Younan Abduallah

In a new escalation of the Sudanese government attack on Christians from Nuba Mountains, one man was killed, 2 injured and 13 were arrested on April 3rd in Omdurman Evangelical School. Yonan Abduallah, a Nuba Christian leader died in Omdurman hospital affected by his injury, after bleeding to death. The other two injured men are Ayuob Kamoma and Farouqu Anjelo, they were stabbed in the hand and chest, and still receiving treatment in Omdurman hospital.

These tragic developments of events followed a serious of harassments and attacks by the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and police, targeting the Evangelical School in Omdurman in the last few weeks. On March 16 more than 20 policemen riding a truck raided into the school and arrested 4 teachers. The teachers were released later in the same day. The police raid was attempting to empty the school campus, which was allegedly had been taken over by a business man affiliated with the Islamic ruling party. Another ten members of the church were arrested near the School among them women.

A group of teachers, students and Nuba Christian activists were organizing a pray in the Evangelical school in protest to the attack against the school and the Evangelical church, when the police raided the school on April 3rd. According to witnesses a large force of police forcefully entered the school, and arrested all the male inside. After short period from the police raid, a group of men, armed with knives and blades entered the school and attacked the peoples who gathered inside. Witnesses confirmed that the police was present outside the school, but did not prevent the attackers or provide protection to the victims inside. Members of the Christian community informed us that the group of men, who attacked the school and killed Mr. Yonan are incited by the investors.  They are also supported by the council appointed by the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments, which is responsible of selling the school without the consent of the Christian community and the school administration.

The Sudanese government led systemic attacks against Nuba Christians since the secession of South Sudan in 2011. Christians in Sudan were subjected to intimidation, harassment, confiscation of properties and denial to build or even amend churches. This catastrophic situation followed the independence of South Sudan which significantly reduced the numbers of Christians in Sudan, after 9 million Southern Sudanese left the north to their new country. The Islamic government supported by fundamentalists groups, started an open war against the Christian minorities in the North Sudan, where most of them from Nuba Mountains. The ongoing conflict in the region since June 2011 derived tens of thousands of Christian Nuba from their homes, as they became internally displaced in Khartoum and other northern states.

The Christian communities in Khartoum had always been discriminated against by the Sudanese laws, such as the Public Orders Law, and other Islamic driven legislations.  After the Southern Sudan independence the Sudanese president announced Sudan to be an Islamic country, with 98% of Muslim. He insisted that there was no remaining obstacles to implement Sharia in the remaining country after the secession. These announcements were soon turned to effective policies targeting Christians. In 2012 an extremist group attacked a church in the middle of Khartoum and burned it down. For the last 6 years, Christians in Sudan were living in constant fear, while their freedom of religion and cultural rights were increasingly compromised.  Christian activists and youth were prosecuted, detained and intimidated, which led dozens to flee the country or live in hiding.

During the last 6 months the Sudanese Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments, which is ruled by fundamentalist religious groups, started a vicious attacks on churches buildings and properties. The ministry decided to sell and destroy 27 churches earlier this year, while the decision has been suspended, the future of these churches among others remains undetermined. The recent violent attack on the Evangelical school is one in a serious of attacks that has been continued for the last 5 years. The freedom of religion and cultural rights of Christians in Sudan had been seriously violated by the government and the fundamentalists groups.

The systemic discrimination against Christians in Sudan, especially those from Nuba Mountains is a clear violation of the Sudanese transitional constitution. Furthermore, Sudan has violated its commitment as state party of the covenant on civil and political rights and the covenant on economic, social and cultural rights. During the second periodical review of Sudan in 2015, the committee on the economic, social and cultural rights had expressed its concern and issued recommendations to Sudan regarding the pour measures taken to implement the covenant and the weak compliance of the Sudanese laws with the treaty. We call on the Sudanese government to comply with its international obligations and end the attacks on the rights of the Christians in the country. We also call on the government to conduct investigation on the recent attack on the Evangelical school and present all perpetrators to justice included government official and police personnel involved. Rights for Peace Foundation call on the treaty bodies and mandate holders responsible of observation of the implementation of the covenants on civil and political rights and covenant on the economic , social and cultural rights, to take immediate action and inquire the Sudanese government about the deteriorating situation of the rights of Christians in the country.