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UN rights body renews mandate of Sudan’s independent expert

September 29, 2017 (GENEVA) – The Human Rights Council, Friday renewed the mandate of the Independent Expert on Sudan for an additional year and mentioned to the possible end of his role in the east African country.

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UN independent expert on the human rights situation in Sudan Aristide Nononsi (UNAMID Photo)

The Council in a report drafted by the U.S. and presented by the African Union with the support of Arab group praised the government-led national dialogue, its new humanitarian policy and the unilateral cessation of hostilities in the war zones.

"Notes the continued efforts of the Government of the Sudan to implement the universal periodic review recommendations it has accepted and encourages the Government to continue its cooperation with the review process," reads the resolution.

Also for the first time, the resolution mentioned 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 the 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.

The resolution was adopted without a vote.

Human rights groups and activists criticised the resolution saying it didn’t take into account all the human rights violations included in the report of the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in the Sudan.

Laila Matar, Human Rights Watch (HRW) Senior UN Advocate pointed to the continued extra-judiciary detention, torture, and the gross violations in the conflict-affected areas in Darfur and the Two Area.

"This resolution is too weak overall. It’s premature to speak of any possible end to the mandate of the Independent Expert," Matar said in a statement issued on Friday after the resolution’s adoption.

"Millions of Sudanese are living in displaced persons camps across Sudan or in refugee camps in neighbouring countries," she further added.

The Sudanese government seemed satisfied with the resolution because it praises its efforts on the dialogue process, and humanitarian access.

However, in a written response to his report, Khartoum blamed the Special Expert for failing to achieve his principle mandate: "the provision of technical assistance and capacity building to improve human rights in Sudan situation".

The expert’s report "includes no more than the call to the international community to provide such technical assistance to the Sudan in two or three paragraphs in each report".

"The IE’s reporting methodology appears to be a mandate under Agenda Item 4, rather than under Item 10," the government further said, alluding to his focus on human rights violations in Sudan.

The Council in its resolution requested the Office of the High Commissioner to provide technical assistance and capacity-building to Sudan, with a view to providing support for the country to fulfil its human rights obligations and commitments.

(ST)