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Press Statement
Sean McCormack, Spokesman
Washington, DC
February 16, 2007


Human Rights Council: Sudan Assessment Mission Denied Visas

The United States is deeply disappointed that the Government of Sudan has publicly announced it will not grant visas for the UN Human Rights Council's Assessment Mission to carry out an impartial review of the situation on the ground in Darfur. The United States calls on the Government of Sudan to grant the entire team entry into Sudan to carry out the mandate approved by the Human Rights Council.

We support UN Secretary-General Ban's call for the Government of Sudan to grant the assessment mission visas and urge it to live-up to its commitments to resolve the crisis in Darfur.

This mission was created by the Human Rights Council at its December 2006 Special Session on Darfur - called for by 63 countries from around the world because of strong concerns about ongoing human rights atrocities in Darfur.

The members of the mission represent all regions of the world, chosen by the President of the Human Rights Council on the basis of Council-member recommendations.

The mission has decided to continue to collect relevant information before completing its assessment and returning to Geneva on February 21, as scheduled.

2007/115

Released on February 16, 2007

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