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Sudan to block UN rights team unless former Darfur critic replaced

[JURIST] A Sudanese Foreign Ministry official said Monday that Sudan [JURIST news archive] will prevent a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] investigation team from entering the country unless the UN agrees to replace team member Bertrand Ramcharan [official profile]. As a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ramcharan has previously accused the Sudanese government of violating human rights in a 2004 report [UN News report]. The investigative commission was set to enter Sudan to conduct a probe on alleged human rights abuses in Darfur [JURIST news archive].

In December, Sudanese Justice Minister Mohammed Ali al-Mardhi indicated that Sudan would cooperate [JURIST report] with UNHRC investigative missions in Darfur. Al-Mardhi stated that the government would "remove all obstacles" in order to allow the UN mission to complete its work. Last month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] announced that resolving the crisis in Darfur would be one of his top priorities [remarks; JURIST report]. Reuters has more.

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