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Geneva, 24 September 2007: The Group of Experts on Darfur today presented an interim report to the Human Rights Council on the progress achieved by the Government of Sudan in response to the recommendations compiled by the group for improving the human rights situation in Darfur.

The report notes the appreciation of the experts group for the excellent cooperation of the Government of the Sudan during the period under review and its endeavours to address relevant recommendations. It notes that while certain recommendations have been partially implemented, and first steps towards implementation of other recommendations have been taken, other recommendations remain, at least for the present time, without implementation. The Group concluded as a result that it was “not in a position to report that a clear impact on the ground has been identified.”

The report notes that the Group plans to provide a detailed description and analysis of the status of the implementation of its recommendations when it presents its final report to the Human Rights Council in December 2007. The Group underscored its wish to give the Sudanese authorities the maximum possible time in which to undertake any initiatives and to report back on any progress and on the impact of its measures upon Darfur's civilian population. The experts group also emphasized its need to obtain as much additional information as possible from all relevant sources, including United Nations bodies and agencies, so that it can obtain a clearer and more detailed understanding of the current situation in Darfur.

The ultimate measure of the Government of Sudan's implementation of the recommendations is the concrete improvement of the human rights situation in Darfur, the experts said.

The Group was established on 30 March 2007 by the Human Rights Council to ensure the effective follow-up and to foster the implementation of resolutions and recommendations on Darfur, as adopted by the Human Rights Council, the Commission on Human Rights and other United Nations human rights institutions, and to promote the implementation of relevant recommendations of other United Nations human rights mechanisms. Since its establishment, the Group has held a number of consultations with the Sudanese government.

The Group is chaired by Ms. Sima Samar, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Sudan and its Rapporteur is Mr. Walter Kälin, the Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons. Other members of the group are Ms. Hina Jilani, Special Representative of the Secretary-General on human rights defenders; Ms. Yakin Ertürk, Special Rapporteur on violence against Women, its causes and consequences; Mr. Manfred Nowak, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Mr. Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, and Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary General on Children and Armed Conflict.