U.S. Deeply Concerned by Brutal Violence Over Past Year in Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile
Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert for Sudan
Thank you, Madame President,
The United States thanks the Independent Expert, Mr. Mashood Baderin, for the informative report of your first visit to Sudan. We note that you visited the Khartoum area in June 2012 and were received by senior officials, some civil society, the diplomatic community, and international partners.
Like you, we see your mandate as an opportunity to improve human rights in Sudan. We appreciate your efforts and welcome the news that the Government of Sudan expressed its willingness to improve its human rights performance. Like you, we realize that the willingness to improve human rights on the ground requires commitment to constructive change on the ground. That is a key reason why we think your mandate should be continued and must be strengthened. The Government of Sudan must allow you full access to all parts of society and all areas of the country, including Darfur, Southern Kordofan, and Blue Nile.
As you state in your report the Government of the Sudan needs to demonstrate its determination and political will to address international human rights concerns. These concerns are considerable. We have witnessed terrible human rights violations over the last year. Your future mandate must allow you unfettered access to the country so that you can assess, verify and report on human rights violations. If the government facilitates your ability to report, it will indicate their willingness to improve human rights performance on the ground.
You note the need for Sudan to accept international cooperation and support for technical assistance and capacity building. Such cooperation and support can be most effective when it responds to concrete needs identified on the ground. The Government of Sudan must allow you full access to all parts of society, and we support your efforts to engage local human rights and civil society organizations.
You also note that the recommendations from Sudan’s last Universal Periodic Review are an appropriate entry point for advancing the mandate and that Sudan has taken some steps to fulfill its human rights obligations. But we are concerned by the lack of progress. Now is an opportune time to consider concrete, specific timelines for implementing the accepted UPR recommendations.
- Understanding that capacity building is time and resource intensive, what kind of timeline for implementing UPR recommendations can we anticipate from Sudan during the year?
You note your concern for the human rights situation in Darfur, Southern Kordofan, and Blue Nile. We share this concern. The brutal violence against civilians in these areas should cause deep concern for all those who take human rights seriously. We encourage you to investigate human rights violations in these regions. We also encourage all members of this body to urge the Sudanese authorities to give you the access necessary to do so. We appreciate your attention to the threats facing demonstrators, civil society, and journalists, and join your call for a thorough and transparent investigation of every incident of harassment and violence as well as your call for the Government to desist from arbitrarily closing newspapers and arresting journalists.
We thank you for your work and commend your accomplishments. We call again on the Government of Sudan to support you in the implementation of your mandate.