Sunday, September 19, 2010

AFRICA/SUDAN: CONCERN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Agenzia Fides REPORT – "We are still concerned about the escalation of armed conflict in Darfur, the post-election violence in South Sudan, and the ongoing political oppression in northern Sudan," say 27 NGOs for the defense of human rights (many of which are African or from the Arab world) in a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council.The letter calls for a renewal of the mandate from the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan. Just today, September 17, the Independent Expert will submit its report to the Human Rights Council, which is in its 15th Annual Session (being held in Geneva from September 13 to October 1). Since the presentation of the report by the Independent Expert in May 2010, "in several areas of Sudan, the human rights situation has deteriorated," said the letter from the NGO.Sudan is experiencing a delicate time period following the difficult post-election era (presidential and parliamentary elections were held in April 2010) and in expectation for the 2 referendums in January 2011, to decide the independence of southern Sudan and the allocation of Abyei, an area rich in oil which is disputed upon by both north and south Sudan.In the letter, the NGOs point out the increase in violence in Darfur, in addition to the difficulties encountered by humanitarian NGOs that seek access to the region to bring relief to the population, the increase in clashes in South Sudan, the attacks against civilians carried out by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Western Equatoria, and arbitrary arrests of opponents and journalists.The danger of the explosion of a new conflict in Sudan is the focus of diplomatic efforts and those of civil society organizations from different countries. The United States, who promoted the inclusive peace agreement of 2005 which ended 25 years of war between north and south, intends to place pressure on the Khartoum government to make it fulfill the commitments relating to the referendum of 2011. On September 24, the UN Headquarters in New York will hold a special session on the situation in Sudan. For September 19, several NGOs have organized a series of events in 14 countries around the world, to draw attention to the measures necessary to prevent the collapse of diplomacy in Sudan, which is at risk for the outbreak of a new civil war. http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=27441&lan=eng

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