UNITED NATIONS

Press Release



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HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS TO VISIT DARFUR, SUDAN

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17 September 2004
Louise Arbour to be Accompanied by Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Prevention of Genocide

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour will visit Khartoum and the western Sudanese region of Darfur starting on 18 September. Mrs. Arbour will be accompanied by the Secretary-General’s special adviser on the prevention of genocide, Juan Mendez.

The High Commissioner said her visit, requested by the Secretary-General, will focus on improving the protection of the people of Darfur, now and in the future. “My colleagues have been very active in the field monitoring the situation and working with our partners. Along with the Secretary-General's special adviser, we will be looking at what more can be done to prevent further violations so the people of Darfur no longer have to fear massacres, rape, forced displacement and other abuses”.

The High Commissioner added that her office is ready to increase its presence on the ground to continue and expand its work. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has eight human rights monitors in the three states of Darfur and in Khartoum.

In response to the crisis in Darfur, OHCHR drew attention last January to reports of systematic human rights abuses against civilians in Darfur by militias, including the Janjaweed. In April and May, an OHCHR team went to Chad, where Darfur refugees had fled the violence, and then to Khartoum and Darfur to conduct enquiries. The team’s report called for, among other things, the deployment human rights monitors in the area.

MISSION OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS TO DARFUR, SUDAN


DRAFT AGENDA

Day 1 (19 September)

Khartoum, meetings planned with Sudanese authorities, members of national NGOs, civil society and human rights activists, Rapporteur of the Advisory Council for Human Rights, Special Representative of the Secretary General, and the UN Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator and Deputy. Meetings also with members of the National Commission of Inquiry in Darfur, ICRC, UN agencies.

Day 2 (20 September)
Travel to El Fashir

Day 3 (21 September)
Departure to Nyala

Day 4 (22 September)
South Darfur

Day 5 (23 September)
Departure to El-Genina

Day 6 (24 September)
Departure to Khartoum

Day 7 (25 September)
De-briefing in Khartoum, further meetings with Government officials.