Document - Sudan: Oral statement given at the eighteenth session of the UN Human Rights Council (Geneva, 12 - 30 September 2011)
20 September 2011
AI Index: AFR 54/030/2011
Amnesty International made the following oral intervention in the interactive dialogue with the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan, Mohamed Chande Othman at the eighteenth session of the UN Human Rights Council (Geneva, 12 - 30 September 2011).
Amnesty International draws this Council’s attention to the human rights and humanitarian situation in the transitional areas in Sudan, specifically Southern Kordofan, where civilians continue to suffer the consequences of fighting between the Sudanese forces and armed opposition groups.
The conflict, including indiscriminate bombings by the Sudanese armed forces, displaced 200,000 people since June 2011. The Sudanese authorities continue to deny access to international human rights monitors and humanitarian agencies. The report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights based on information collected by UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) human rights monitors, documents cases of extra-judicial killings and arbitrary arrests of civilians, and looting and destruction of civilian property. Crimes under international law are being committed against civilians in Southern Kordofan with total impunity.
Mr. Othman: Amnesty International fully supports your call for “an independent and credible investigation… ” and would like to ask you what role the international community could play in holding accountable the perpetrators of serious human rights violations in Southern Kordofan and the other transitional areas?
The Independent Expert is the only existing mechanism that can monitor and report effectively on the human rights situation across Sudan, including Southern Kordofan. Renewal of his mandate is essential, in light of the termination of the UNMIS mandate in July 2011, and the suspension of the Khartoum and Darfur human rights forums. Moreover, the Human Rights Council tasked the Independent Expert to assist the government with and to inform the Council on the implementation of the recommendations of the “Group of Experts on Darfur”. The Independent Expert has reported to this session that a significant number of these recommendations have not been implemented .
We urge this Council to renew the mandate of the Independent Expert under item 4 and to maintain it for as long as these gross and systematic violations persist and past recommendations have not been implemented.
Furthermore, we recommend that this Council create a technical assistance mandate to assist the newly independent Republic of South Sudan in promoting accountability for human rights violations in the region.
Thank you Madame President.
Thirteenth periodic report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the situation of human rights in Sudan, Preliminary report on violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in Southern Kordofan from 5 to 30 June 2011, August 2011
Report of the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in the Sudan A/HRC/18/40, 22 August 2011
Ibid (Add. 1)