November 25, 2014
The Honorable Members of the Norwegian Parliament/Stortinget
The Honorable Ministry of Exterior
We followed with great concern the shocking and tragic news of the crimes of mass rape committed by the Sudanese Armed Forces on nearly 200 females ranging from grown up women to young girls including minors and undergraduate students in the village of Tabit in the war-torn region of Darfur, west of Sudan. Reports confirmed the crime occurred between 8 pm Friday 31st of October and the 5 am Saturday 1st of November 2014.
According to a report published by the African Union, and United Nations Delegation for Peacekeeping in Darfur (UNAMID) on November 5th, the Sudanese Armed Forces denied an investigation unit sent by the delegation from carrying their duty and entering the village on November 4th investigating the matter and confirming news reports from different news agencies and several commissions of displaced people.
Nevertheless, UNIAMID clarified in another report dated November 10th that the Sudanese authorities gave permission to another investigative team to enter the village on November 9th. The delegations investigative unit contradicted the fact that there are any indications of or leads to crimes of war in the form of mass rape, however, information in our hands casts doubts in the investigation carried out by the UNAMID delegation due to the very short time period (around 5 hours) in addition to the circumstances in which the investigation was carried out. Sources confirm that the investigation was heavily monitored by the accused the party, namely the Sudanese Armed Forces and their allies, the security forces. The Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon in a press conference dated November 17th, pointed out to those same reasons as being the ones that question the credibility of the investigation.
We have also been closely following the issues raised by the former official spokeswoman of UNAMID in Darfur Dr. Aisha Al-Basri, regarding what goes on inside the confines of UNAMID itself. These issues lead to us keeping a watchful eye on the delegations performance.
Available information and leads in addition to the testimony of two victims to Radio Dabanga in the Netherlands are indicative of large scale suspicions that suggest the occurrence of mass rape in the village of Tabit, bearing in mind the crimes of war and crimes against humanity charges from the International Criminal Court against the top level in the Sudanese Regime.
The violations of human rights in Sudan, and the unjustified exemptions from punishment those involved get after committing these atrocious crimes, are a shame on humanity, the international community, and those who call for the establishment of the rule of law, justice and equality, for it to be allowed to happen in the first place and to pass unnoticed. We see what is still happening on a daily basis in Darfur, Nuba Mountains, The Blue Nile, and equally Khartoum, the capital city, and the rest of the republic as the abhorrent and flagrant actions of the regime they are. It is a moral imperative to collaborate and intensify efforts and make priority stopping these violations, and increasing international cooperation to enforce charges and judgments against the Sudanese regime.
We appeal to the Norwegian Parliament and the Norwegian Government through the Norwegian Ministry of Exterior, and by virtue of being a member in TROIKA to take a strong position to stop these violations. The summary of our appeal is in the following:
- Stop all forms of cooperation and support to the Sudanese Government.
- Support the appeal of the Secretary-General of the United Nations opening a comprehensive and impartial investigation on the mass rape in the village of Tabit.
- To press and urge close supervision of the performance of UNAMID to uncover if any accused negligence has occurred.
- Work on the enforcement of the arrest warrant issued by the ICC on the 4th of March 2009 (renewed 12th of July 2010) against Omar al-Bashir, the President of Sudan on the grounds of involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity.
- Supporting an actual democratic reform in the Sudan to establish the base for peace and equality.
We address your historical part in contributing to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the North and South in the year 2005, and acknowledge the pivotal role played in affiliation with TROIKA and IGAD advancing the peace process and political settlements forward.
Secretariat of Women and Children’s Affairs
*CC: Amnesty International, Norway