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A Just Sudan: In Conversation with Moneim Adam

Moneim Adam is a human rights attorney and the Gisa Group’s Program Director for the Sudan Human Rights Hub (SHRH). He began his career in Sudan as a criminal and human rights lawyer, representing numerous activists and non-governmental organizations in local courts. He has been in practice for over a decade. During this time, he worked with organizations like Redress and others, focusing mostly on strategic litigation. Following that, he moved into the field of international law, helping and working alongside international organizations like the International Criminal Court (ICC) in their operations in Sudan, supporting the ICC’s efforts to establish connections between survivors and victims in Darfur and Khartoum and to link victims with international mechanisms. During Sudan’s transitional period following the 2018 revolution, he gave special attention to supporting the transitional justice initiative. He collaborated closely with regional, international, and UN organizations, including the OHCHR, to support the process of working with all parties involved. His current areas of interest are advocacy, archiving, and documentation related to accountability.


This interview was conducted on 15 December 2023.



CJLPA: We would like to begin by thanking you, Moneim Adam, for taking the time to interview with The Cambridge Journal of Law, Politics, and Art. Your extensive career as a lawyer combined with your advocacy provides a valuable perspective on pressing Sudanese issues. In this particular segment, we would like to address the events going on in Sudan, specifically, human rights issues, the role of international actors, and most of all the place of justice and peace in Sudanese society in the midst of rising conflict in the region.


Moneim Adam: Thank you for having me. It is a pity that to say that the Sudanese people in the marginalised communities are suffering in different regions in Sudan as we speak. Actually, in fact, in the entire nation. Efforts are being made, and this has taken place for many decades, we have grown up in this atmosphere, we are looking at the positives and we are always looking for venues and efforts—how we can help people to address human rights issues, to be able to articulate, to be supported, how they can address the issues. We have different types of initiatives, being a lawyer and being an activist. I think we will get to speak during the interview about all of these subjects.

 

CJLPA: How has your work before domestic courts and as a legal adviser for international organisations shaped your perspective on justice and accountability in Sudan?

 

MA: I worked in Sudan as a lawyer about 13 years ago, and I started my career working in domestic courts as well as working with international organisations, addressing issues [such] as torture, battery arrest, and other issues facing young activists and politicians, by guaranteeing the right to assembly and [addressing] how they can work and advocate for the local societies. This experience really was shared throughout the years as I started working immediately with an international organisation that was based in London. During this time we helped to protect the youth to be able to demonstrate their rights as non-violent activists, so we faced issues connected to domestic laws, domestic systems, and domestic authorities, as they can detain the activists arbitrarily. They can even detain lawyers without waiving their immunity. So during this time, from 2010 and onwards, the experience was only about protecting [people]. There was no active war in Sudan, that was only in the marginalised communities and we immediately shifted to work with marginalised communities around Darfur, eastern Sudan, and northern Sudan. We also supported the people who came back as migrants from South Sudan. Working in this area, something always comes up that we are supposed to help protect. So we used a system called strategic litigation in order to test the system and the laws and to protect rights when it is possible.

 

CJLPA: Can you explain more about how strategic litigation functions? You also mentioned that there was an organisation that you used to work with in London—what specific issues did you work with?

 

MA: The strategic litigation, as I mentioned, has some obstacles connected to domestic litigation itself. For example the law of evidence has issues, the criminal procedures law has a lot of issues, and the criminal code has a lot of issues. The aforementioned issues are contradicting with international human rights standards, as well as the standard for human rights in the African region by the African Union and other regional institutions. There are challenges which are connected to laws, which are connected to institutions. So we use strategic litigation to test the institution itself. Then when we go about the case, we take it to the media. We can take that case internationally or regionally when we face like real challenges using the domestic courts. Doing that, [my colleagues and I] actually managed to push for legal amendments and to protect rights for activists and individuals. We mainly used strategic litigation at that time—I was working with an organisation called Redress Trust and with others as well.

