GENEVA, OCTOBER 10, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan government has postponed an important visit by the UN Special Rapporteur on IDPs, Paula Gaviria Betancur. This is according to Christian Volkmann, OHCHR Director of the Field Operations and Technical Cooperation Division.
The senior UN official was expected to visit South Sudan from October 9 to 20 to assess the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the war-torn country.
Volkmann expressed the OHCHR’s regret at the government’s decision, saying that it would have valued the opportunity to work with the Special Rapporteur to address the challenges facing IDPs in South Sudan.
The OHCHR also noted that violence has continued in the country, with Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, and Warrap states being affected the most. In addition, extrajudicial executions carried out by South Sudanese security forces remain a grave concern, Volkmann said.
UK Human Rights Ambassador Rita French described the situation in South Sudan as “dire,” saying that “attacks on civilians, sexual violence against women and girls, and restrictions to media freedom and civic space have become the norm.”
She also expressed regret over the government’s decision to postpone the visit by the UN official, saying that it would have strengthened support from the UN and wider international community on this important issue.
It is unclear when the Special Rapporteur’s visit will be rescheduled. However, the OHCHR has said that it remains committed to working with the government of South Sudan to address the challenges facing IDPs in the country.
The delay of the UN official’s visit to South Sudan comes less than a week after Juba disputed a UN rights commission’s report that the government has continued suppress the civic space as the country is heading for its first elections in 2023.
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