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Top UN human rights official to visit South Sudan

GENEVA (13 January 2014) – United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, will visit South Sudan from 14 to 17 January 2014 to undertake an assessment of the human rights situation in the country and the impact of recent fighting, and to identify areas for improvement in the situation of the affected civilian population.

During his four-day mission, Šimonović will meet in Juba with senior government and UN officials, the national human rights commission, the diplomatic community and a wide range of civil society actors including traditional /community leaders. In Juba he will also meet with displaced people, victims and detainees. He also plans to travel to Malakal, Bentiu and/or Bor, a town some 200 kilometres north of the capital Juba and the site of recent heavy fighting.

In a recent statement the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed grave concern over the severe human rights violations taking place daily in South Sudan during the past four weeks.

The High Commissioner, as well as other UN officials and human rights experts, also expressed serious concern about the safety of those who have been arrested, including hundreds of civilians who were reportedly detained during house-to-house searches and are being held in unidentified locations.

ENDS

Ivan Šimonović assumed his functions as Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights on 17 July 2010, heading OHCHR’s New York Office. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/ASG.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – South Sudan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/SSIndex.aspx

For additional information and media requests, please contact:
Geneva: Rupert Colville (+ 41 22 917 9767 or rcolville@ohchr.org ) or Cécile Pouilly (+ 41 22 917 9310 or cpouilly@ohchr.org );
New York: Nenad Vasic (+ 1 212 963 5998 or vasic@un.org)

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