 

CJLPA: Is there any specific case or scenario where you used these strategies through which you could paint a practical picture?

 

MA: Yes, I am just going to give an example to bring us back to the current situation [in Sudan]. The Law of Evidence in Sudan has many challenges regarding accepting visual evidence such as a video or a picture. Using strategic litigation, we try to push for [visual evidence] to be accepted. They were rejected, and then when we went to the Court of Appeal it was accepted. Actually, in one case, we took the case to the African [Court of] Human Rights, the African Commission. We do that in order to show that even if the system fails you can take another step, or can tackle the same matter from another angle. So this is one case—and actually, in a case, the visual evidence was accepted by the court itself and the case was successful.

 

CJLPA: What challenges did you encounter with your work? Through all of these cases and working with the NGOs in Sudan, how have your experiences influenced your approach to human rights issues?

 

MA: Sudan was under the ruling of Islamic government for about 30 years, which has a lot of implications for the system. [This includes] the practices of lawyers and judges—the entire system. Working in that area, we always try to connect with local, regional, and international organisations in order to have all our experiences channel together in pursuit of justice and human rights. Working towards that we managed to build a very clear channel of international lawyers who are involved with different kinds of law and like international legal groups. We are [helping] local lawyers and practitioners to benefit from the support of international experts and we can also use international justice venues. We have different kinds of cases and now we have many cases pending at different levels regionally and internationally. So what we are trying to do is to help more lawyers to be able to use these systems in order to bring justice for the people.

 

The main challenge is, for a district attorney’s practitioners for example, having the knowledge to navigate international mechanisms, for one, and secondly having the connections and the resources to do so. [Lack of] resources is actually one of the main challenges in pursuing a case internationally, because [the cases] take a very, very long time, even up to ten years or more. The case before the ICC has now gone on for more than 18 years. This shows exactly how pursuing cases in different types of jurisdiction outside of one’s country can be challenging. The victims are waiting for justice for so long. Even for practitioners, it is going to take a lot of resources to be able to do this. There are not very many places where you can find funding for cases from an institution or an individual because it takes a long time and it is so difficult to have a clear timeframe.

 

CJLPA: We can now go to the crux of the matter, the ongoing conflict in Sudan. As you said earlier, Sudan has had historical cycles of conflict particularly from the second Sudanese Civil War and the first Darfur conflict. What do you believe are the root causes that perpetuate violence in these situations?

 

MA: Speaking of the conflict in the region, and just coming back to Sudan and the recent war in Darfur, Sudan has never had a continual peace for more than ten years over the last 70 years. So from the Independence Days [in 1956] it has been in this circle continuously. There was only one break after the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972, which ended in 1983. The root causes of all these conflicts are never dealt with. I think some of that is inherited from the old regimes historically in Sudan and mainly because of the [significant] marginalisation and injustice that has happened over [Sudan’s] history. There are also issues with democracy and inclusion, and I think that all of those issues are causing these wars and encouraging people to participate in wars. In the region, [Sudan] has the longest history of internal conflict.

 

CJLPA: You mentioned the Addis Ababa Agreement. What did this agreement entail? I ask this especially because later we will cover issues to do with peace and justice.

 

MA: When we speak about peace and justice, historically Sudanese leaders dealt with peace and justice not as international law defines it or as an international debate. I think in Sudan, leaders have always dealt with peace and justice as two separate things. They consider peace as stopping the war, which does not really mean that there is peace. But they are referring to stopping the guns and pursuing wholly the peace agreement. All of the peace agreements [that have taken place] in Sudan’s history were only meant to stop the guns, and actually not with a strategy, but just dealing with [the problem] for now. I think that because of this people are never satisfied. Going back to the Addis Ababa Agreement, it was a peace agreement in 1972, one of the peace agreements that tried to speak on the issue of inclusive peace. But both parties at the time, the government and the rebel groups, did not consider [handling the agreement] from a place of trust. The government and the rebel groups at that time did not actually have the will to implement the agreement, even withstanding the issues that the agreement itself has. Regarding other peace agreements in Sudan, they always speak about stopping the guns but they never pursue the issue of justice. Justice then always remains an issue throughout the peace agreements and throughout [our] history.

