not squandered.
It is the responsibility of Sudanese civil society to continue
dialogue within itself and with the democratic political forces in
Sudan to help achieve this Declaration. Information flow and
networking among civil society and political forces is of crucial
The Conference called upon the Committee of the Civil Project to
continue with the Kampala Forum.
The Conference thanks the people and Government of Uganda for their
welcome and the Pan African Movement for hosting this Conference,
and the Committee of the Civil Project in Sudan for preparing and
organising the Conference, and the donors for funding it.
The Conference on Human Rights, Democracy and Development in the
Transition in Sudan
Kampala, Uganda 21 July 2000
The Conference was attended by the following:
Civil society organisations
Beja Relief Organisation
Centre for Documentation and Advocacy
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Civil Society Support Programme
Economic Society of New Sudan
General Council of Trade Union Federations
Horn of Africa Centre for Development and Democracy
International Nuba Coordination Centre
Al Khartoum Newspaper
National Women's Democratic Alliance
New Sudan Council of Churches
New Sudan Indigenous NGOs Network
New Sudan Women's Association
New Sudan Women's Federation
New Sudan Youth Association
Nuba Mountains Solidarity Abroad
Nuba Relief, Rehabilitation and Development Organisation
South Sudan Law Society
Sudan African Women in Action
Sudanese Committee Against the Violations of Women, Youth and
Sudan Centre for the Study of Human Rights
Sudan Human Rights Association
Sudan Human Rights Group
Sudan Human Rights Organisation
Sudan Human Rights Studies Centre
Sudan Journalists' Union
Sudan Legal Aid Consultancy Centre
Sudanese Martyrs' Families Organisation
Sudanese Victims of Torture Group
Sudanese Women Crying out for AIDS
Sudan Women's Association in Nairobi
Sudan Women's Peace Initiators
Sudan Women's Union
Sudan Women's Voice for Peace
Sudanese Writers' Union
Widows, Orphans, Disabled Rehabilitation Association of the New
Communist Party of Sudan
Democratic Forces Front (JAD)
Democratic Unionist Party
Haq Legitimate Command
National Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy
Sudan Federal Democratic Alliance
Sudan National Alliance/Sudan Alliance Forces
Sudan National Party
Sudan People's Liberation Movement
Union of Sudan African Parties
Human rights activists
Elected members of parliament from the last democratic parliament
in Sudan (5)
Action of Churches Together
Human Rights Watch
National Democratic Alliance (Khartoum)
National Democratic Alliance Legal Secretariat
National Democratic Alliance Committee for Comprehensive Political
Pan African Development Education and Advocacy Programme
Pan African Movement
Sudan Focal Point
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