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Sudan: “Durable solutions and respect of internally displaced persons’ rights, key for peace and stability”

KHARTOUM / GENEVA (23 November 2012) – United Nations human rights expert Chaloka Beyani urged the Sudanese authorities and all parties involved in promoting peace and stability in Sudan to focus on the human rights, development and durable solution needs of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in all regions of the country.

“A key step in this direction is addressing the very dire situation of IDPs in terms of safety, and their basic rights to adequate food, shelter, health, education, water, and livelihoods,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons at the end of his nine-day mission* to Sudan from 14 to 22 November 2012.

“Concerted efforts are needed in order to meet these and other assistance and protection needs of IDPs, to create an enabling environment in which to achieve new political solutions, and put in place practical measures to ensure the implementation of agreements that have already been signed,” he noted.

Mr. Beyani stressed that some key challenges remain in the area of internal displacement in Sudan, especially the timely and effective implementation of relevant agreements, and improving security, services, livelihoods, access to justice and respect for human rights, which are central to peace and durable solutions. In his view, open, predictable, and sustainable humanitarian access to affected populations is fundamental in order to assess humanitarian needs and to survey intentions with regard to durable solutions by IDPs, so that proper planning can take place.

“I urge the Government of Sudan, to adopt a comprehensive approach to durable solutions, which facilitates voluntary returns as well as local integration and resettlement,” he said. “I also encourage the Government and the international community to integrate displacement-affected communities into urban planning, development, and livelihood projects.

With regard to persons of South Sudanese origin, the expert urged the Sudanese authorities to promote a culture of respect for human rights so as to prevent cases of harassment or human rights violations against them. He also encouraged them to facilitate with the cooperation of the Government of South Sudan, safe, informed and voluntary returns, and the establishment of humanitarian corridors for this purpose.

The Special Rapporteur highlighted the ongoing efforts of the international community to restore peace and security and find lasting solutions to internal displacement in Sudan. He called on them to continue supporting humanitarian, development, peace-building and government reforms in key sectors, as well as mechanisms to promote the meaningful participation of displacement affected communities, including vulnerable persons and women, in such programs.

During his nine-day visit to Sudan, Mr. Beyani met with relevant Government Ministries, local officials, the Darfur Regional Authority, the Justice, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the National Human Rights Commission, members of civil society, traditional leaders and UN officials. He also met with communities affected by internal displacement in North, West and South Darfur, and in and around Khartoum and at departure points for persons of South Sudanese origin.

The Special Rapporteur will present his full report on the visit to Sudan to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2013.

Chaloka Beyani, a Zambian national and professor of international law at the London School of Economics, was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2010. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/IDPersonsIndex.aspx

(*) Check the full end-of-mission statement:
In English: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12822&LangID=E
In Arabic: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12822&LangID=A

OHCHR Country Page – Sudan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/SDIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Khartoum: Mr. Ayman Suliman, National Information Officer, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC, Khartoum), Tel: +249 187121404; Mobile: +249 912179766
E-mail: ayman.suliman@undp.org
In Darfur: Christopher Cycmanick, UN - AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Tel: +249 92244 5400; Mobile: +249 912 538 436; E-mail: cycmanick@un.org

For more information on the mandate on internally displaced persons please contact Rosa da Costa (+41 22 917 9140 / rdacosta@ohchr.org) or write to idp@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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