Sudan: Promotion Mission, 1996


The mission was undertaken from 1 - 7 December, 1996 and was made up of Prof. E. V. O. Dankwa, Vice-Chairman of the Commission, Justice R. H. Kisanga and Dr. K. Rezag-Bara, was accompanied by Dr. Essombe Edimo Joseph, Legal Officer of the Commission. Its terms of reference were:

  • Endeavour to settle amicably with the government of Sudan communications which had been brought against it before the Commission.
  • Present to the Commission as accurately as possible the human rights situation in Sudan.
  • To promote human rights in Sudan by, inter alia, making the work of the Commission known, and meeting with non-governmental organisations, other bodies and as many individuals as possible.


  1. The government of Sudan should intensify its efforts to bring an end to the war...
  2. The government of Sudan should pursue all lawful means to maintain friendly relations with its neighbours. What we say to Sudan, we also say to Sudan's neighbours.
  3. Espousal of views which are different from those of government should be encouraged. It will inure to the advantage of government to have the benefit of such views.
  4. Professional bodies like the Bar Association should be encouraged to be truly independent by not having mainly government officiais in it.
  5. The critical stance of NGOs can contribute in no small measure to sustainable development of a country and the emergence and growth of independent NGOs whose views are not necessarily identical with those of government should be encouraged and tolerated.
  6. The minimum age for recruitment into the military should be observed.
  7. A review of the judicial system should be undertaken with a view to making it independent. The powers of the Chief Justice should be narrowed. Legislation should also lay down the functions and jurisdiction of the courts. They should not be left to be determined by an official, not even the Chief Justice. Security of tenure of judges and judicial officers should be respected in the review. Annual appointments should be avoided.
  8. To dispel allegations of extra-judicial executions, the report of the Commission of Enquiry into the subject set up by Dr. Abdel Nabi Ali Ahmed, governor of South Darfiir should be made public.
  9. Detention without trial offends against the Charter and should be avoided. At the very least, they occurred either before General Omar Bashir took power or immediately alter his seizure of power.
  10. The Special Committee to investigate allegations of Involuntary Disappearances and slavery should intensify its effort to know the truth about the allegation concerning the disappearance of 248 people...
  11. Finally, as an African proverb states: "He who charts a path does not know that part of it is crooked" (for he looks ahead). It is those who stand by who see the crookedness. We urge the government of Sudan, therefore, to consider carefully divergent views on the new society it is trying to build to avoid any crookedness, to say the least. The tragedy of experiments with new forms of government on our continents is there to guide us.