Human Rights Council in Geneva adopts compromise resolution on Darfur

At the end of a special meeting in Geneva on the situation in Darfur, the 47 members of the UN Human Rights Council agreed unanimously on a resolution that expressed “concern” about the human rights and humanitarian situation in Darfur.  The Human Rights Council authorized the creation of a team of five “highly qualified persons” — who will be appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council — plus the U.N.’s expert on rights in Sudan, Sima Samar; the team will travel to Darfur.

The resolution welcomes the Sudanese Government’s cooperation with Ms. Samar and calls on Khartoum to continue and intensify its working relationship with the Human Rights Council and with the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour.

According to information from the UN News Centre and from the Spokesman, the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) reported from that the Tripartite Mechanism, which comprises representatives of UNMIS, the African Union and the Sudanese Government, held its first meeting today in Khartoum. They were discussing how to implement the $21 million UN support package to AMIS, the first part of a three-phase process that is expected to eventually culminate in a hybrid UN-AU peacekeeping force in Darfur.  Under the “light support package” agreed upon last month, UNMIS will provide 105 military advisers, 33 police officers and 48 civilian staff, as well as equipment.

The UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) also issued a press release condemning, in the strongest possible terms, this weekend”s hijacking of a vehicle belonging to the African Union force in Darfur with two AMIS military personnel on board and demanded their immediate release.  In their press release, the Mission reiterated that all AMIS military personnel are in the Sudan as part of a peacekeeping mission to bring peace to the war-weary people of Darfur, and their presence is crucial to restoring order and stability to a critically important part of Sudan and to allow Darfuris to return to their homes.  Meanwhile, UNMIS reported, there has been a spate of armed hijacking of vehicles in west Darfur, including vehicles belonging to the aid community.

The Mission also reported indications that there have been skirmishes between armed Chadian opposition groups and Sudanese Arab militias south of El Fasher in North Darfur.

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