Sudan to allow UN rights team into Darfur
Sudan's justice minister said he was ready to cooperate with a UN fact-finding team due to investigate human rights abuses in war-torn Darfur.india Updated: Dec 19, 2006 06:08 IST
Sudan's justice minister said he was ready to cooperate with a UN fact-finding team due to investigate human rights abuses in war-torn Darfur, newspapers reported on Monday.
State-run dailies quoted Mohammed Ali al-Mardhi as saying that Sudan had agreed to "remove all obstacles" in order to allow the team of experts to probe cases of rights violations in the western region.
The mission is expected to hold talks with all parties involved in the four-year-old conflict that has left at least 200,000 people dead and two million displaced, according to the UN.
Mardhi stressed that "the authorities have nothing to hide" and urged the fact-finding team to produce a "balanced report".
Sudanese President Omar al-Beshir, who stands accused of genocide by Washington, claims only 9,000 people were killed since the conflict pitting Darfur rebels against government forces and allied militias erupted.
The UN Human Rights Council agreed on Wednesday to dispatch a high-level team of human rights experts to Darfur.
Relations are tense between Khartoum and the world body, which adopted a resolution in August calling for the deployment of up to 20,000 peacekeepers in Darfur to replace an under-funded contingent of African Union monitors.
Beshir has consistently rejected such a move, accusing the West of seeking to invade his country and plunder its resources. Efforts to reach a deal for a "hybrid" AU-UN force are under way.