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UN Seeks to Deploy Investigators in Sudan

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has asked the Sudan Transitional Military Council to allow its investigators to enter the country where over 100 protesters were killed by armed security men last week.

The OHCHR Spokesperson, Rupert Colville told journalists in Geneva that the UN wants military Government’s cooperation to deploy the mission to engage with relevant Sudanese authorities, civil society organizations and others.

“We call on the authorities to ensure a prompt, independent investigation into the use of excessive force against protest camps – including the alleged involvement of the Rapid Support Forces,” said Rupert

The appeal comes few days after the International Conference on Great Lakes called for an independent probe into the killing of the pro-democracy demonstrators which started on Monday last week.

The bloody crackdown on sit-in protesters in front of the military headquarters in capital Khartoum was reportedly carried out by the Rapid Support Force members, formerly the dreaded Janjaweed militias.

The UN has also alluded that the members of the former Janjaweed militias that are linked to systematic human rights abuses in the Darfur region between 2003 and 2008 are responsible for the attack.

“Accountability is crucial to avoid further bloodshed. We stress the need for a swift transition to a civilian administration,” he added.

The attack resulted to condemnations from across the world including from the United Nations Secretary General, the United States, United Kingdom and Norway, and more prominently, the African Union suspended Sudan membership from the continental body.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) also expressed serious concern over incursions into Khartoum hospitals, which have resulted in the shutting down of emergency services, unwarrantedly transferring patients and injuries to medical staff and patients.

“Health care workers appear to have been targeted for fulfilling their professional duties in providing care to the injured”, WHO Regional Director Ahmed Al-Mandhari said in a statement.

This stressed that attacks against the medical professionals and facilities, meant to help the injured people in dire need of medical care, is unacceptable.

The mobile health tent clinics that were set up to treat injured protestors were set on fire and destroyed, medical equipment looted, and health care workers assaulted according to relief organization reports. Female health workers were also reportedly raped by the armed men.

“These actions represent a total and unacceptable violation of international human rights law and must stop”, stressed Dr. Al-Mandhari.

The Transitional Military Council, which has constituted a committee to investigate the mess, is yet to respond to the UN demands of sending independent investigators.

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