Sudan: UN Human Rights Council renews mandate of independent expert
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has renewed the mandate of its independent expert for one year.
The mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, will end when an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has been established in Khartoum, the UNHRC decided on Friday.
Nononsi, who visited Sudan in April this year, presented his findings and recommendations during the 39th Session of the UNHRC in Geneva this month.
He commended the positive steps taken by the Sudanese authorities to improve the security situation in Darfur, but noted however that the root causes of the conflict are still largely unaddressed. Land occupation and violence targeting displaced people, including sexual violence against women, continue to hinder their return to their areas of origin, he said.
The independent expert further pointed to the repeated arbitrary detentions of students, journalists, human rights activists, and members of political parties, in addition to an increased censorship of newspapers, and continued restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and association.
Khartoum has lobbied to have the mandate of the independent expert cancelled, saying the human rights situation has improved in the country after a number of laws have been amended.
In September, opposition groups and civil society organisations appealed to the UNHRC to re-establish the mandate of a UN special human rights rapporteur.
The Sudanese opposition umbrella, the Sudan Call, stated in a letter sent to regional, international and human rights organisations, that the government of Sudan “has shown no political will to improve the human rights conditions”. They pointed to the Rapid Support Forces, Sudan’s main militia, and the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) for being the main perpetrators of human rights violations in the country.
Earlier that month, 32 Sudanese and international civil society organisations urged the members of the council in an open letter to mandate a special rapporteur “to monitor, verify and report on ongoing human rights violations and abuses as well as violations of international humanitarian law, recommend concrete ways to end them”.
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