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Sudan opposition alliance calls to re-appoint UN Special Rapporteur

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September 16, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese opposition umbrella, Sudan Call, appealed to re-establish the mandate of a UN special rapporteur pointing continued deterioration of human rights in the east African nation.

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A general view of participants during the 29th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on 3 July 2015 - (UN Photo)

The mandate of UN special rapporteur on human rights in Sudan had been established in 1993 and was terminated in June 2009. Since then, it was replaced by an independent expert tasked with providing technical assistance to the government on human rights reforms.

In a report to the 39th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council which holds its annual meeting until the end of September, the Sudan Call urged to mandate a special rapporteur to monitor human rights abuses as well as violations of international humanitarian law in Sudan

"The Special Procedures mandate on Sudan should be strengthened by moving it to Agenda Item 4 and appointing a Special Rapporteur with a mandate to monitor, verify and publicly report on violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in all parts of Sudan," said the Sudanese opposition groups.

Assessing the human rights situation in the country, the opposition alliance said the Khartoum government has not shown the political will to improve human rights. Instead, the security apparatus and the government militia, Rapid Support Forces, are the main perpetrators of rights abuses, said the report.

The Sudan Call leadership decided to lobby the Council members to re-appoint a special rapporteur for Sudan, saying the improvement of human rights and humanitarian situation, as well as other freedoms, would create a conducive condition for a political process and to achieve democratic reforms.

From its part, the Sudanese government delegation earlier this month said they would seek to terminate the mandate of the independent expert, saying the government has unilaterally improved the humanitarian access in the war affected areas, cooperate with UN mission in Darfur to better protect civilians, and it released the political.

In its resolution of 2017, the Human Rights Council alluded to the possible replacement of the mandate of the Independent Expert by another UN mechanism if Sudanese government continues to improve the human rights situation in the country.

"The Office of the High Commissioner and other stakeholders (are) with the view that the continued and sustained improvement in the situation of human rights in Sudan would contribute to an eventual transition of the mandate from that of Independent Expert to another appropriate United Nations human rights mechanism," provides the resolution.

However in a report on the human rights situation in Sudan, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) said seriously concerned by the rapid deterioration of the situation in Sudan and called on the UN members to cope with this escalade by re-appointing a special rapporteur with a strong a strong monitoring and reporting mandate under the Council’s agenda item 4.

"Our organizations are concerned about the suppression of peaceful protests by government security forces with the unlawful use of excessive force, attacks on the media and impermissible restrictions on access to information, targeting of various civil society actors," said the FIDH.

The Sudan Call official for external relations, Yasir Arman said in a statement released Sunday they received "positive feedback from important parties" to whom they sent the report.

"We have reached out to influential parties in the drafting process of the next resolution of the current session," Arman further said before to add "They have confirmed their willingness to support some of the important opposition demands".

The 39th session of the Human Rights Council began on 10 September and will conclude its works on 28 September 2018.

(ST)

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