PRESS RELEASE

Geneva, Feb. 14, 2007  — UN Watch today urged UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour to condemn the Sudanese government for reneging on an earlier agreement to allow a UN mission to assess the situation in Darfur.
“The Khartoum regime is once again playing fast and loose with the international community,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based non-governmental organization that led a coalition of 40 human right groups at the December special session of the UN Human Rights Council. It was at that meeting that Sudan and its allies joined consensus in approving the assessment mission.

 

Neuer said that Sudan lacked any grounds to deny entry to the mission because the mandate was in fact negotiated and approved by Khartoum and its powerful allies on the Council. The December resolution praised Sudan for its “cooperation,” and required that  the mission fulfill its mandate in consultation with Sudan.  “Despite squeezing all of these unprecedented concessions, Sudan is now slamming the door on the very mission it approved.”

 

Since its inception in June, the 47-nation Council has failed to condemn Sudan for the mass rape and killings in Darfur.

 

“We call on Louise Arbour and Ban Ki-moon—who rightly described Darfur as ‘the largest humanitarian crisis in the world’—to denounce this outrage by the government of Sudan,” said Neuer.

 

“Khartoum is showing contempt for the UN’s foremost human rights body, and silencing the millions of victims in Darfur. Our only hope is that New York and Geneva will not fiddle while Darfuris continue to die.”

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