Muslim states seek new UN probe on Darfur

Muslim and Arab states rejected a recent report by UN human rights investigators that accused the Sudanese government of "orchestrating and participating" in war crimes in Darfur.

Muslim states seek new UN probe on Darfur

Reiterating Khartoum'srejection, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) said that the factthat the UN team, led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams, neverentered Darfur had invalidated itsconclusions.

The 57-member OIC had supported the Sudanese government's decision to deny theUN team entry to Darfur, where rights groupssay 200,000 people have been killed since violence erupted three in 2003.

The Sudanese government refused to grant visas to the five-strong team becauseit objected to the inclusion of Bertrand Ramcharan, a Guyanan who sent theworld body's first rights mission to Darfurduring his stint as acting human rights chief in 2003-2004.

The UN team traveled instead to neighboring Chad, where many Sudanese refugeeshad fled, and where the conflict has spilled over.

It also traveled to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa,headquarters of the African Union, which has been trying to stem Darfur's violence with some 7,000 peacekeepers.

There the mission said it heard reports backing up accusations of seriousabuses in Darfur, including mass rape,abduction, and forcing people from their homes.

The mission's report, compiled for the UN Human Rights Council, also accusedSudanese rebel groups of committing serious abuses in Darfur, but stated thatthe "principal pattern is one of a violent counterinsurgencycampaign" being waged by government forces and their militia allies, theso-called Janjaweed, who have been blamed for most of the violence in thewar-torn region.

Sudanese officials, who denounced the mission's report as "biased", deny thatthe government is backing the Janjaweed, and blames the continuing violence onthe rebel groups who refused a 2006 peace deal.

The Darfur violence, described by Washingtonas genocide, has forced about 2.5 million people from there homes.

Khartoumrejects the genocide term and says those numbers are exaggerated. It alsoaccuses Western states of blowing the conflict out of proportion.

"New mission"

Senior OIC officials said the mission's report must be re-done by a team thatcould evaluate conditions on the ground.

"We have to understand that this report was not done properly," saidOIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

"A new mission should be formed and be sent to Darfurand make an objective and impartial report," he told journalists.

Despite its rejection of the mission's findings, the OIC, which has 17 memberson the Human Rights Council, said that it is "following with anxiety"reports of murder, rape, torture and persecution in the vast desert region of Sudan,Ihsanoglu said.

"It is not acceptable, and there is a need for big efforts to protect andpromote the human rights of the people in this area," he told a Geneva news conference.

The mission's report is due to be presented formally to the Geneva-basedcouncil on Friday.

The Darfur conflict is expected to topcouncil's three-week session. EU members of the Council are thought to beplanning a motion of censure against Sudan, but this is likely to beresisted by many African nations.

Source: Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16