GENEVA (AP) — Four Western countries floated a proposal Wednesday for the United Nations’ top human rights body to appoint a team of experts to monitor and report on abuses and rights violations in war-wracked Sudan.
Britain, Germany, Norway and the United States are leading the call for the Human Rights Council to name a three-person fact-finding mission to look into possible crimes against refugees, women and children, and others in Sudan.
Sudan was plunged into chaos when long-simmering tensions between the military, headed by Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces paramilitary, led by Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, escalated into open warfare in April.
The U.N. estimates that 5,000 people have been killed and more than 12,000 others wounded since the conflict began.
Over 5.2 million people have fled their homes, including more than 1 million who crossed into neighboring countries, and around 25 million people — half of the country’s population — need humanitarian aid, the U.N. says.
“Reports indicate the most appalling violations and abuses by all parties to this wholly unnecessary conflict,” Britain’s ambassador in Geneva, Simon Manley, told The Associated Press. “It is crucial for an independent U.N. body to establish the facts, so that those responsible can be held to account and so that these heinous acts stop.”
The draft resolution is set to come up for consideration by the 47-member rights council in Geneva at the end of next week, before then end of its fall session.
The fact-finding mission would aim in part to identify those responsible for rights violations and abuses, in the hope that one day perpetrators might be held to account.