The ICJ in the intervention on 11 December 2007 welcomed the final report of the Group of Experts on Darfur (A/HRC/6/19), on the follow-up to the short and medium-term measures on Darfur.
However, the ICJ regretted a lack of progress in the implementation of these measures and no visible improvement to the human rights crisis on the ground. The ICJ expressed concern at ongoing gross human rights violations and grave breaches of international humanitarian law, exacerbated by impunity. It called on the Council to extend the mandate of the Group of Experts on Darfur and the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Sudan.
The ICJ welcomes the final report of the Group of Experts on Darfur (A/HRC/6/19), on the follow-up to the short and medium-term measures on Darfur, as identified in its first report submitted in June 2007. Accordingly, the Government of Sudan was given appropriate time to substantially improve the situation of human rights. However, the final report of the GoE, assessing the progress on the implementation of those short and medium-term recommendations, regrettably indicates that most of the requested short-term measures have not been met. Despite the Government’s constructive engagement with the GoE, no visible improvement to the human rights crisis on the ground has been reached.
The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) remains to be deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Sudan, particularly in Darfur. The ongoing gross human rights violations, grave breaches of international humanitarian law through violence and sexual abuse against civilians have been exacerbated by impunity for crimes, which continue to destabilise Darfur. The ICJ calls on the parties to the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) to secure its full implementation, non-signatory warring parties to join the DPA and all parties to respect the ceasefire. Of particular concern is the lacking cooperation by the Government of Sudan with the International Criminal Court, as requested in the UNSC Res. 1593, which underlines the legal obligation in this regard.
Given the shortcomings and the primary responsibility of the Government to ensure the promotion and protection of human rights the ICJ calls on the Council to extend at this session the mandate of the Group of Experts on Darfur until June 2008. The potential of the Group of Experts has not been exhausted, as the Government of Sudan has not fully benefited from this form of extended cooperation.
The Group of Experts, to assess the improvements by meeting not only human rights related recommendations of the different UN mechanisms, would be expected to complement the activities of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan. The Special Rapporteur on Sudan is a key instrument for assessment of human rights situation on the ground, both through fact-finding and country visits, in all over Sudan. The ICJ therefore calls on the Council to extend also at this session the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on Sudan, for one year.
The Council must urge the Government of Sudan to cooperate fully with the GoE and the Special Rapporteur on Sudan to effectively address the violations of human rights of civilians – including women, children, IDPs and human rights defenders and widespread impunity for such violations in Darfur and Sudan in general.
Finally, the ICJ calls on the international community to take appropriate steps to secure early deployment of the AU-UN hybrid force, in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolution No. 1769.
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