October 1, 2106 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government on Saturday has hailed as “victory” the resolution of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to keep the country under the agenda item 10 of technical assistance for another year.
- A general view of participants during the 29th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 3 July 2015 - (UN Photo)
On Friday, UNHRC decided, at the conclusion of its 33 rd session, to renew for a period of one year the mandate of independent expert on the human rights situation in Sudan, Aristide Nononsi under agenda item 10 of providing technical assistance in the field of human rights.
According to the official news agency (SUNA) on Saturday, Sudan’s foreign ministry spokesperson Gharib Allah Khidir described the UNHRC resolution as a victory for the Sudanese diplomacy against other draft resolutions adopted by some western countries.
He was alluding to the draft resolution lodged by the United States at the UNHRC to relegate Sudan to agenda item 4 which provides for appointing a special rapporteur for human rights in the country and allows intervention under chapter 7 of the UN charter.
Al-Khidir added that the UNHRC resolution to retain Sudan under agenda item 10 could be considered as a step forward to move out of the special procedures mandates.
The resolution, which was adopted without a vote, encourages the commitment of the Sudanese government “to comprehensive national legal reform initiatives to guarantee further full compliance of the state with its constitutional and international human rights obligations, such as provisions of the Criminal Act, of 199”.
It expresses serious concern at “reports of the closure of some nongovernmental organizations and restrictions on the media, pre- and post-publication censorship, the seizure of newspapers and the banning of some journalists, and at reports of violations of the rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, including of students, human rights defenders and members of civil society organizations”.
The decision, in addition, urges the government to ensure “safeguards against arbitrary arrests or detentions and to respect the human rights of all individuals, and expresses serious concern about alleged cases of arbitrary arrest and detention, including of students, human rights defenders and members of civil society organizations”.
It also demands the Sudanese government to further “promote and protect the right to freedom of religion or belief, and in this respect to comply with its constitutional and international obligations”.
The Geneva-based council also condemned “any party’s violations or abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law reported in the States of Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, urging the government “to investigate allegations of human rights violations in the camps for internally displaced persons, with a view to ending such violations”.
It further encouraged all parties to facilitate access to populations in need of humanitarian assistance, demanding the government to intensify its endeavours to address humanitarian needs in conflict-affected areas.