United Nations

A/51/347


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

11 September 1996

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


                                                        A/51/347
                                                              

General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Item 112 (c) of the provisional agenda*

*   A/51/150.


             HUMAN RIGHTS QUESTIONS:  HUMAN RIGHTS SITUATIONS AND
              REPORTS OF SPECIAL RAPPORTEURS AND REPRESENTATIVES

            Note verbale dated 10 September 1996 from the Permanent
            Mission of the Sudan to the United Nations addressed to
                             the Secretary-General


     The Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Sudan to the United
Nations in New York presents its compliments to the Secretary-General
of the United Nations and has the honour to enclose the text of a
declaration by the Advisory Council on Human Rights in the Sudan on
allegations of practices of slavery in the Sudan (see annex).  The
Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Sudan would like the present
letter and attached statement to be circulated as an official document
of the General Assembly under item 112 (c) of the provisional agenda.
                        

                                     ANNEX

                                                           [Original:  Arabic]

       Declaration by the Advisory Council on Human Rights in the Sudan
              on allegations of practices of slavery in the Sudan


     The Council, unequivocally committed as it is to the preservation
of human rights in the Sudan and as the advisory body to the State in
this area, has followed up, with deep concern, all accusations
relating to practices of slavery in the Sudan.

     The Council wishes, through the present declaration, to inform
local and world opinion of its position with respect to these
accusations.  That position may be summed up as follows:

1.   The Council acknowledges the validity of the position of the
Government of the Sudan in its unswerving commitment to the
eradication of slavery and similar practices, in accordance with the
various international instruments to which the Sudan is a party.

2.   The clear condemnation by the Government of the Sudan of these
practices in all their forms wherever they may occur, and its
commitment to eradicating them wherever they are found, demonstrates
the seriousness of the Government's intent to abide by its
international commitments.  In this connection, the Council notes that
it has communicated repeatedly with the various governmental bodies
concerned with this issue, and that those bodies have declared
themselves to be fully prepared to take whatever action may be
necessary wherever such practices occur, including the appointment of
special prosecutors.

3.   The Council's primary concern at present is to further by every
available means the work of the commission of inquiry established by
the Sudan in response to the resolution on this question adopted by
the United Nations General Assembly in 1995.  The Council endorses the
recommendation of the working group which made preliminary
investigations in tribal contact areas that these investigations
should be intensified as soon as normal circumstances permit.  For
this reason, the Council considers that to raise the issue before the
commission of inquiry has completed its task is clearly tantamount to
exploiting human rights issues for political ends.  This is contrary
to international instruments dealing with human rights, especially
since the open-door policy that the Government of the Sudan has
adopted in the area of human rights will enable the international
community, through its representatives in the Sudan who will monitor
the progress made to date, to further the achievement of our shared
objectives.

4.   The irrefutable facts that the Committee on Forced Disappearances
has been able to establish in the course of the past week, supported
by audio-visual evidence, including interviews with dozens of persons
in the Nuba Mountains districts who were alleged to have disappeared
as a result of the use of force, give the Council sufficient reason to
urge the international community to be cautious in reacting to
accusations relating to slavery and in accepting the credibility of
persons and organizations making such accusations, in order to avoid
presenting such persons and organizations with opportunities of
exploiting human rights issues for political ends.

5.   The Council expresses its dismay and indignation at the action of
certain persons and organizations in persistently levelling baseless
accusations against the Sudan and using the world media to publicize
those accusations as widely as possible while resolutions concerning
the Sudan are being debated in international forums.  The Council
urges the international community to put a stop to these practices,
which have adversely affected the sincere efforts being made by many
international organizations which are addressing the issue of human
rights objectively.

     In conclusion, the Council reiterates that the persistent attempts
of certain persons and organizations to exploit human rights issues
for political ends is currently the greatest obstacle to progress in
ensuring respect for human rights in the Sudan, inasmuch as the State
has had to expend much time and substantial resources on the task of
refuting these accusations, time and resources that could otherwise
have been used to further the Sudan's numerous initiatives aimed at
preserving and maintaining human rights, monitoring their effective
enjoyment in practice, and disseminating awareness of them.


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