Saturday, April 23, 2005

UN body fails to condemn Sudan (BBC News)

The United Nations Human Rights Commission has approved by consensus a resolution condemning human rights violations in Sudan.
The resolution, which was agreed after long negotiation, does not condemn the Sudanese government by name for atrocities committed in Darfur.
It does, however, call on all parties to immediately end all violence.
At least 180,000 people have died and two million fled their homes, in what some say is genocide against non-Arabs.
[....]

Our correspondent says it is a compromise that prevented a messy row, something all sides wanted to avoid at a time when many say the commission lacks credibility.

Why would anyone say that?

But the fact that it took so long to agree on a resolution which does not even go as far as the UN Security Council which has already referred Sudan to the International Criminal Court is, human rights groups say, simply another sign that the UN's top human rights body needs reform.

It's hard to argue with that last point.

--Jeff Weintraub

====================

BBC News
April 22, 2005

UN body fails to condemn Sudan

The United Nations Human Rights Commission has approved by consensus a resolution condemning human rights violations in Sudan.

The resolution, which was agreed after long negotiation, does not condemn the Sudanese government by name for atrocities committed in Darfur.

It does, however, call on all parties to immediately end all violence.

At least 180,000 people have died and two million fled their homes, in what some say is genocide against non-Arabs.

The Sudan government denies accusations that it armed the Janjaweed militias blamed for the worst atrocities.

Reform

African countries say Sudan's government had to make painful concessions in this resolution.

But the BBC's Imogen Foulkes in the Swiss city of Geneva where the meeting was held, says that human rights groups are disappointed that it doesn't go further.

A vote on human rights in Sudan was originally scheduled for last week, but it was postponed and postponed again while intense negotiations took place between European and African members of the commission.

The Europeans wanted what is known as a naming and shaming resolution clearly condemning the government of Sudan for its responsibility for some of the atrocities taking place in Darfur.

The African group, among them Sudan itself, opposed this, so the final resolution is milder.

It condemns human rights abuses by all parties in Sudan without specifically naming the government, but it does contain a key demand of human rights activists - the approval of a special investigator on human rights to Sudan who will report to the UN General Assembly.

Our correspondent says it is a compromise that prevented a messy row, something all sides wanted to avoid at a time when many say the commission lacks credibility.

But the fact that it took so long to agree on a resolution which does not even go as far as the UN Security Council which has already referred Sudan to the International Criminal Court is, human rights groups say, simply another sign that the UN's top human rights body needs reform.

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