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UN rights experts begin probe of Darfur

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May 23, 2007 (GENEVA) — A group of United Nations human rights experts on Wednesday began examining the situation in the strife-torn Sudanese region of Darfur, under the terms of a resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council, a UN source said.

The group of seven independent experts is due to meet Sudanese government representatives on Thursday in order to "identify concrete measures to help improve the human rights situation in Darfur", the source added.

The group, led by Simi Samar, the UN special rapporteur on Sudan, will report on the situation on the ground and press for the implementation of resolutions by the council and other UN human rights bodies.

It was set up by the 47-member Human Rights Council in March following a report by Nobel laureate and anti-landmines campaigner Jody Williams, which sharply criticised Sudan’s role in human rights abuses in Darfur.

The high-level report by Williams and her team found that Sudan’s government had "orchestrated and participated in" war crimes and human rights abuses such as rape and torture across the region.

The new working group will present its conclusions to the next session of the Human Rights Council, which will meet in Geneva from June 11 to 18.

(AFP)

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