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CAR: UN Independent Expert launches new mission after presidential elections

GENEVA (26 February 2016) – The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic, Marie-Thérèse Keita Bocoum, will carry out a follow-up mission to the Central African Republic (CAR) from 1st to 10 March 2016 to analyse the current human rights situation, just days after the second round of the presidential elections.

I congratulate the Central Africans for their peaceful participation in these elections, the candidate M. Faustin Archange Touadéra for his victory according to the provisional results and hope that this important step towards democracy will rapidly materialize through decisive steps towards peace and the rule of law, "Ms. Keita Bocoum said.

“I will take this opportunity to talk with the future leaders of the country, inform them of the recommendations I made in my last report and encourage them to implement these recommendations as well as the commitments made at the Bangui national forum”, she said.

During her ten-day mission, Ms. Keita Bocoum plans to meet with government, legislative and judicial authorities and United Nations representatives, non-governmental organizations and the diplomatic community to take stock of the situation and developments since the deadly violence last September-October.

On 3 March, Ms. Keita Bocoum will deliver a speech at the official launch of the Human rights research and democratic governance center of the University of Bangui.

“I will also ask the leadership of MINUSCA, the Embassies of the countries concerned and the government to update me on the measures taken to combat prevent and prosecute alleged perpetrators of abuse and sexual violence committed by peacekeepers against children and women and measures to protect victims,” she said.

The Independent Expert also intends to travel inside the country and to visit the Ngaragba central prison to assess the situation of the prison after the mass escape of prisoners in September 2015.

Ms. Keita Bocoum will report on her findings to the UN Human Rights Council on 21 March 2016.

The mandate of the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic was established by the Council of Human Rights on 27 September 2013. Marie-Thérèse Keita Bocoum, a former professor at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire, held various positions both in Côte d’Ivoire and in the UN. She was Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Burundi, Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to UNOWA, as well as Director of the Division of Human Rights and the Representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Darfur. For additional information, please visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/CountriesMandates/CF/Pages/IECentralAfricanRepublic.aspx

The Independent Experts are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, country page – Central African Republic: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CFIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests please contact Jean-Jacques Purusi Sadiki (+ 236 75 42 42 61) or Julie Tétard (+41 22 928 9301 / jtetard@ohchr.org) or write to ie-car@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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