“Sudan, situated in Northeast Africa is a country of immense diversity that fascinates and intrigues most of its visitors from anthropologists and archeologists to historians and average travelers.
Sudan gained independence on 1st January 1956, since then the country has experienced alternating forms of democratic and authoritarian government. Sudan’s period of conflict (1955-1972 and 1983-2005) stands as one of the longest in Africa’s post-independence history.
Continued conflict between the Khartoum-based Government and opposition forces in Sudan’s regions have oftentimes resulted in grave socio-political divides across the country, exacerbated by the struggle over natural resources.”
Interview of the lawyer of Sudan, Ibrahim Yousuf ISHAG
1. How is the current situation in Sudan after the outbreak of COVID19?
1/ Sudan is also affected by covid-19 as it’s the same with most countries globally. Fortunately, the effect was weak compared with other countries. And that guided the government to declare the medical emergency state in the country for almost six months from February to June.
The total of dead persons was not big. The current situation is stable and people are practicing their activities normally.
2. Has there been any change in your work (or as a lawyer) since the situation of COVID19 Pandemics?
2/ Yes, there was a big change. All courts are shut down, besides all law enforcement agencies, were also closed.
3. What is a way to keep continue peace activities in this global pandemic situation?
3/ I think a suitable way to continue carrying peace activities is peace education like online training and video conferences.
4. We know that Sudan consists of many tribes with various religions. Because of that, there are many conflicts until now. To resolve these internal conflicts and bring peace in Sudan, what are the fundamental works that the governments and religious leaders should do?
4/ Unfortunately the past terrorist Government was the main reason for all conflicts in Darfur. But now the transitional government shows much care to put an end to conflicts in the country by inviting all rebels to round table negotiations to achieve peace. Actually, it succeeded and signed a peace agreement with two rebel groups on third October 2020.
4-1/ I was targeted twice because of my activities as a human rights activist and as I am a member of the fur tribe. Also, I was jailed many times for the same reasons.
5. Would you tell us the most memorable cases in your career (meaning working as a lawyer)?
5/ Yes. It was the Singita case which took place in 2004 where the Janjaweed (Arab armed militias who used to terrorize Darfur) burned Singita village and killed many people, looted all the properties in this case about 28 of the accused were found guilty and were sentenced to death.
6. I heard that you were detained by the government for trying to inform the UN of the government’s persecution of your tribe. What are the differences between the current government’s policies comparing with the past?
6/ surely the current government is better than the past one. Because It’s the government of Sudan revolution, which beliefs in equality, and justice, and it also respects human rights. Transitional government’s programs are headed by peace as the top priority.
7. I heard you’re working in human rights groups. What is the biggest human rights issue recently in Sudan?
7/ The current hot human rights issue is the ongoing conflicts in Darfur, especially in Jebel Marra. All through the past week, there was heavy fighting which resulted in wide displacement, killing, mass rape.
8. What do you think about the current state of peace in Sudan, compared to before and after the transitional government?
8/ The state of peace in Sudan is not stable It’s fragile. Also, there is a new peace agreement signed on 3 October 2020 but it seems that it will not bring comprehensive peace there are still other rebels groups fighting against the government.
9. When did you feel the need for peace in your real life?
9/ In 2003 when the war broke out in Darfur. Peace is my aim so I decided to do for that goal and support any activities concerning peace.
10. What plans do you have in the future as a lawyer and a peace activist?
10/ As a lawyer, I’ve been providing legal ids for vulnerable groups such as women and children for a long time, so I’ll continue to do those activities. Of course, I will do my work to raise awareness among communities, and bring the perpetrators to justice. As a peace activist, I will work with Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light(HWPL), an international peace organization based in South Korea that I have collaborated with for years, and other organizations to achieve peace. Also, I will support the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War(DPCW), the law for peace, and hope to be brought to the UN and activated. That is the moment we are waiting for and will let the Sudanese enjoy life.
Again I must say thank to HWPL which invited me to this interview.
<This Interview provided by HWPL, an international peace organization>