GENEVA: The UN Human Rights Council on Monday blamed Sudan for gross human rights abuses in Darfur in a report that charged Khartoum with direct involvement in war crimes in the region.
Sudan’s government has “orchestrated and participated in these crimes,” said the long awaited report from the Council’s mission to Darfur, headed by Nobel peace laureate and anti-landmines campaigner Jody Williams.
“The situation is characterised by gross and systematic violations of human rights and grave breaches of international law. War crimes and crimes against humanity continue against the region,” the report said.
Khartoum refused to grant visas to the mission to visit Darfur first hand, saying some of the team’s members were “biased” against Sudan.
The charge was repeated on Sunday by the Sudanese justice minister, who was en route to Geneva.
The International Criminal Court has implicated two Sudanese officials for involvement in the humanitarian crisis in the western region of Darfur that has claimed at least 200,000 lives and displaced 2.5 million others.
The Darfur report kicked off a three-week session of the UN’s Human Rights Council, which replaced the largely discredited Human Rights Commission in