The coup d'état that took place last year continues to have negative effects on Sudanese territory, social unrest continues, as does the UN's interest in protecting citizens. In fact, a human rights expert from this international organisation has been sent to the country to verify the allegations of violations that individuals suffered during the demonstrations against the coup, and continue to suffer.
Adama Dieng, a Senegalese UN expert, landed in the Sudanese capital Khartoum on Monday, his first visit to the country since the military coup. This official was assigned in November to monitor the situation in Sudan after the 25 October coup. Previously, he was a special advisor on the prevention of genocide and acted as an investigator for the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR). The Senegalese's first meeting was with Volker Perthes, head of the UN Mission in Sudan.
The visit to the country was planned a month ago, but the Sudanese authorities asked for it to be postponed, according to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHCHR). Mohamed Saeed al-Hilu, acting Minister of Justice, and the expert himself had their first meeting on Monday. Dieng will also meet with other government officials, activists and civil society groups to investigate the violence. Gomaa al-Wakil, head of the Justice Ministry's human rights department, said that "Dieng's mission is to verify allegations of human rights abuses during the protests that have taken place since the takeover".
Months ago, thousands of people took to the streets of Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman, to demand the installation of civilian government and the start of a long-awaited democratic transition. In response, Sudanese security forces launched a major offensive against the demonstrators, using tear gas to disperse the participants, at least 10 demonstrators were injured. Also, the nation's internet and mobile phone signals were disconnected, preventing meetings between citizens. All these events will be investigated.
In addition, Sudanese security forces have been accused of sexual violence against female demonstrators present at the riots. As a result, the United Nations has called for an investigation into these cases of sexual violence, which also occurred during the Al-Bashir regime. "The UN human rights office received reports that at least 13 women and girls were raped, some in groups, as well as allegations of harassment around the palace during protests in Khartoum," an official from the international organisation said.
Hundreds of pro-democracy activists and leaders of pro-democracy demonstrations have also been arrested, complicating international efforts by the UN to find a way out of the Sudanese problem. The expert's visit coincided with the death of a man during a demonstration in Khartoum. "A man died on Sunday in the crackdown on protests in Sudan, a country gripped by violence since the October coup," doctors said. The military government has acknowledged that some members of the military opened fire, but the Sudanese administration never gave the order for such actions. At the same time, it has accused protesters of stabbing a police general.
In the meantime, the country remains paralysed and awaiting a democratic transition after 30 years of repression and international isolation under the Islamist government of Omar al-Bashir. Nonetheless, riots continue, with more than 80 people killed and more than 2,600 injured since the coup d'état. The international community has on numerous occasions criticised the bloody repression and ongoing raids against activists and citizens.