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Item 10: Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Sudan
September 28, 2016

Item 10:  ID with the IE on Sudan
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
as delivered by Sheila Leonard

33rd Session of the Human Rights Council
September 28, 2016

Mr. Vice-President,

We welcome the Independent Expert and his recent report.  We support his call on the Government of Sudan to create an environment conducive to credible and inclusive national political dialogue with the active participation of all stakeholders in order to advance peace, reconciliation and governance reforms in the Sudan.

The United States remains gravely concerned by the serious human rights situation in Sudan.

During the past year, the Government and armed opposition groups have reportedly committed numerous human rights violations and abuses in addition to violations of international humanitarian law in both Darfur and the Two Areas of Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile, including those involving aerial bombings of civilian populations, killings of civilians, and the burning of villages, sexual and gender-based violence, and the obstruction of humanitarian assistance.

In June, the Government of Sudan declared a cessation of hostilities in the Two Areas and an end of offensive operations in Darfur.  We hope these lead to COH agreements with monitoring mechanisms that all parties will respect, helping to bring about a lasting improvement in the human rights situation.

Throughout Sudan, the Government continues to violate civil and political rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, association, religion, and movement.  During the past year the Government intimidated and closed human rights and nongovernmental organizations; cracked down on students, especially of Darfuri descent; and repeatedly banned journalists from publication.

The Government also restricted the travel of individuals seeking to participate in the March 2016 pre-session of the Universal Periodic Review of Sudan.  We urge the Government to respect the rights and freedoms of those seeking to participate in the UPR process and to implement its accepted UPR recommendations.

We have a question for the Independent Expert:  What concrete recommendations do you have for the international community to ensure that the Government of Sudan stops harassing, intimidating, and arresting civil society representatives, human rights defenders, media and journalists, and others?

Thank you.