UN rights body agrees to monitor Sudan violations


The United Nations human rights council on Friday adopted a British-led resolution on Sudan condemning the military coup and appointing an expert to monitor alleged rights violations in its aftermath.

The resolution agreed at an emergency session in Geneva means that an expert will be appointed to monitor the situation on the ground and prepare a written report by mid-2022. Several members including China and Russia stood apart from the consensus but stopped short of calling a vote.

“This afternoon, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the brave people of Sudan who have demonstrated in their millions on the streets of their country in defence of democracy, and of their fundamentals rights,” Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Simon Manley told the Council.

In the same session, the top UN rights official Michelle Bachelet called on Sudan’s military leaders to step back and end the deadly use of force that she said has so far killed at least 13 civilians.

“I urge Sudan’s military leaders, and their backers, to step back in order to allow the country to return to the path of progress towards institutional and legal reforms,” she said.

Bachelet said the release of politicians, journalists and protesters was “essential for an inclusive dialogue and a swift return to civilian rule” in remarks widely echoed by the council’s 47 members.

The United Nations is seeking an end to the political crisis following the coup via talks between Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who was placed under house arrest, and coup leaders.

Germany’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Katharina Stasch said the resolution also prepared by Germany, Norway and the United States marked “an important step to ensure accountability for human rights violations committed.”

US envoy Robert Riley vowed to continue “full throttle efforts” to support democratic aspirations in Sudan. Sudan’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva Ali Ibn Abi Talib Abdelrahman Mahmoud, a representative of the ousted government, attended and told Reuters on the sidelines that he supported the resolution.