Sudan: Critics – UN Report On Human Rights in Sudan ‘Does Not Correspond With Scale of Violations’

Geneva / Amsterdam — Critics lament that the most recent report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk on the human rights situation in Sudan is ‘modest’, and that it does not correspond to the scale of violations that occur today in Sudan.

In his briefing in Geneva to the 55th Session of the Human Rights Council, entitled “Enhanced Interactive dialogue on Sudan”, Türk said that “the crisis in Sudan is a tragedy that appears to have slipped into the fog of global amnesia”.

Türk points out that “the report before the Council highlights a range of gross violations and abuses of international human rights law committed by the warring parties in Sudan between April and December 2023. It also details serious violations of international humanitarian law, which demand investigation and accountability – many of these violations may amount to war crimes, or other atrocity crimes.”

He remarks that “the crisis in Sudan today continues to be marked by an insidious disregard for human life.”

However, critics within Sudan say that the report does not go far enough.

Lawyer and human rights defender, Abdelhaleq El Newari, says that “the mission of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is supposed to be a technical task according to international human rights law, but his steps were not technical, not legal or human rights, and not independent or impartial in searching for documents that prove the violations that occurred to the Sudanese people during the April 15 war.”

El Newari says that that “the violations that occurred are clear and published and documented through the widespread videos and the statements of the victims, all of which document the violations that have been committed, and considered the report has nothing to do with reality and does not correspond to the scale of violations that occur today in Sudan.”

The criticism is echoed by Dr Hala El Karib, Executive Director of the Horn of Africa Women’s Network, who told Radio Dabanga: “In my opinion, the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights was modest and did not reflect the magnitude of the catastrophe in Sudan, which is going through the largest disaster at the level of human rights violations.” El Karib expressed regret that “all these crimes and violations occur in front of a regional and international community that does not pay attention to the Sudanese disaster that it deserves…”

She highlights that the crimes of violence against women, from kidnapping, rape, and others, represent one of the features of this war. “These crimes [against women] do not occur in a vacuum, but have occurred and continued for more than 20 years since the outbreak of the war in Darfur…”

Khaled Taha, a member and media officer of the Executive Committee of the Gathering of Demand Bodies “TAM”, is less critical of Türk’s report. He told Radio Dabanga: “The report was largely consistent with the size of the ugliness that has been committed in the Sudan war since 15 April last year,” and believes that this report “also confronts the United Nations and the international community with its direct responsibilities and steps that must be taken regarding the human rights violations” that are taking place in Sudan.

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