 

CJLPA: In your opinion, coupled with local conflict, how has international interference affected the ongoing conflict in Sudan, both now and in the past? What role do international actors play in promoting enduring justice in Sudan?

 

MA: International institutions—I can put them in two boxes, with the diplomats on one side and the UN agencies on the other side. I do not really want to speak here about the regional mechanisms because they never played a great role. The only role that was played regionally was during the Addis Ababa Agreement and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). In those two instances there were major roles played [by regional powers]. Even though both of [the agreements] were led by international actors and not the regional powers, they were hosted in the region. So the international actors always played with Sudan, exactly like I spoke about with the local actors. They always say ‘let’s stop the guns for now’. Even now, efforts taken with current wars always deal with [the problem] as ‘let’s stop the war for now’. One example is the efforts led by the US and Saudi Arabia in Jeddah which are entirely about having a ceasefire, not having a lasting peace, but just having a ceasefire and a humanitarian corridor that can help humanitarian support to move around. We cannot deal with the current war [that way], excluding all the civilians and just dealing with the warring parties. That is one issue. If we look back into all the peace agreements done in Sudan’s history, they all came from that angle, dealing with both warring parties but not including the civilians and affected communities.

 

CJLPA: Besides the peace agreements, the international community and state actors have been accused of hindering justice in Sudan. Can you shed more light on this?

 

MA: Sure. So the warring parties are backed by some states, in the region or elsewhere. And I believe there is very clear evidence of accusing one state or another. At some of the meetings that were held recently, both warring parties in Sudan were accusing states of supporting the other [warring party]. Especially the military in Sudan, they are always accusing states. This causes some issues with the legal powers that are accused of supporting one party. As an example, the military, which is the Sudanese Armed Forces, have accused some regional states, namely Kenya. One of the spokespersons of the military spoke about when William Ruto was proposing to send troops to protect civilians and to ensure that the humanitarian corridors could deliver humanitarian aid. One of the military leaders came out and accused William Ruto of wanting to occupy [Sudan] and he said, ‘you have to bring your forces and come to fight’. That is actually one of the leaders of the military. That speech made it very difficult for Kenya—I am not saying I am with or against that initiative, but it made it very difficult for Kenya to continue that initiative.

 

During another event, the same leader [who accused William Ruto] came out last week and accused the UAE of supporting the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). That caused a lot of diplomatic tension between the de-facto government of Sudan now and the Emirates. Many people accuse Egypt. They have collected evidence that Egypt is supporting SAF [the Sudanese Armed Forces]. Just looking at all these scenarios—like this country is supporting this side, that country is supporting that side—makes brokering peace in the current situation very difficult because all these regional powers have a great role to play. For example, the Emirates now have a very good relationship with the RSF, Egypt has a very good relationship with the SAF. If they are not brought to the table to stop supporting one side or another…

 

Of course, this war would not have continued to this day if the regional powers were not supporting the warring parties, because that is how they get weapons. That is how they receive support. I think that how the war has lasted for this long, and it is going to continue if that situation continues, and if the international powers are not going to hold regional powers accountable for their support.

 

CJLPA: You previously mentioned the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended the war between Sudan and what is now South Sudan in 2005. What do you consider having been so vital in the CPA, so that it stopped the war? Maybe in all of this conflict, including the current conflict, something is not being understood that can be borrowed from the CPA.

