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Sudan: UN human rights expert to study post-referendum situation in South Sudan

GENEVA (4 March 2011) – The Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, Mohamed Chande Othman, will visit Southern Sudan and Abyei in the transitional areas of the country, to get first-hand information on the referendum for the independence of South Sudan and post referendum issues in relation to the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
During his second mission to Sudan, from 6 to 13 March 2011, Justice Othman will also discuss the situation of human rights defenders with Government officials in Khartoum. Additionally, his fact-finding mission will take him to Darfur to assess the human rights situation in the aftermath of the recent fighting in the region.
The Independent Expert will hold meetings with Government officials, civil society actors and human rights defenders, as well as representatives of the international community, including members of the diplomatic corps and UN agencies.
At the end of his eight-day mission, Justice Othman will release a press statement with his main findings, as well as his preliminary observations and recommendations.
The mandate of the Independent Expert was established by the United Nations Human Rights Council in June 2009. In September 2010, the mandate was renewed for a one year term. Justice Othman is expected to report to the Council in September this year.

Justice Mohamed Chande Othman was first appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in October 2009. As Independent Expert, he serves in his individual capacity, independently from any government or organization. The Independent Expert is currently the Chief Justice of Tanzania, and formerly worked as Prosecutor-General in East Timor. He was also a member of the High Level Commission of Inquiry on Lebanon and Chief of Prosecutions at the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

OHCHR – Country Page: Sudan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/SDIndex.aspx

For further information and media requests, please contact Joseph Bonsu (Tel. + 41 22 928 9417 / email: jbonsu@ohchr.org) or write to sudan@ohchr.org.