Members of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan will begin a four-country, 16-day official field visit to South Sudan and countries in the region tomorrow, as part of their probe into human rights violations in the East African nation.
The Commissioners, Yasmin Sooka (chairperson), Andrew Clapham and Barney Afako, will visit South Sudan, Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda between 4 and 19 December, to gather additional information on human rights violations alleged to have occurred in South Sudan, as mandated by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.
The three Commissioners will be in Juba from 4 to 8 December where they will meet Government officials, including the First Vice President, members of civil society, religious leaders, diplomats and UN agencies and staff of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), including the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in South Sudan, David Shearer, to discuss the current human rights situation in the country.
The Commissioners will hold a press conference on Friday 7 December 2018 at 1100hrs in Juba at the UNMISS HQ at Tomping (Juba Conference room)
During the visit, the Commission’s sixth to the region since it was originally established in March 2016, the Commissioners will visit Sudan (9-12 December) and Uganda (15-19 December), including refugee camps in South and East Darfur and camps in Uganda, where they will meet with South Sudanese refugees, including those who have recently arrived. While in Sudan and Uganda, the Commissioners will also meet with government officials and community leaders, civil society organisations and UN staff working in the region.
The Commissioners will also travel to Addis Ababa on 12 December where, over the course of two days, they will hold meetings with African Union leaders, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), senior UN officials, as well as other members of the international community and South Sudan opposition groups.
This visit marks the first time the Commission will travel to the region since the signing of the Revitalised Peace Agreement on 12 September 2018 and the peace celebrations held in Juba on 31 October 2018.
The Commission is an independent body mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to, among other things, determine and report the facts and circumstances of, collect and preserve evidence of, and clarify responsibility for alleged gross violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence and ethnic violence, with a view to ending impunity and providing accountability.
The Commission is scheduled to present a comprehensive written report to the Humans Rights Council in March 2019.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).