 

MA: So actually mentioning the CPA in this context here is hinting at something scary, because the CPA led to the country splitting into two countries. That is something really negative. I am very supportive of the South to have their state because they have a very long history and were being marginalised. There was a lack of inclusivity. This is something we have to consider that like this, this is your choice after the referendum, which is supposed to be guaranteed and I am very in support of that. But during the CPA, the warring parties at the time and the international community all came together to stop the war and to include the referendum, in order to help the South Sudanese, by that definition, to have access to a referendum. I think that the peace agreement did not have enough emphasis on justice. It was only about the stopping of the guns. To be honest with you, I do not think that is a good example to be used. Because we have the Abuja Agreement and the Doha Agreement as well—[during none of these agreements] did the warring parties consider it important to implement something that could be followed, not only to stop the guns but to have a lasting peace and to proceed through justice. And none of these peace agreements, including the CPA, have a detailed chapter where warring parties have [realistic] mechanisms for justice. So I think it is better not to borrow from the CPA, but rather the Sudanese people should sit together and learn from the local initiatives. Include all the civilians, include the leaders, include everyone who has felt marginalised throughout history, and sit together and have lasting peace by including everyone. But I think that if we have learned something from all of that history, it is that history always repeats itself by having another war.

 

CJLPA: The army has been accused since Sudanese independence of usurping power and every time Sudan is at the brink of achieving democracy and good governance it sabotages such efforts. How do you see the historical role of the army in Sudan shaping the current challenges in establishing a civilian-led government?

 

MA: Even before the Muslim Brotherhood came to power in the last century, the army was always formed. It has a lot of military acts that make it very difficult for people from all over the country to see themselves in them, and [to see the army as] as representing them. This is one thing. Secondly the army is very politicised, the army has always participated in the political game in Sudanese history. And that has always kept the leaders afraid of the army, and then they create their own militias. If we speak about the RSF—according to all the legal definitions that I agree with, I don’t believe that the RSF is a militia, because it was created according to local laws and the same army approved those laws. They have different militias. They had the Popular Defence Forces in the past, and they have different kinds of militias and the government was very proud of having them. So I think the army as an institution is always participating in political games and creating militias that can make them always ready to sabotage democracy. They are always ready to make the way to democracy very difficult.

 

CJLPA: What steps can be taken to ensure genuine and smooth transition from military to civilian rule, especially given the historical dominance of the military?

 

MA: Looking at the situation in Khartoum, it is taken over by RSF, half of Omdurman is taken over by RSF, the entire region of Darfur is now almost controlled by RSF, and the military moves to other places. So I think actually looking at this picture, just makes it so difficult now to pursue peace without looking at how to deal with a militia, with RSF and the allying militias. It makes it very difficult to look at moving forward for achieving a future for Sudan without looking at this, the armies and how they got into conflict. Now, in Darfur, I am not sure if the people in Geneina agree that they wanted to be under the rule of RSF. That is something very frustrating that we are looking at, and we do not understand how people are going to look at the future of Sudan without having the presence of the army. I think the only thing to have for future Sudan is a new matrix for the army. To go back to the barracks, just as the Sudanese revolution was calling for, and to take away and to dismantle all the militias. I think that is the only way to secure a national army without interfering in politics, which can always bring coups and bring an end to democracy.

 

CJLPA: Since we are speaking about the RSF and the SAF, maybe you can shed more light on the agreement that they had in 2021 and issues to do with the sovereign consult that has brought us to where we are today, on the transition.

 

MA: The framework agreement that was brokered by the unit arms was one of the sure mistakes done in our history. They saw how RSF had started to recruit some civilians to join their camp. SAF, which is the military, started to recruit other civilians. The RSF was very powerful at that time, and it became powerful because of the military itself, and the facilitation and the support, and the goal, the control over history. For the past ten years, the RSF has had access to all the camps, the mining areas, and that made it easy for them to control more. So the framework agreement, the mistake that was done by the unit arms, was meant to force peace no matter what. I am not saying that the unit arms bear all the responsibility by themselves, but they played a great role in that process, when they did not really do a full assessment to understand what would happen if they pushed so hard to have an agreement only with the RSF. I think that was supposed to be well-assessed by the unit arms, but was really mishandled by them. That brought this conflict forward. When they saw the RSF had started to become a rebel group and disobey the military, during that time, they were supposed to backup and come back to see how they can negotiate around this and urge the RSF not to continue forward with this and enter into confrontation. I think all of these aspects, if they had been considered by unit arms and other forces, if they had been really monitored at that time, we would not be in this situation now. Because there were a lot of ways to prevent this war if followed the right way, and not just looking for any peace.

