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U.N. Must Quickly Focus on Darfur

The United Nations Security Council should not focus exclusively on the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Darfur, western Sudan, but also on the human rights emergency that is its cause, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Security Council members released today.

In a letter to the 15 Security Council ambassadors, Human Rights Watch urged a full discussion of the massacres, widespread rape, massive forced displacement, and indiscriminate aerial bombardment of civilians that are currently underway in Darfur. Two U.N. missions to the region will be returning next week to report to the Security Council and their reports should be made public without delay, Human Rights Watch said.

"At the core of this emergency are massive violations of human rights," said Joanna Weschler, U.N. representative of Human Rights Watch. "The Security Council must focus on the root cause of the problem."

The U.N. human rights mission to Darfur is headed by Bacre Waly N’diaye, the same individual who more than a decade ago, in his capacity then as the Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions, predicted genocide in Rwanda. His report at that time recommended that any political solution for Rwanda address human rights, but it was ignored by policymakers.

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