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Sudan seeks to block action on 'biased' UN human rights report

[JURIST] Sudan on Tuesday attempted to prevent the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] from considering a report by a UNHRC team sent to investigate conditions in Darfur [JURIST news archive]. The report [DOC text], issued Monday, calls for immediate protection [JURIST report] of victims in the war-ravaged region of Sudan. In response Tuesday, Sudanese Justice Minister Mohammed Ali al-Mardi accused team leader and Nobel peace laureate Jody Williams [Nobel Foundation profile] of harboring "a preconceived and hostile attitude against Sudan." He went on to decry the report as unreliable, because team members had not even visited the country. The team did not visit Sudan because the Sudanese government repeatedly refused to issue them visas [JURIST report]. Contrary to Monday's report, al-Mardi said that the situation in Darfur is stable, with decreasing malnutrition and mortality rates.

Since civil war broke out in the Darfur region of Sudan in 2003, over 200,000 people have died there. The government is accused of sponsoring militias responsible for numerous war crimes. The International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] has been investigating crimes in Darfur since 2005. Last month, it asked a panel of ICC judges to summon [JURIST report] a former interior minister of the Sudanese government and former militia leader to face charges of war crimes. Sudan has refused to hand over suspects [JURIST report] named by the ICC, saying it has created its own war crimes court. AP has more.

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