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The U.N. Security Council has retreated from its previous stance to hold the Sudanese government accountable for the ongoing human rights abuses in Darfur, Human Rights Watch said today. A new resolution was passed today by a unanimous vote of the Security Council's 15 members.

While today’s resolution recalls prior Security Council resolutions passed in July and September, it leaves out the explicit demand in those resolutions for Khartoum to disarm and prosecute the government-backed Janjaweed militias.

In addition, the new resolution omits language in the Resolutions 1556 and 1564 that specifically threatened "further measures," including the possibility of sanctions. Instead, it includes a much milder warning to "take appropriate action against any party failing to fulfill its commitments."

“We fear that the Sudanese government will take this resolution as a blank check to continue its atrocities against the civilian population in Darfur," said Jemera Rone, Human Rights Watch's senior Sudan researcher.

Human Rights Watch called on the Security Council to monitor the situation closely and follow through on its prior commitments to end the massive human rights abuses in Darfur.

"Don't leave the people of Darfur unprotected," said Rone.

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