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UN rights council extends mandate of special rapporteur on Sudan

[JURIST] The UN Human Rights Council completed its ninth session [UNHRC materials; UNOG report] in Geneva Wednesday by adopting 24 texts, one of which included a decision [press release; UN News Centre report] to extend the mission of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan, Sina Samar [official website], until June 2009. The President of the Council, Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibi, said that the decision was reached through sponsorship by both the EU and the African Group. Uhomoibi added praise for the work of both sides in renewing the mandate, saying that the resolution

gives room and recognition to some of the positive steps that the Sudanese Government has taken. The idea is not to be punitive. The idea is to encourage. It is meant to do what is needed in the interest of human rights and the rights of all citizens.
At a meeting in Geneva last week, Sudan called [JURIST report] for the Council not to renew Samar's mandate. The remarks, made by Sudanese Ministry of Justice Under-Secretary Abdel Daiem Zumarawi, came after Special Rapporteur Samar presented the Council with her report [text, PDF] on human rights in Sudan, in which she called the situation "grim." Zumarawi responded [UN press release] to the report by saying that it criticized Sudan's efforts to restore human rights in the country and claimed that not renewing the mandate would give further reason to end the conflict in Sudan. Rueters has more. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.

Since civil war broke out in Sudan's Darfur region [JURIST news archive] in 2003, it is estimated that over 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced. Reports by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) and the International Committee for the Red Cross [official websites] have documented numerous violations of human rights and international humanitarian law [JURIST reports] based on interviews with refugees, rebel groups, and agencies and authorities working in the region.

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