News and Information

December 1, 2004
Press Releases November 30 2004

As an African human rights organization, Namibia’s National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has found it grossly outrageous for African nations, backed by Islamic states, to vote against UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolutions condemning gross human rights violations in the western Sudanese province of Darfur and in Zimbabwe.

“This scandalous and ludicrous act occurred on Wednesday November 24 2004 in the UN General Assembly (UNGA), at the heart of the UN, where African nations voted to take no action on a measure voicing grave concern at the genocidal human rights violations ongoing in Sudan. It can hardly go unnoticed. It is a serious embarrassment to us, as African human rights defenders”, said NSHR executive director Phil ya Nangoloh in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, yesterday.

According to UN reports, 91 of the 191 UN Member States voted for the "no action" motion brought before the UNGA’s committee on social, cultural and humanitarian affairs.

African nations represented by South Africa at the UNGA said they opposed all resolutions condemning a specific country.

Speaking for the African states, Pitso Montwedi, director of human rights in South Africa's foreign ministry, reportedly claimed that they had opted to vote against the resolution for the purposes of countering the double standards of the European Union (EU).

“This is preposterous in the extreme. It is opposing for the sake of opposing. It is tantamount to opting to go to hell if the US and EU nations were going to heaven. But then our African governments must be consistent across the board, including stopping accepting development aid from the very same EU and US. This is selective morality and vanity at its highest peak”, argued ya Nangoloh.

The UNGA’s failure to condemn human rights violations correctly drew a sharp rebuke from both the European Union and the United States, which sponsored the resolution.

Unlike the hesitant UNGA, the Security Council had in recent months passed several commendable resolutions threatening the imposition of punitive sanctions against the Sudanese Government unless it took action to stop atrocities in Darfur.

Note: In case of further enquiries, please call Phil ya Nangoloh at Cell: +264 811 299 886 or Dorkas Phillemon at Cell: +264 812 751 883.


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