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Inquiry into possible genocide in Sudan's Darfur

Report of inquiry into possible genocide in Sudan's Darfur region delivered to UN

The report from the United Nations-appointed commission of inquiry into whether genocide has occurred in Sudan's war-torn Darfur region arrived today at UN Headquarters in New York.

UN spokesperson Marie Okabe said that after the report is read by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, it will be sent to the Sudanese Government, which will have three days to respond, before it will be delivered most likely early next week to the members of the Security Council.

Last October Mr. Annan established a five-member independent commission – which received administrative, research and investigatory support from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – in response to the Council's resolution 1564.

The commission's mandate was to "investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Darfur by all parties, to determine also whether or not acts of genocide have occurred, and to identify the perpetrators of such violations with a view to ensuring that those responsible are held accountable."

The commission's Chairman is Antonio Cassese, an Italian judge and professor, while the other members are Mohammad Fayek (Egypt), Hina Jilani (Pakistan), Dumisa Ntsebeza (South Africa) and Therese Striggner-Scott (Ghana).

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in Darfur and as many as 1.85 million people are internally displaced or have fled to neighbouring Chad since rebel groups took up arms against Sudanese Government forces in early 2003. Militias allied to the Government are accused of carrying out numerous killings and rapes.

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