US calls for implementing recommendations of UN report on S. Kordofan

August 16, 2011 (Sudan Tribune)

The United States on Tuesday welcomed a report released this week by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights which documented events that occurred in Sudan’s border state of South Kordofan during the fighting that started last June.

The report describes arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings, alleged house-to-house searches and possible mass graves in the state, which borders both Darfur and the newly created country of South Sudan.

It stated that the allegations "if substantiated, could amount to crimes against humanity or war crimes" adding that a probe needs to be initiated.

"An independent, thorough, and objective inquiry be conducted into alleged violations of international human rights and humanitarian law that occurred during the hostilities in Southern Kordofan with a view to holding perpetrators to account. Immunities of members of the military and security forces, alleged to have been involved in violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law, be lifted to allow for prosecutions and trials in compliance with due process and fair trial standards" the report said.

Sudan yesterday termed the information contained in the UN report as “biased and predicated on no evidence.”

Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United Nations, issued a statement today welcoming the report and its recommendations.

"The United States welcomes the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the increasingly dire situation in Southern Kordofan. We are deeply disturbed by the reports of extrajudicial killings, attacks on civilians, mass graves, arbitrary detentions, abductions, house to house searches, forced displacements, and other clear violations of humanitarian law" Rice said in the press release.

The US official stressed the need for "immediate, unhindered access for humanitarian assistance and ongoing human rights monitoring as well as for an independent inquiry to hold perpetrators of violence to account".

"We urge all members of the UN Security Council to join us in pressing for implementation of these recommendations".

It is expected that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) will hold a meeting to discuss the report though it is unclear if any action would be taken. Last week Russia and China quashed US efforts intended to condemn Sudan’s military campaign and aerial bombardment in South Kordofan.

Today Sudan’s Justice Minister Mohamed Bushara Dousa issued a decree to form a committee to "gather information and facts, visit sites of the displaced and interview them as well as meet with government authorities and citizens" in Southern Kordofan.

The decree set out terms of reference of the committee in assessing the human rights situation and international humanitarian law in the state.


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