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Sudan worried about extension UN mandate Darfur

June 19 - 2015 KHARTOUM / NEW YORK
Hawa Abdallah Mohamed Salih will update the Security Council today on human rights violations in Darfur (file photo)
Hawa Abdallah Mohamed Salih will update the Security Council today on human rights violations in Darfur (file photo)

Sudan has become increasingly worried that the Security Council will extend its mandate in Darfur. Sudan had asked the UN to leave the country, soon after reports on alleged mass rape in Darfur had been published. On Friday, June 19, the Council members will participate in a closed meeting on the human rights situation in Darfur. Sudan wants the peacekeepers to leave the country, but the secretary-general of the UN is determined to continue as the situation in Darfur is deteriorating.

Today, the meeting will explore how the human rights situation has evolved in Darfur. Hina Jilani, former Darfur Commission of Inquiry-member, Abdelrahman Gasim of the Darfur Bar Association, and Hawa Abdallah, a camp leader and activist on women’s issues, are expected to present a briefing.

Pressure on UK

To avert a potential extension, Sudan addressed its worries to the British ambassador to Khartoum, Peter Topper in a last minute attempt. According to the foreign ministry’s spokesperson Ali El Sadig, Sudan expressed its concern over the extension. It is considering the proposed extension as inconsistent with the ‘positive developments in Darfur’. The UK as permanent member, is drafting the Council resolution for the extension.

The meeting on Friday comes ten years after the first report on Darfur in 2005, when the Security Council concluded that war crimes and crimes against humanity had been committed in Darfur. It found that “Government forces and militias conducted indiscriminate attacks…on a widespread and systematic basis”. The report found that also rebel groups were responsible for “serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law.”

Involvement Sudan in sexual violence

During the meeting, the Security Council members have the chance to seek advice from the experts. On 10 June, Assistant-Secretary-General Edmond Mulet told the Council that there is “significant concern about reports of indiscriminate attacks against civilians and other violations of human rights and international humanitarian law”. Mulet’s referred to reports of armed attacks, sexual and gender-based violence, abductions and arbitrary arrests.

According to the report, recent violations are attributable to unidentified armed elements or “were allegedly perpetrated by the Government of the Sudan security forces and proxy entities.”

ICC

A briefing of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda on the court’s work in Darfur is scheduled for 29 June. During her last briefing in December 2014, she announced that the ICC was suspending its investigations in Darfur because of the Security Council’s inaction.

After president Omar Al Bashir escaped South Africa earlier this week, despite the South African court having issued an arrest warrant, the ICC’s work will be in the spotlight again.


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