Africa Action Statement on the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights' Landmark Decision
Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE) v The Sudan
August 13, 2010
Africa Action applauds the recent decision by the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights against the Government of Sudan. In a suit filed against Sudan by the Center on Housing Rights and Evictions, the African Commission found Sudan responsible for large-scale forced evictions and violations of a wide range of human rights, including the rights to life, housing, food, health, judicial remedies and to be free from torture, including rape. The Commission also issued groundbreaking decisions on the right to water and the collective right to economic, social and cultural development, as contained in the African Charter.
The decision substantiates the long-standing campaign Africa Action has had the people of Darfur to end atrocities being committed against the Fur, Zagala and Marsalit by the Janjaweed, supported by the Government of Sudan.
While Sudan has ignored calls for justice from the international community and instead elected to continue its own campaign of death and destruction in Darfur, the landmark decision from the African Commission should serve notice that international human rights standards are fully consistent with the African charter and that in the case of Darfur, the Sudanese Government did in fact violate those standards.
The African Commission ordered the Government of Sudan to investigate abuses in Darfur and hold those responsible for committing human rights violations accountable. The African Commission also ordered the Government to undertake legislative and judicial reforms to ensure that victims have effective domestic support and assistance, and to provide restitution and compensation to the survivors of human rights violations in Darfur. The Commission also ordered Sudan to rehabilitate economic and social infrastructure in Darfur such as education, health care, water and agricultural services as one way to facilitate the right of Darfuris displaced by violence to return to their communities. Africa Action commends the groundbreaking efforts of our colleagues at COHRE and continues the call for peace and justice in Darfur and all Sudan.