UN human rights expert group begins visit to South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia

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Members of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan today began their fourth field mission to South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia which will last from 11 to 22 December 2017.

The two Commissioners taking part in the mission, Yasmin Sooka and Andrew Clapham*, will be in South Sudan for six days (11 to 16 December) where they will meet Government officials including key ministers and 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.

They will conduct visits to camps for internally displaced persons across the country, including UNMISS Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites, to meet the people living there, community leaders and civil society organisations.

The Commissioners will hold a news conference on Friday 15 December 2017 at 10h00 in Juba (venue will be announced at later stage).

The Commissioners will then visit Uganda and Ethiopia, where they will visit refugee camps and settlements along the South Sudanese border and eventually meet with African Union leaders, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), senior UN officials,  as well as other members of the international community and opposition groups in Addis Ababa.

The Commission is an independent body mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to 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 will present its next report to the Human Rights Council in March 2018.

*The third Commissioner is Godfrey Musila (Kenya).

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).