Minister Baird Concerned by Reported Human Rights Violations in South Kordofan, Sudan

(No. 234 - August 16, 2011 - 5 p.m. ET) John Baird, Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister, today issued the following statement responding to allegations of ethnically targeted violence and mass graves discovered in South Kordofan, Sudan:

"These are serious allegations that need to be addressed fully and verified independently. Sudanese authorities have obstructed access to the state, preventing most humanitarian agencies from getting help to those who need it most. Such obstructionism is unacceptable.

"Canada calls on all sides to ensure civilians are protected, regardless of ethnic, political or religious affiliation. 

"Furthermore, Canada calls for an immediate ceasefire and urges all involved to resolve outstanding issues peacefully.

"Canada remains committed to the promotion and protection of human rights around the world and to the cause of achieving peace and stability across the Sudans."

Canada has contributed over $885 million towards peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance, development aid and security across the Sudans since 2006.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI