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Swiss hail historic Sudan peace, urge more reforms

Switzerland has hailed a peace deal for Sudan due to be signed on Saturday, urging the country’s authorities to continue political, economic and judicial reforms.

Addressing a session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Friday, it said the peace accord was a “historic step” for democracy and reconciliation in Sudan. But it said the government must pursue reforms so that perpetrators of crimes and human rights violations are held accountable.

The transitional Sudanese government and a coalition of rebel groups from Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile are to sign the deal in Juba, capital of South Sudan, to end nearly two decades of civil war. This comes after the December 2018 revolution unseated long-time president Omar Al- Bashir, accused of genocide and crimes against humanity in Darfur by the International Criminal Court.

Nobel prize-winner under threat

Speaking to the Human Rights Council earlier in the day, Switzerland also expressed concern about ongoing threats against Nobel prize winning Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege, hailing his “commitment” to the victims of serious crimes.

Gynaecologist Mukwege, known as the “man who repairs women”, works with rape victims in eastern Democratic of Congo. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 with Yazidi rape victim Nadia Murad “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.”

UN police have been protecting Mukwege’s clinic in eastern DRC for the past month. He complained of receiving serious threats after he denounced a massacre of civilians in the region.

The current Human Rights Council session in Geneva is due to close on October 7 with a number of decisions on various issues.