FIDH’s oral intervention about the situation in Darfur

16/03/2007
Press release

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its member in Sudan, the Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT) continue to be extremely concerned about the situation in Darfur.

The report of the High-Level Mission on the human rights situation in Darfur confirms that the crisis therein Darfur remains as tragic as ever. Four years of fighting in the region between the government forces supported by its militias and rebels has led to the deaths of more than 200,000 people, and resulted in more than 2 million internally displaced persons. The on-going systematic perpetration of crimes of rape, torture and killing of civilians is a living nightmare.

The FIDH and SOAT condemn the refusal of the Sudanese Government to grant access to the High-Level assessment mission into Sudan preventing it from visiting Darfur. It is deplorable that the Government of Sudan publicly announced its refusal to grant visas to members of the mission, contradicting its past agreements with the Council .

Despite the fact that the HL Mission was prevented from entering Sudan, the report is a compelling and an authoritative assessment of the current situation confirming the alarming accounts already denounced by the Security Council, other UN agencies and NGOs. The UN has demonstrated in the past, in the cases of Chile and South Africa, that action can be taken regardless of the existence of such a report or formal assessment.

The Human Rights Council must react urgently and strongly to the continuing gross and systematic human rights violations in Darfur. The effectiveness of protection of civilians in Darfur is primarily the responsibility of the Sudanese Government; but its unwillingness to do so, requires the international community to act now. If the Council fails to react its credibility is no doubt at stake.

Therefore the FIDH and SOAT urge the Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution:

 condemning the serious and systematic violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed by the belligerents in Darfur and the neighbouring countries;
 condemning the Government’s failure to protect its own citizens;
 urging Sudan to accept the deployment of an international UN-AU peacekeeping mission in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1706 to enforce the DPA agreement, to protect civilians and to support all international agencies and humanitarian organisations to ensure immediate, full, safe and unhindered access to the affected people in Darfur in order to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance.

 urging the Sudanese authorities to :
• put an end to violations under human rights and international humanitarian law committed against civilians, humanitarian workers and AMIS forces;
• immediately implement the recommendations of the High Level Mission

• respect ceasefire’s agreements, such as DPA and all UN resolutions,
• disarm its militias including the Janjaweed as already agreed to in the DPA
• re-engage in a political dialogue with the non signatories of the DPA and establish consulations with representatives of Darfurian civil society;
• respect and comply with its obligations under regional and international human rights and humanitarian law;
• hold perpetrators accountable for international crimes and serious and mass violations of human rights, and fully cooperate with the ICC bodies in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1593 which refers the situation in Darfur to the ICC;

- Finally, the Council should recommending the adoption of individual and targeted sanctions should the Government continue to refuse to cooperate with the Council.

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