 

CJLPA: Reflecting on what you have said regarding ways to prevent the current war and what you have termed the transitional process, and all the issues pertaining to the sovereign council—constitutionally and institutionally, what reforms do you believe would contribute to creating a more inclusive, democratic governance within Sudan?

 

MA: The constitution document itself is very weak by nature and the Sovereign Council amended it without including the civilians. They made the RSF leader into the deputy of the Sovereign Council, this was done unilaterally by the head of the army, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. The Sudanese people are supposed to start looking at the history and all the mistakes that have been made, and include all of the local mechanisms for peace and justice in order to have an inclusive process for justice and for the future. Because without having a clear constitution in which everyone feels represented, there is no way to have a lasting peace. I do not think the current or previous constitution documents are the best draft. There are many lessons that can be learned from the history of Sudan. There are some constitutions where, if we look at them, there are lessons to be learned. That can help to pave the way for an inclusive document where people can look at it and all feel included, and that they believe can take Sudan to the next step.

 

CJLPA: In terms of institutional reforms, do you think having a civilian leader without proper institutions weakens their role? Is this why the military or the militants get their way?

 

MA: I think there are some examples that we can look at. They used to have some circles of instability. But then when they have the Constitution protecting against like—one of the basic things, like now, Abdelaziz al-Hilu and the SPLM [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement] North are fighting for basic rights, and they are never recognised. It is not about documents, it is about the will. If the Sudanese people do not have the will to have lasting peace and to have democracy, even if we bring any institution from anywhere it is not going to help. Forcing people to believe that the constitution of Sudan is supposed to be like an Islamic government, that does not help. Even during the civilian government, the Muslim Brotherhood were able to make a campaign against the leaders, where they say ‘with the measurement of Islamic ruling, this is wrong’. They call them kafirs, and they call them infidels. And that makes it so difficult. The will is number one and then the documents and all of that can come later—but I think we need to look into helping people to become unified. Anything can come later, but the documents cannot be implemented, even if there is a good document, if there is no human will. I guess that is something we have to look at now.

 

CJLPA: Our next question is regarding the 2019 revolution and the subsequent events within Sudan. How do you view the transitional period that came after? It has been framed by some as a missed opportunity for achieving accountability and justice—do you agree with this perspective?

 

MA: Of course, I agree with that. And I add that the Sudanese youth, and men and women, they sacrificed a lot in order to have the revolution achieve its goals, or at least to remove the Muslim Brotherhood leaders. But the problem happened because of the selfish politicians. They do not have vision, that is why they came and—to be honest with you—they hijacked the revolution itself. They sought to negotiate again with the military and they [reopened] the door for the military to come back and participate in politics. The three slogans of revolution—freedom, peace, and justice—none of [them] were part of the agenda for those civilians who came and hijacked the revolution. I [use the word] ‘hijacked’ because they did not care about freedom, peace, and justice at all. When they created their first government, it was weak. They did not care about training. The people who came and joined, like the officers, did not train. They did not provide basic training for governance. Someone may have had no experience at all, and they were are appointed to governance. The government becomes something useless. Ministers were appointed where it was their first job in their life, to be a minister. After that, nobody cared about legal reform, nobody cared really about institutional reform. These people hijacked the revolution, they betrayed the streets.

