January 13, 2014 (JUBA) – The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights will visit South Sudan from 14-17 January to assess the human rights situation as well as the impact of nearly a month of fighting in the country
- The Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonovic (UN photo)
Ivan Šimonovic will, as part of this four-day visit, also identify areas for improvement in the situation of the country’s affected civilian population.
Šimonovic will also meet with senior government officials, the national human rights community, diplomats, representatives of the civil society and people uprooted by the fighting.
“He plans to travel to Malakal, Bentiu and possibly Bor”, partly reads a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on the visit.
Nearly a month of violence, which started from the country’s capital and later spread to other states, has left over 1,000 people dead with tens of thousands displaced.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay recently expressed grave concern over the severe human rights violations allegedly taking place daily in South Sudan during the past four weeks of violence.
Pillay, 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.
Meanwhile, the World Food Programme (WFP) has launched an emergency operation to expand aid to people affected by the crisis in South Sudan.
The three month operation, it said in a statement, seeks to provide food for up to 400,000 internally displaced people, costing nearly $60m.
The UN mission further said it had intensified its patrol in the Unity state capital, Bentiu, Juba, as well as Malakal and Nassir in Upper Nile state.