Oral Intervention: Follow up to Human Rights Council Decisions Darfur

In United Nations Human Rights Council by CIHRS

Human Rights Council 5th Session
Oral Intervention: Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Agenda Item: Follow up to Human Rights Council DecisionsDarfur
Delivered by: Moataz El Fegiery 13 June, 2007

Thank you Mr. President

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, with the support of other African and Arab NGOs[1][1], welcomes the report by the group of experts on the situation of human rights in Darfur, and considers the recommendations contained therein to be a solid basis on which to improve the human rights situation in Darfur.

The cooperation of the Sudanese government with this group is a positive step. However, many responses of the Sudanese government do not demonstrate a serious and genuine engagement or commitment with the group’s recommendations or the Sudanese government’s international obligations.

At no point in its response paper does the Sudanese government commit to any substantial legal or policy reforms to prevent and improve the human rights situation in Darfur. Indeed, many of the responses continue the government’s policy of denying responsibility for human rights violations in Darfur, and attempting to seek impunity for illegal actions committed by government or government supported agents in this region.

In particular, within its responses, the government of Sudan continues to refuse to cooperate with the ICC, denies any control over militias operating in Darfur, denies hindering or harassing human rights and humanitarian personnel in any way, and asserts that no arbitrary arrests or incommunicado detentions occur in Sudan. This blanket denial of human rights violations contradict with clear evidence to the contrary gathered by the UN, AU, local NGOs, humanitarian organizations, and international human rights organizations.

This report is in danger of becoming another rhetorical exercise by the Sudanese government which produces no discernable improvements for the human rights of civilians in Darfur, and diminishes the reputation of this Council. CIHRS strongly urges this council to heed the recommendations of the expert report, and establish a group to monitor the Sudan government’s implementation of the report’s short and midterm recommendations, and which will report back to the Council on its findings.

CIHRS also welcomes recent reports that Sudan has agreed to allow the full deployment of an AUUN hybrid force in Darfur. Nonetheless, grave human rights violations continue in Darfur, and the recommendations of the expert report must be implemented with all due haste.

Lastly, the Sudan government has asked the Arab League’s Human Rights Commission (ALHRC) to include in the agenda of its next meeting on the 18 th of June, two items: (1) the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) work on Darfur, and (2) human rights reports concerning mass rape of women in Darfur. CIHRS urges the Sudanese government and the institutions of the Arab League to use this opportunity to begin to address human rights violations in Darfur, and the Sudan government’s international obligations concerning these violations, in a more serious and constructive manner; and asserts that the ALHRC should not be used in any way to undermine the work of the ICC or human rights reports that have documented the mass rape of women in Darfur.

Thank you Mr. President

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