 

CJLPA: Given what you have just said, if you were to look at an effective transitional justice mechanism in Sudan—and we can even put it in the context of the post-2019 setting—how do you think, considering all of the complexities and the situation that did happen, that [transitional justice] could have been done better or actually could have been made effective?

 

MA: First of all, I think they have to let the youth create their own parliament, which was prevented from the first days. They have to initiate the institutions—there was supposed to be an institution for a peace, an institution for transitional justice, and an institution for reconciliation—but nobody cared about them. The first thing to be done is the Parliament, which is supposed to be led by youth, women and men. Also, to initiate institutions that can build a foundation for work around justice, transitional justice, reconciliation, because it was never dealt with. Those three things are the main things that can put Sudan in a constant position to have another war if not dealt with from the beginning. We need to include—not to exclude—the youth who led the streets. They were the people who were supposed to protect democracy at that time, to protect the revolution at that time, but they were excluded. And there should be trust—the people who hijacked the authority, they were supposed to trust the youth and to report to them when they are blocked by the military, they were supposed to come back to the youth. I think all of those were not met and I think those are the main things that led to this current situation. Because at the end of 2023, when the unit arms were leading negotiation between like both warring parties in order like to have the framework agreement dealt with by both parties led by sovereign RSF, that is exactly how they put back the ball back in the military’s court.

 

CJLPA: Could you elaborate a bit on how a youth-led movement could effectively result in an intersectional transitional justice movement? So again, looking at social justice, environmental justice, how would a youth-led movement in particular do well with these different forms of justice?

 

MA: We saw during the revolution that when the youth really managed to control a certain area, it was like an inclusive, small Sudan where everyone sees themselves there. Yeah, there are some issues here and there because of the inherited history and things. But I think that during my entire life, the only small Sudan that I saw had vision, or a way to go forward. I think that was like the second time. If a youth are given a chance to lead, like they did successfully with the revolution during 2019…

 

We did an oral history project in collaboration with George Mason University where we collected and included more than 120 interviews, in which we asked people what peace means to them, about justice and accountability, those basic questions. And when we asked these people those questions, and we completed the analysis with experts, I believe it was the only well-analysed document given out during the discussion around transitional justice in Sudan. I think that can tell us about the gap—there is no way that there is enough analysis. During that time, we gave out this document with all these views about what we see in that area, what peace and justice mean for people in from different places in Sudan. I think that can show exactly where the gap is, and can tell exactly that if the youth are given a chance to lead they are going to make it so that the small Sudan can grow to become like the bigger Sudan, and everyone can have their dreams met.

 

CJLPA: How do you see small Sudan being scaled up to big Sudan? What do you think that the process would be for this grassroots initiative to become bigger?

 

MA: The historic election, we saw the first obstacle in front of the youth movement is put by people who call themselves the (National) Democratic Alliance. Political parties are always scared of having anything led by youth and that is really something we saw. Youth are able to look into the future, because they have the dream. I think they have the vision, and they feel they are part of the future too. I think youth can be inclusive. Now for example, in the small institutions that were led by youth, we see the inclusivity, we see the justice, we see the vision, and we feel like everyone is really participating. Everyone feels that that they belong there. I think that if youth are given the chance to lead, which has never happened in Sudan, that they are going to be able to build the Sudan where everyone believes that they belong. With just what basic definitions are given to people, I think that can be the chance to rebuild Sudan with justice, with some institutions that research. There is a huge gap with regard to research on environmental harm. Nobody cares about the mining activities that were led by the old regimes. I think youth can bring research there that can help to stop all of these activities that can harm the environment, and in turn, can harm the future. I think they can lead the democracy to be achieved in Sudan.

 

CJLPA: There are different stakeholders in the community: the media, the communities themselves, and institutions of learning. In what ways, even for policymakers, can they affect justice, in what ways can we affect the transitional justice?

