The UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, on Friday called for an end [press release] to conflict in Darfur between the Sudanese government and the Sudan Liberation Army/Abdul Wahid which may have led to human rights abuses and violations of international law. Tens of thousands of civilians have reportedly fled the Jebel Marra area, with 21,338 fleeing to North Darfur State and 15,000 fleeing to Central Darfur State. Nononsi also stated there have been an unspecified number of civilian casualties and destruction of property. The UN is urging that all parties protect unarmed civilians and respect international law and human rights. Nononsi also urged Sudan to provide access to UN-African Union Mission (UNAMID) in Darfur to areas affected by conflict. Also on Friday, the Sudan National Human Rights Commission established [AllAfrica report] a regional office in North Darfur, a move supported by UN Development Program (UNDP) and the government of Japan in hopes of strengthening human rights in the region.
The human rights situation throughout Sudan has drawn global condemnation of Sudan’s political leaders.
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] reported in January that “shocking crimes” have been committed [JURIST report] in the war-torn South Sudan. In October the International Criminal Court (ICC) urged [JURIST report] India to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to the country that month for alleged genocide and other crimes against humanity. The Office of Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda urged all states to comply because although India is not an ICC signatory, the UN Security Council (UNSC) lifted Bashir’s immunity. In September, the ICC requested [JURIST report] that South Africa provide an explanation for the country’s failure to arrest Bashir. Last March, the ICC requested [JURIST report] assistance from the UNSC in the forced extradition of Bashir or else the investigation into Bashir would “never achieve its ultimate goal.”