After decades of conflict, the war between the Sudanese and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) reached a conclusion in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). Even as that conflict was reaching its conclusion, fighting escalated in the Darfur region of the country, with a vast humanitarian toll. Successive efforts at negotiations and peacekeeping missions have failed to halt the conflict, even as a measure of stabilization and reconstruction has emerged in the south. Rather unusually, however, there are significant international efforts at restoring the rule of law and promoting human rights in Darfur, even as the fighting continues. This chapter examines recent developments towards establishing the rule of law in the Sudan, with a specific focus on Darfur. While there is much interesting and relevant work taking place on the rule of law across South Sudan, this chapter focuses on Darfur both because addressing the range of activities in a country as vast and complex as the Sudan would be too lengthy and because of the highly unusual nature of the programming in Darfur. It is rare to see such large-scale rule of law programming, usually rolled out in peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions where fighting has largely stopped, being implemented while fighting remains so extensive. While the choice to develop such programming is perhaps controversial, it might also prove a model for future conflicts. While the chapter particularly focuses on the efforts of the United Nations

(UN) and partner international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the Darfur region, it also provides a glimpse of the work being done with internally displaced persons (IDPs) in and around the capital, Khartoum. It addresses not only the work of international actors such as the UN, but also the work of national bodies, including the relevant ministries and national civil society. The chapter briefly explains the complex tapestry of the Sudan, necessary given the co-existence of the CPA and the armed conflict in Darfur. As well as describing the programming itself, the chapter seeks to examine

the rationale and impact of programming for the rule of law in the midst of

an on-going conflict and in the context of a complex international peacekeeping operation. Moreover, it explains that ‘the rule of law’ is dependent on building both sides of a ‘supply and demand’ equation; that the success of those institutions dedicated to providing a just and fair society where all are equal before the law is dependent on citizens being able to make reasonable demands upon those institutions. Indeed, it is often dependent on those citizens demanding that the institutions exist at all and that they exist to serve everyone, including the poor, the marginalized and those whose rights have been violated. There are still those who believe that it is ineffective and wasteful to dedicate resources to instilling awareness about their entitlements to people with little or no access to legal institutions. Some maintain, moreover, that it is unfair to raise people’s awareness that they are entitled to better. This chapter maintains both that it is ineffective and a waste of resources to seek solely to build the institutions necessary for the rule of law, without tackling every obstacle – including ignorance – that makes these institutions inaccessible to the population for whom they have been created. The success of the institutions of the rule of law can only be genuinely measured by how well they serve those who need them most. Is it unfair to explain entitlement to those whose rights have been violated?

The displaced people of Darfur already know that they have suffered wrongs. By providing the knowledge that the world community agrees with them, practitioners are acting within the spirit and letter of international human rights law both in recognizing that everyone has the same rights to information and the principle of inalienability. In short, even when, as in Darfur, a family has been forcibly displaced, their property stolen, family members killed, maimed or raped, they are still entitled to their human rights; it is the responsibility of those programming for the rule of law to ensure that they are equipped with the knowledge so that one day, somehow, they may claim those rights.