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UN human rights body extends independent expert mandate on Sudan

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The headquarters of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Geneva
September 28, 2018 (GENEVA) – The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Friday renewed the mandate of the independent expert saying it would terminate when a human rights office in Sudan be operational.

In a resolution released on Friday, the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, for one year or until the establishment of human rights office in Sudan.

" (The Council) Decides that the termination of the mandate of the Independent Expert will take effect on the day that a country office of the Office of the High Commissioner, (...), is declared operational by the Office of the High Commissioner and the Government of Sudan," reads the resolution.

Sudan sought to terminate the terminate the mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights saying the human rights situation has improved in the country.

But the resolution took note of the observations made by the independent expert in his latest report about the continued harassment, arbitrary arrest and prolonged detention, including of students, journalists, human rights defenders and members of civil society organizations.

Also, Nononsi pointed to the increased number of seizures and censorship of newspapers, as well as other restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.

The Sudanese government efforts to end the mandate of the independent expert was supported by the African, Arab and Asian groups.

However, the Sudanese Minister of Justice Mohamed Ahmed Salim expressed satisfaction with the resolution pointing it requests the High Commissioner to provide the Independent Expert with all the financial and human resources necessary to for the implementation of the mandate

He also said that his mandate will terminate when Sudan and UNHCR reach an agreement over the human rights office in Sudan.

The resolution praised the Sudanese government efforts to achieve peace and its humanitarian policies. Also, it appreciated the continued efforts of the Sudanese government to implement the universal periodic review recommendations. Furthermore, it welcomed Khartoum’s efforts to investigate alleged human rights abuses and violations by all parties.

OPPOSITION DISSATISFIED

The opposition Sudan Call said dissatisfied with the resolution it believes that the situation of human rights in Sudan requires the reappointment of Special Rapporteur to monitor the human rights situation.

However, Yasir Arman the Sudan Call external relations official said the government has failed to achieve its goal and terminate the mandate of the Independent Expert.

In statements to Sudan Tribune Arman said that the resolution represents a "clear failure" of the Sudanese government, which sought to terminate the mandate of the independent expert and to end any monitoring of the human rights violations in Sudan.

"The government has failed to meet its primary goals thanks to the long and strong struggle waged by the opposition groups, particularly the Sudan Call," he said.

"Now it is not only the renewal of the mandate of the independent expert, but also a country human rights office under the High Commissioner directly ," he stressed.

He added that by monitoring the situation on the ground the country office would play a significant role in the human rights situation.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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