China, Russia seek block U.N. rights report on Darfur

By Richard Waddington, REUTERS, March 16, 2007.

GENEVA – China and Russia joined with Arab and Muslim states on Friday in urging the U.N.’s human rights watchdog to ignore a report from a mission to Darfur that blamed Sudan for continuing war crimes against civilians there.
The two permanent Security Council members argued the mission, led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams, last month failed to gain access to the vast western region of Sudan and had not fulfilled its mandate. Despite warnings from Western and some African states that failure to act would undermine the credibility of the newly formed rights Human Rights Council, Muslim and Arab states and their allies backed Sudan’s line that the report had no legal basis. ‘The so-called mission failed to make an onsite visit. The report cannot be considered objective … and has no legal basis,’ China said in a statement to the 47-state Council, which was echoed by Russia.

Comment of a french TV speaker: Darfur has natural resources, Russia and China want both access them.

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