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International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
The High-Level Mission on the situation of human rights in Darfur PDF Print E-mail
On 13 December 2006, The UNHRC mandated the High-Level Mission (HLM) "to assess the human rights situation in Darfur and the needs of the Sudan in this regard . . . and toreport to the Council at its fourth session to be held from 12 March to 5 April 2007." The HLM, lead by Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams, conducted its work in the field between February 5, 2007 and March 5, 2007

In the report's executive summary, the HLM asserts that it found the most appropriate human rights and humanitarian framework to use when assessing the human rights situation in Darfur was R2P. It reiterates the Sudanese government's commitment to R2P in 2005 and outlines its failure, thus far, to protect its own citizens in accordance with R2P principles. Following the R2P framework, the executive summary then summarizes efforts being made by the international community to protect civilians in Darfur, and which have yet to curtail abuses in Darfur, and what is needed to fully comply with R2P.

The report outlines the Sudanese government's actions with respect to R2P, highlighting the fact that grave human rights abuses have continued unabated. It affirms that the government of Sudan has manifestly failed to protect civilians by, among other things, restricting access for humanitarian assistance, contributing to the displacement of civilians and failing to hold accountable those responsible for human rights abuses.

In accordance with the principles of R2P, the report then analyzes the response of the international community. It outlines efforts made by the UN, including Security Council Resolutions and actions taken by the OHCHR. Further actions by the international community, specifically those taken by the AU to establish a peacekeeping force, are evaluated.

The report concludes, inter alia, that the Government of Sudan has not only failed in its protection of its citizens, but that it has actively participated in human rights violations against them, and that "the solemn obligation of the international community to exercise its responsibility to protect has become evident and urgent." It closes with specific recommendations for the Human Rights Council, the Government of Sudan and the international community to adopt in order to implement R2P.

Key recommendations include:
The establishment of a credible and independent national human rights commission for the Sudan by the Human Rights Council with a mandate to monitor human rights
Full cooperation by the Government of Sudan in the deployment of a UN/AU peacekeeping force
Removal of all obstacles to humanitarian aid by the Government of Sudan
Compliance with international human rights and humanitarian laws by the Government of Sudan, including those political agreements voluntarily signed relating to the conflict in Darfur
The Sudanese Government cease all support for the Janjaweed/militia forces and hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable
The Security Council deploy the proposed UN/AU peacekeeping/protection force and full cooperation with and support for the work of the International Criminal Court
Unified international support for an expansion of the DPA process to include all warring parties, paying particular attention to the including of women and women's organizations.

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