Australian Permanent Mission and Consulate-General
Geneva, Switzerland
Address: Chemin des Fins 2, Case Postale 102, 1211 Geneva 19 - Telephone: 022 799 9100 - Fax: 022 799 9178

Human Rights Council - 18th Session

Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on the Situation of Human Rights in the Sudan

Statement by Australia

Australia thanks the Independent Expert for his report.

Australia welcomes the constructive efforts of the Sudan and South Sudan Governments to ensure a peaceful and credible referendum, resulting in the establishment of the state of South Sudan on July 9 and the subsequent recognition of South Sudan by Sudan as an independent state. The report, however, reaffirms that serious human rights concerns remain, which will merit ongoing attention and support from the international community.

Australia remains concerned by the lack of progress made by either party to resolve the outstanding issues of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, notably the situation in Abyei.

Australia is also deeply concerned by the violence, dislocation of civilians and human rights abuses in the border state of Southern Kordofan. Australia strongly condemns the use of violence including bombing of civilian populations and urges all parties to the conflict to immediately cease military actions. Australia supports the Independent Expert’s recommendation that the Sudan and South Sudan must immediately resume negotiations. The parties to the conflict must provide humanitarian organisations with unhindered access in order to provide vital assistance for the needy.

Australia is deeply concerned by the deteriorating security situation in Darfur, which is contributing to serious human rights abuses, and the ongoing perpetration of sexual and gender-based violence.

Cases of arbitrary arrest and allegations of human rights abuses by the National Security Service (NSS) are alarming. Australia calls on the Sudanese Government to ensure that all human rights abuses and international humanitarian law violations are duly investigated and perpetrators brought to justice.

Australia strongly supports the call of the Independent Expert for the abuses by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Southern Sudanese Police Service (SSPS) to be investigated, with the findings to be made public and for the alleged perpetrators to be brought to account.

The Government of Sudan must protect the rights of human rights defenders, humanitarian workers, members of the political opposition, journalists and other civil society members.