The members of the Human Rights Council have to implement the recommendations of the High-Level Mission on the situation of human rights in Darfur

Press release

FIDH and its member organisation Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT) welcome the report of the High-Level Mission (HLM) on the situation of human rights in Darfur and ask the members of the United Nations Human Rights Council before which it is presented today to implement its recommendations.

FIDH and SOAT recall that even if the decision S-4/101 to mandate a mission was unanimously taken by the Human Rights Council last December, the Government of Sudan decided to bar the mission from visiting Darfur refusing to issue visas to its members. Despite such lack of cooperation, the mission did make an assessment of the human rights situation in Western Sudan through visits to refugee camps in Chad and meetings with UN and civil society representatives such as SOAT.

While condemning the human rights and humanitarian violations committed by the rebels, the HLM extensively reports on attacks primarily directed against the civilian population perpetrated by governement forces and janjaweed. The report confirms the government’s failure to respond to the on-going widespread and systematic rapes and sexual violences committed in Darfur. It stresses the worsening humanitarian situation and the increasing number of attaks on humanitarian agencies and workers. Moreover, the report points out the responsibility of the National Security and Military Intelligence for acts of « torture, inhumane and degrading treatment during attacks against detainees ». It also reports that « Human rights defenders, lawyers, local leaders and political opponents voicing concerns or expressing views that are critical of the government, continue to be particularly vulnerable to abuses by state security agencies ».

FIDH and SOAT also welcome the conclusion of the report denouncing the impunity of the most serious crimes committed in Darfur, notably qualifying as ineffective the work of the Special Criminal Court on the Events in Darfur and its two additional Special Criminal Courts for Nyala and El Geneina.

According to Sidiki Kaba, President of FIDH, « The report successfully shows that the gouvernment of Sudan breaches the principle of the reponsibility to protect its population from crimes against humanity decided during the 2005 World Summit. It confirms our demand : it is the responsibility of the international community to take action to ensure effective protection ».

Consequently, FIDH and SOAT urge the Human Rights Council to

- condemn the serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed by the belligerents in Darfur and the neighbouring countries;

- condemn the Government’s failure to protect its own citizens;

- urge Sudan to accept the deployment of an international UN-AU peackeeping mission in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1706 to enforce the DPA agreement, to protect civilians and to support all international agencies and humanitarian organisations in order to ensure immediate, full, safe and unhindered access to the affected people in Darfur in order to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance;

- urge the Sudanese authorities to :

  • put an end to the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law against civilians, humanitarian workers and AMIS forces;
    respect the ceasefire agreements, the DPA and all UN resolutions,
  • disarm its militias including the Janjawid;
  • re-engage in a political dialogue with the non signatories of the DPA and establish consulations with representatives of Darfurian civil society;
  • hold accountable perpretators of international crimes and serious violations of human rights
  • fully cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) organs in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1593 referring the Darfur situation to the ICC, and notably to cooperate in the surrender to the ICC of Mr. Ahmad Muhammad Harun and Mr. Ali Abd-Al-Rahman when the summons to appear are confirmed by the Pre Trial Chamber 1;
  • respect regional and international human rights instruments ratified by Sudan;

- recommend targeted sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans, on those individuals identified as responsible for the most serious crimes committed in Darfur;

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