Oral Statement - Group of Experts Darfur

Press release
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Item 4 : Human Rights situations that require the HRC’s attention
Follow-up to resolution OM/1/3

Oral Statement

Taking note of the Human Rights Council resolution establishing the Group of Experts on Darfur and the resolution in June requiring the Group of Experts to present its final report on the implementation of resolutions and recommendations on Darfur, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and its partner organization the Sudan Organisation against Torture (SOAT) call on the Council to renew the mandate of the Group of Experts and ensure an effective follow up on the implementation of the recommendations set forth in their report.

FIDH and SOAT welcome the reports of the Group of Experts and the recommendations therein identified aimed at the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground. We also welcome the positive engagement with the authorities of Sudan, and the constructive relationship established with the Chairperson of the Darfur-Darfur Dialogue and Consultation and with the human rights mechanisms of the African Union. We also welcome the implementation of some of the recommendations of the Group of Experts, such as that female victims of sexual violence should be given access to medical care without needing to produce a police certificate.

However, FIDH and SOAT remain gravely concerned about the human rights situation in Darfur which to this day remains critical. Human rights violations are still occurring with total impunity. We are also concerned with the protection needs and the deployment of the UN and AU hybrid force, and the renewed peace process.

The continuation of the mandate of the Group of Experts remains of great importance in light of the critical need to address and improve the human rights situation on the ground. The extension of the mandate would allow an effective follow up of the implementation of the recommendations and avoid a loss of acquired institutional knowledge of the current human rights needs in Darfur.

In its interim report the Group noted that their recommendations have only been partially implemented. Many short term and especially long term ones are far from having been implemented.

For example, there has been no implementation on a plan to disarm the militia, downsizing the security forces and taking all measures to prevent attacks on civilians. It is also the case that no improvement at all has been seen concerning the situation of human rights defenders, who still face arbitrary detention, harassment and intimidation.

An extension of the mandate not only would enable the Group of Experts to continue monitoring the actual implementation of the practical measures recommended for the improvement of the human rights situation on the ground but would also, in light of the short period of time available, enable the Government of Sudan to avail itself of the expertise of the individual experts and of the group as a whole.

FIDH and SOAT call on the Human Rights Council to:

Ø Renew the mandate of the Group of Experts and ensure the actual implementation of recommendations as set out in their report

Ø Ensure that the Group of Experts is provided with the necessary financial and human resources needed to carry out its mandate

Ø Call on the Government of Sudan to continue cooperating with the Group and to implement the recommendations compiled by the Group of Experts

Ø Call on the Government of Sudan to invite the Group of Experts for an assessment mission to Sudan, including the Darfur region.

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