Explanation of Position: Resolution on the Human Rights Situation in Sudan
Statement of the Delegation of the United States of America
As Delivered by Ambassador Keith Harper
U.S. Representative to the Human Rights Council
UN Human Rights Council, 27th Session
September 26, 2014
Mr. President, it is unfortunate to affirm again this year that the people of Sudan continue to face enormous human rights challenges.
This resolution will renew the mandate of the Independent Expert for Sudan, and we strongly urge the Government of Sudan to continue working closely with the IE to address its increasingly troubling human rights record.
As we transition to a new mandate holder, we want to thank Independent Expert Baderin for his work, especially his most recent report.
Sudan’s human rights record remains one of persistent and increasing violations and abuse. In particular, we are deeply concerned by the ongoing and apparently indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilian areas by Sudanese government forces in Blue Nile, Southern Kordofan, and Darfur.
We condemn the abuses and violations committed by government security forces and government-aligned groups. These include those involving unlawful killings, torture, rape, arbitrary detentions, burning of homes, looting of property and livestock, forced displacement of homes, and violent repression of its citizens.
UNAMID noted with grave concern the violations at the Khor Abeche and al Salam IDP camps and the attacks by the Rapid Security Forces, under government influence. We are also deeply concerned by the Sudanese government’s continued restrictions on humanitarian access to Sudanese citizens in need.
We fully support the Independent Expert’s recommendations that the Government adhere to implementing the recommendations in his 2013 report. These include the cessation of all arbitrary arrests and detentions, reform of the National Security Act, including oversight of the NISS, reform of laws related to apostasy, and the end of press censorship and other restrictions on civil society activities.
We strongly encourage the Sudanese government to increase its cooperation with the new mandate holder including through granting full and unfettered access to the Independent Expert, particularly where hostilities and violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law are taking place as well as allowing unimpeded humanitarian access to Southern Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur.
We urge the Government of Sudan to end the violence against civilians and hold those who commit crimes against innocent persons accountable.
In addition, we urge the government to protect the rights to freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, freedom of religion, and to create an enabling environment for civil society.
We look forward to the swift appointment of a new mandate holder. If the human rights situation in Sudan does not improve, we hope that the Council will take appropriate action the next time it addresses Sudan, so that monitoring of the human rights situation allows for real improvements and a resolution that reflects the facts on the ground in Sudan.