Organized by the Italian Campaign SUDAN: PEOPLE WITHOUT RIGHTS

Final Declaration of the International Forum

The Campaign SUDAN: PEOPLE WITHOUT RIGHTS is promoted by a group of associations, NGOs and Italian information organs (Pax Christi, Acli, Amani, Arci, Caritas, Cesvi, Cuore Amico, Mani Tese, Nigrizia) that have been for a long time involved in solidarity initiatives with the peoples of the South, particularly in Africa.

The Campaign has been active since April 1995, with the aim of supporting the peace process and the respect of human rights in a country that have witnessed decades of conflict. To these aims the Campaign has been lobbying at the political level, with the Italian government. It has promoted a wider and better information on the Sudanese situation, to involve the public opinion, through the use of media and the collection of 50.000 signatures on the initial document. It has organised encounters and meetings to discuss the situation in the country, inviting, whenever possible, meaningful representatives of the Sudanese civil society. It has operated at the concrete level of humanitarian help, supporting the people of the Nuba Mountain ( an area which is excluded from any international humanitarian intervention).

Now the Campaign is in the process of organising an international Forum to bring the attention on the role of the Sudanese civil society in the search for peace and the respect of human rights. The Forum - PEACE PERSPECTIVES FOR SUDAN. A REBIRTH OF THE CIVIL SOCIETY? - will take place in Milan, on September 17th and 18th 1999, and will be organised in three working sessions to address different topics: analysis of the historical and geopolitical dimensions, action for the promotion of human rights, proposals and perspectives for a sustainable solution of the conflict. Each session will be introduced by a non Sudanese key-note speaker followed by testimonies offered by representatives of the Sudanese civil society and members of associations and grassroots groups, operating for peace, inside and outside Sudan. At the end of each session there will be a debate with interventions of NGOs that operate in the country.

The Forum on Sudan is one of the initiatives that will accompany the 3rd Assembly of the United Nations of Peoples, organised by the Italian Table for Peace and the Association of Local Public Administrations for Peace. The Assembly will take place in Perugia (September 23rd-25th) and will be followed by the traditional March for Peace from Perugia to Assisi (September 26th).

See attached program
Forum Program (draft, June 1999)


Welcome addresses - Friday 17th September 10.30 - 13.00
Gabriele Albertini, Major of the City of Milan
Roberto Formigoni, President of the Lombardia Region
Bruno Simini, Chairman of the Culture Commission of the Lombardia Region
“Italy, the International Community and Sudan”
Chairman Claudio Ragaini, vice-director of Famiglia Cristiana
with the participation of Staffan de Mistura, UN representative in Italy
Henrike Trautman, ECHO desk for Sudan
Rino Serri, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Marco Pezzoni, Foreign Commission of the Italian Chamber of Deputees representatives from Italian NGOs active in Sudan

Section one
Friday September 17th - 14,30 - 18,30

  • the colonial history
  • ethnic and religious issues
  • natural resources and the interests they arouse (particularly concerning
  • the waters of the River Nile and the oil fields)
chair: Tonio Dell'Olio, Italian (Pax Christi)

key-note speaker: Richard Gray, British, professor emeritus of African history at the University of London, author of a History of Southern Sudan 1839-1889 (Oxford University Press, 1961), lecturer at the University of Khartoum in 1959-61.


  • Gabriel Zubeir Wako, Sudanese (south), Catholic Archbishop of Khartoum, Vice-president of the Sudanese Catholic Episcopal Conference.
  • Yusuf Fadl Hasan, Sudanese (north) Professor of History, Vice Chancellor of the Khartoum University untill 1998, now a research professor at the University of Khartoum and Director of the Institute of African and Asian Studies.
  • Mel Middleton, Canadian, coordinator of the Canadian Campaign against Talisman (oil company with relevant interest in Sudan)

Section two
Saturday September 18th - 9,30 - 13,30

  • freedom of religion, association, press ...
  • minorities: the Nuba people
  • social groups: women, children, refugees and displaced
chair: Bruna Sironi, Italian (Mani Tese)

key-note speaker: Gaspar Biro, Hungarian, former UN Special Rapporteur on human rights violations in Sudan


  • Johannes Ajawin, Sudanese (south), lawyer, author of reports on human rights published by African Rights, now member of the InterAfrica Group
  • Azza Anis, Sudanese (north), Assistant Professor at the University of Khartoum, at present associated with the Department of Modern Languages and Classics of Saint Mary's University in Halifax
  • Ghazi Suleiman, Sudanese (north), lawyer, President of the Sudanese Human Rights Group
  • Suleiman Rahhall, Sudanese (Nuba), member of the association Nuba Solidarity Abroad

Section three
Saturday September 18th - 15,00 - 18,30

  • evolution of the peace talks
  • regional issues
  • peace perspectives and the rearrangement of the country
chair: Gino Barsella, Italian (Nigrizia)

key-note speaker: Peter Woodward, Professor of Politics at the University of Reading (UK)


  • Abel Alier, Sudanese (south), lawyer, member of the International Tribunal of the Hague, former vice president of Sudan and former President of the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region
  • Eliaba Surur, Sudanese (south), president of the Union of Sudanese Parties
  • somebody from the group Sudanese Women's Voice for Peace
  • Adlan Hardallo, professor of Political Science at the University of Khartoum and former president of the Khartoum University Academic Union (1985-1986)