Joint statement on the situation in Sudan

EIRIS Conflict Risk Network has joined with the Investor Alliance for Human Rights and the Heartland Initiative to add our voices to the condemnation of the violence in Sudan and the urgent calls for a permanent ceasefire and transition to a civilian government. The statement builds on the concerns expressed by investors following the military coup in October 2021 and emphasizes the international norms that investors and business should apply.

Samantha Chua, EIRIS Conflict Risk Network Senior Project Manager stated:

“The situation is extremely dangerous, and businesses like everyone else are focusing on immediate security and safety concerns. But in such a crisis it becomes even more important for business to operate within global norms; to consider any ways that they can assist and not worsen the humanitarian situation; and to communicate to all stakeholders that ending the fighting and a transition to civilian government are urgently necessary for business and investors to play their part in building a stable and prosperous future for Sudan.”

EIRIS Conflict Risk Network has also surveyed companies operating in key sectors in Sudan for their immediate responses and will update as more are received. More details are available here.

“We strongly condemn the escalating violence and rapidly deteriorating human rights and humanitarian crisis in Sudan, which began on 15 April and continues at an alarming scale in dense population centres, including in Khartoum and Darfur.  As organisations that work with companies and investors to advance corporate respect for human rights, we deplore the clashes that have killed hundreds, wounded thousands, and resulted in a humanitarian emergency and the mass displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians.

We add our voices to all those calling for an immediate ceasefire, the safe passage for civilians fleeing areas of hostilities, and unhindered access for humanitarian efforts to alleviate the effects of the conflict on the civilian population. We reiterate the principles and concerns raised in the investor statement released after the Sudanese military disbanded the transitional government in October 2021 and believe that the restoration of the political transition towards an inclusive civilian, democratic government underpinned by respect for fundamental rights and freedoms is essential to a stable and prosperous Sudan with a thriving civil society and economy.

It is vital that any business with direct or value chain operations in Sudan take immediate steps to align their operations with the UN Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, and International Humanitarian Law. Given the ongoing, heightened risk of severe human rights violations and abuses in Sudan, it is critical that companies undertake heightened human rights due diligence, as described in the UN Development Programme’s guide on Heightened Human Rights Due Diligence for Business in Conflict-Affected Contexts. This process will help companies ensure their activities or relationships do not cause or contribute to violations of international humanitarian and human rights law or exacerbate the conflict in Sudan. Companies should have policies and processes in place to undertake heightened human rights due diligence in all conflict-affected and high-risk areas where they engage in business activities.

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide investors and companies with additional information and resources as necessary.”

Access a PDF version of our statement here.