15 Jul Legality of UK Training of Sudan’s Army Challenge heard in High Court
Ali Agab Nour, a Sudanese lawyer and refugee, will challenge the British Government’s decision to provide military training to the Sudanese Army today in the High Court.
It is well-documented that the Sudanese Army regularly and systematically perpetrate truly appalling human rights violations including mass rape, ethnic cleansing and indiscriminate aerial bombardment. The senior commanders of the army are indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and genocide. The UK is alone amongst western nations in training the army.
The British Government provides training to Sudanese Army officers in operational matters that are designed to enhance their ability to conduct military campaigns. The courses cover training in the conduct of “military operations”, “campaign planning and execution”, generating, managing, applying and commanding “combat power”, and have in the past included training in “military skills”, “weapon handling” and “battlefield disciplines of soldiering”.
The Claimant is asking the court to order that this training cease, on the basis that the decision to provide it was unlawful as it breached the Government’s own Overseas Security and Justice Assistance Policy.
The Claimant, Ali Agab Nour states: “The assistance provided by the British Government to Sudan’s Armed Forces ignores the suffering of the devastated Sudanese children, women and men who live under daily Antonov aerial bombardment. I’m shocked that the assistance the British provide enhances the perpetrators’ ability to conduct more advanced military campaigns against the civilians in Sudan“.
Daniel Carey of Deighton Pierce Glynn stated: “Despite its appalling human rights record, the British Government has repeatedly approved combat-related training to the Sudanese Army. Only the UK and Iran do this. We argue that the Government’s decision making process was unlawful, and that as a result there is very worrying risk that the British government has been and will be complicit in appalling human rights abuses.”
To view the article about this case by the Guardian, please click here.