UN Human Rights Council, under pressure to act against Sudan atrocities,
refrains from criticizing Sudanese government Wednesday, compromises on
sending investigators to report on slaying of civilians, rapes, destruction,
Associated Press Published: 12.13.06, 22:23
Meeting in emergency session, the 47 nation council unanimously passed a
resolution expressing "concern regarding the seriousness of the human rights
and humanitarian situation in Darfur," and calling for a team of five "highly
qualified persons" plus the UN's expert on rights in Sudan to look into the
The resolution stopped short of mentioning any role of the Sudanese government
or the militias it is accused of supporting in attacks on civilians. The
government rejects accusations it supports the militias, who are accused of
some of the worst atrocities.
Luis Alfonso de Alba, the Mexican diplomat who chairs the council and will put
together the team, told reporters: "I can guarantee a good and balanced
composition." He said they would be impartial, "Highly qualified
"The decision ... sends a united message that the ongoing violence and
killing in Darfur is unacceptable and must stop," U.N. Secretary-General Kofi
Annan said in a statement.
Amnesty slams UN
Amnesty International condemned the resolution's timidity in failing to
recognize the complicity of the Sudanese government in the serious and
systematic human rights violations taking place in Darfur.
"The assessment mission established by the Human Rights Council must put an
end to the shameless lies and denial of responsibility of the government of
Sudan for the situation in Darfur," The London-based rights campaigner said in
Top UN officials and aid agencies on Tuesday were leading a wide assault of
strongly worded statements expressing frustration over how hard it has been to
help people suffering from nearly four years of bloodshed.
Jewish students call for action
A mission of Jewish students attended the meeting in Geneva and called upon
the international community to act immediately to save the people of Darfur
Daniel Translateur, Chairman of the World Union of Jewish Students (WUJS) and
head of the delegation of Jewish students to the UN, said: "We, as Jews,
cannot stand aside and watch a people be submitted to the same genocide as we
"We, the youth of the Jewish world, who live with the memory of the trauma of
the Holocaust, feel that we have a moral, historical and personal commitment
to involve ourselves in the attempt to stop the mass murders of the people of
Darfur," he added.
"The lesson the Jewish people learned from the Holocaust is that we cannot
stand aside and watch genocide being carried out on another people. We will
always remember the lessons of our ancestors: 'To save one life is as if you
have saved the world', and 'Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to
repeat it'," Translateur said.
The Sudanese government is widely accused of unleashing the Janjaweed militia
to help its forces counter ethnic African groups who rebelled in 2003.
More than 200,000 people have been killed and some 2.5 million people have
fled their homes in the violence, according to UN Estimates.
The lack of blame for the Sudanese government was in stark contrast to the
council's resolutions on Israel which have condemned the Jewish state for many
practices, including "the systematic targeting and killings of civilians" in
Lebanon and "attacks on human life, property, critical infrastructure and
The council, which replaced the widely discredited Human Rights Commission in
June, has used its six previous sessions to pass eight resolutions denouncing
Israeli treatment of Arabs.
No other government has been accused of rights violations.
Resolutions by the rights council are nonbinding, but increase political
pressure on criticized countries.
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