 

MA: In, Sudan they have traditional ways of dealing with justice. For example, in Darfur, in the Nuba Mountains, in in eastern Sudan, in northern Sudan, in the centre, they all have a sort of social reconciliation, where tribal leaders sit together and present a form of justice that can leave everyone feeling satisfied. One could ask the question of why would that be effective, for example, stopping the war in Darfur, because there is no institution to take that further. If the communities are ready to reconcile among themselves, if there is a state that can make that achievable, that can make the record of that—but that is not happening. So they can have a reconciliation or can have negotiations today around any matter that happens, but there is no support for mistakes—that cannot hold itself up, it is going to fall.

 

Speaking about the future of justice and future transitional justice, transitional justice itself is targeted by some politicians in Sudan who say transitional justice is a way of life that supports impunity, which is incorrect. That has actually led some people to advocate for justice being achieved only by the ICC, which is also a big mistake. It cannot achieve that—the ICC can only look at one case, only try the leaders, only try certain crimes—but there is a lot going on here, this is an entire country in chaos. I think that saying that only the ICC can deal with everything is a huge mistake. Academics need to write a lot in this area in order to clarify for local people how justice can be achieved, and that the ICC is not the only thing that can achieve justice. One quote I heard from the ICC prosecutor was that ‘justice does not die within the premises of the ICC’. I think that is a very clear way of speaking about justice. Scholars, academics, all the institutions, and the media can help to clarify that justice really is a process. It is not only something that can be achieved within one institution. And transitional justice is one of the important ways of dealing with accountability when an entire country is in a civil war.

 

In summary, it is important to look for justice as a process. Transitional justice is one of one of the cornerstones for that, especially since you cannot take everyone to court. Some of those [situations] are supposed to be dealt with according to the communities, and some supposed to be taken to the local courts. Building local institutions is very important and key and cornerstone for achieving justice too. So all these efforts, if they are done together, can help achieve justice. That is going to be the first step in a lasting process for justice and peace. That can happen only when we have transitional justice, that everyone feels satisfied.

 

CJLPA: It is not lost on us that after all of our discussion about how the previous transitional justice movement did not have the effect it should have, you yourself have had to make personal sacrifices as a result of your involvement. It is astounding for all these years, you have been able to keep going see this as a process, a light at the end of the tunnel. What keeps you motivated to continue doing the work that you do?

 

MA: I think that the dream to have a just Sudan is something always keeping me committed to this work. In fact, last year more than six months before the war, I was doing research with an institution pursuing studies for anthropology and I was working on the question of why people participate in a war. That was actually more than eight months before the war. The thing is, to see people suffering in Darfur, suffering in Khartoum, suffering in eastern Sudan, now in northern Sudan, and everywhere—that requires anyone to be committed, if not to achieve justice entirely, but just like to participate in that process. Even if it is with research, with one case, or even with educating one person. That is something really important that we have to take into consideration all the time. For me personally, I believe justice can happen and is going to happen sooner or later. That is something I am always committed to, participating in any process available: supporting the ICC, supporting any regional mechanism, supporting domestic institutions, helping local lawyers or local institutions to create records, or even doing interviews with elders or with communities for data collection. One of our goals is to achieve justice, to participate in this process and to do advocacy from Sudan. But I think that one of the goals we need to have is to create a record for the future. If we have that record for the future, people are going to see that and understand what has happened through history—and I think they will not repeat it again. All of this can really pile up, and lead us to not sleep until we see justice achieved. I think that everyone who has committed a crime should face justice through local courts, through universal jurisdiction, or through any kind of procedure. Justice is a must and it is going to happen sooner or later.

 

This interview was conducted by Solomon Njombai and Alexandra Marcy Hall, Legal Researchers at CJLPA. Solomon, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations and an LL.M in Energy Law. His primary focus lies in comprehending how energy intertwines with global issues and how it drives interactions between states on a global scale. Alexandra is a human rights professional who has practised and researched extensively in North Africa and Europe. She currently works in advocacy for asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants living in London through an international humanitarian organisation.

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