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Sudan accepts establishment of UN human rights office in Khartoum: expert

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UN Independent Expert Aristide Nononsi meets with Sudan Justice Minister Salim and Ambassadr Ismail in Geneva on 25 Sept 2018 (Photo SUNA)
September 26, 2018 (GENEVA) - UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan Wednesday said that the government support his recommendation for the establishment of an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Khartoum.

Aristide Nononsi told the Human Rights Council that he had a meeting on Tuesday with the Sudanese government officials at the Sudanese embassy in Geneva to discussed the situation of human rights in Sudan and the recommendations he made to the Council.

The Sudanese officials "assured their full support for his recommendation regarding the establishment of an office of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Khartoum and it remained to be seen when and how it would be possible," said the UNHRC in a statement released after the meeting.

According to Nononsi, they further agreed to the deployment of a technical assessment mission to Sudan to discuss technical cooperation with the Government and civil society. The mission was scheduled for the first week of November and it would inform about the most urgent needs to improve the human rights situation in the country.

On Tuesday the official news agency SUNA reported that the meeting was attended by Minister of Justice Mohamed Ahmed Salim, Sudanese Ambassador in Geneva and UNHCR Permanent Representative Mustafa Osman Ismail, Tarek al-Mubarak, Rapporteur of the Advisory Council for Human Rights and Ambassador Rahma Saleh al-Obaid, Director of Human Rights Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The news agency said that the African Group lodged a draft resolution providing to terminate the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan if an agreement is sealed with the UN Commissioner on human rights.

The opposition Sudan Call dispatched a delegation to Geneva to lobby the different UNHCR state members in Geneva to denounce the "grave human rights abuses" by the government.

The opposition alliance calls to appoint a Special Rapporteur for Human rights in Sudan saying such a mandate would be the appropriate mechanism of Special Procedures for Sudan.

Another draft resolution on Sudan provides to maintains the independent expert in place until the establishment of an Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

While the African, Asian and Latin American countries backed Sudan’s request demand to end the mandate of the independent expert, the European countries pointed for the persisting human rights challenges in Sudan

The UK backed the recommendations of the independent experts and called to implement it as a matter of immediate priority. Denmark called on Sudan to ratify the Convention against Torture. France said concerned by the persistence of violations of women and children’s rights. The Netherlands and Australia Netherlands denounced the continued restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly.

Germany, for its part, called for the swift implementation of recommendations, especially those calling for a repeal of the 2015 constitutional amendments which gave the National Intelligence Security Service the right to arrest and detain.

Nononsi told the meeting that the establishment of an appropriate legal institutional framework arrangement, including the reform of the security services and democratic reforms, was "the key step to be undertaken by the Government of Sudan".

"This should be done with the cooperation of the international community," he further said.

The Council final decision on the human rights in Sudan is expected in the few upcoming days.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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