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UN rights body appoints independent expert for Sudan.

June 18, 2009 (GENEVA) -- The UN human right council today voted today for the creation of an independent UN Human rights expert for Sudan with a one-year mandate.

Abdel-Dayem Zumrawi, Sudanese undersecretary at the Ministry of Justice (photo Ihab Ismail)

The expert will replace the Afghani special Rapporteur Sima Samar whose term expires this month. Samar have said in her report that Sudanese government forces continue to attack civilians in Darfur. The Sudanese delegation in Geneva said the report does not reflect the true picture of the human right situation in Sudan. Sudan's allies in the council including Egypt, China, Qatar and Yemen also criticized the report. The council called on Sudan "to continue and intensify its efforts for the promotion and protection of human rights by taking all possible concrete steps to improve the human rights situation". Sudan has attempted to lobby the 47-member council to end Samar's mandate and the scrutiny over the human right situation on its territory. But the US which joins the council formally on Friday played behind the scene role in preventing Sudan from getting the required number of votes. Sudan secured the votes of China, Cuba, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa. However, the result of the vote was 20 in favor and 18 against creating the independent expert post. Surprisingly five African countries abstained from voting including Senegal, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Ghana and Gabon. Zambia and Mauritius voted in favor. Abdel-Dayem Zumrawi, Sudanese undersecretary at the Ministry of Justice told Sudan news agency (SUNA) said that the appointment of the special investigator contradicts the affirmations of human right progress in Sudan. He added that there was no condemnation or reference to human right violations and expressed surprise that the council did not terminate any special mechanism for the situation in Sudan. Zumrawi accused the European Union (EU) of executing a "political agenda" by pushing for a Sudan investigator. The commissioner for the consultative human right council in Sudan Abdel-Moniem Osman Taha said the decision does not reward his country for its efforts in that regard. (ST)

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Publication:Sudan Tribune (Sudan)
Date:Jun 19, 2009
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