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Khartoum briefs UN independent expert on political reforms

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February 11, 2014 (KHARTOUM) - The minister of justice, Mohamed Bushara Dousa, has announced Sudan’s commitment to international conventions which provides for promoting and protecting human rights and to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and other regional and international bodies operating in the field.

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Mashood Adebayo Baderin talks to the media in a press conference held in Khartoum on 14 June 2012 (photo Albert Gonzalez Farran /UNAMID)

Dousa met on Tuesday with the UNHRC independent expert and special rapporteur on the human rights situation in Sudan, Mashood Badrein, who arrived in Khartoum in a 10-day official visit to examine government efforts to promote and protect human rights and assesses the technical support provided by the international community.

The Sudanese minister said in press statements following the meeting that Sudan opens its doors widely for the independent expert to review human rights conditions, pointing that Sudan made significant efforts to support plans and studies relating to promotion of human rights.

He handed the independent expert a detailed report on the reform document which was recently announced by president, Omer Hassan Al-Bashir, pointing that the four points mentioned in the document including peace, freedoms, poverty reduction, and identity are very much connected to human rights conditions.

Dousa said that Sudan has been plagued with wars and conflicts for a long time, stressing the government exerted considerable efforts to end those conflicts through dialogue with rebel groups.

He called upon the international community to participate in sustaining peace in Sudan through exerting pressure on the rebel groups.

"The role of the international community in ending Sudan’s conflicts was weak and shameful", he said.

The Sudanese minister also demanded the international community to support government reform efforts in order to promote human rights, stressing they are keen to allow political participation in governance for all Sudanese people through a fair and transparent democratic practice.

He also mentioned the government is making efforts to lift poor people out of poverty through a comprehensive economic reform.

The rapporteur of Sudan’s Advisory Council for Human Rights (ACHR), Muaz Tango, said in press statements that Badrein would meet with ACHR members, minister of interior, Abdel-Wahid Yossef, minister of foreign affairs, Ali Karti, besides leaders of political parties and civil society organizations.

He also pointed that Badrein’s visit comes within the framework of his mandate under article 10 which authorizes him offer technical assistance and capacity-building support.

Tango further said Badrein’s meetings with government bodies in the capital and states aims to evaluate technical needs and ways for developing and building government capacities in order to promote and protect human rights.

Badrein will visit Darfur states and South Kordofan state and will hold a press conference at the end of his visit to Sudan.

In a report submitted to the UNHRC last September, Baderin acknowledged that while the overall human rights situation in Sudan remains unstable and the implementation of policies on the ground remains slow, he said the Sudanese government had made progress in institutional and legislative developments aimed at improving the human rights situation.

Baderin said there was now improved awareness about human rights issues both in the government sector and among the general population.

However, despite positive steps, Baderin said Sudan continued to face enormous human rights challenges as a result of recurrent armed conflicts between government troops and rebel groups, as well as inter-tribal clashes and the operations of government security agencies, notably the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), which he says has impeded the enjoyment of basic civil and political rights.

He condemned suppression of demonstrations which erupted in Sudan last September following the government decision to lift fuel subsidies which resulted in a number of deaths and injuries.

Last October, the UNHRC agreed to renew the mandate of the independent expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan for a further 12 months.

The resolution was passed at the final meeting of the council’s 24th regular session in Geneva, Switzerland.

(ST)

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