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Côte d’Ivoire: UN Independent Expert to assess human rights situation in the country

GENEVA / ABIDJAN (11 February 2014) – The United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d’Ivoire, Doudou Diène, started today his sixth official mission to the country, from 11 to 23 February 2014. The protection of victims’ human rights and the fight against impunity in Côte d'Ivoire are at the top of his current information-gathering visit.

“Côte d’Ivoire is moving towards the crucial endeavour of national reconciliation with the renewal of the Dialogue, Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (DTRC) mandate, as well as the ongoing political dialogue,” the expert said. “It is important that I look into these developments with respect to the protection of the rights of the victims.”

Mr. Diène will put the victims at the centre of the ongoing political negotiations and reconciliation process through the ‘International conference on the situation of the victims of the Ivorian crisis,’ which will take place in Abidjan from 12 to 14 February. International and local NGOs, Government institutions, and international experts will attend this special event organized in cooperation with the National Human Rights Commission, following his previous recommendations.

“I will also have the opportunity, during this visit, to discuss on recommendations to tackle the chronicle impunity which prevails in the country since two decades, taking into account views of relevant actors , including government officials, civil society organizations, political leaders, as well as international partners of Côte d’Ivoire,” the Independent Expert noted.

During his thirteen-day mission, Mr. Diène will meet high-level officials, including the Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, several other key Ministers, members of the ruling party as well as those from the political opposition, and a number of judicial officials, security officials, and heads of the DTRC and the National Human Rights Commission, the diplomatic community, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, and religious and traditional leaders. He will also visit detention centres throughout the country.

The Independent Expert will submit a new report* on the human rights situation in Côte d’Ivoire to the Human Rights Council in June 2014.

At the end of his mission, Mr. Diène will hold a press conference at the UNOCI Headquarters in Abidjan on Friday 21 February at 3:30 PM.
Mr. Doudou Diène (Senegal) took up his functions as UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Côte d'Ivoire in 2011. In that capacity, he acts independently from any Government or organization. Mr. Diène was previously the UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in 2002-2008.

The mandate of the Independent Expert was established by the UN Human Rights Council in June 2011 for a period of one year to assist the Government and relevant actors in the follow-up of the recommendations of the International Commission of Inquiry on Côte d’Ivoire and the Human Rights Council, including the ones addressed to the international community. The mandate was renewed by the Human Rights Council in June 2013 for one year.

(*) Check the Independent Expert’s latest report on Côte d’Ivoire: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session25/Pages/ListReports.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – Cote d’Ivoire: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CIIndex.aspx

For additional information and media requests, please contact: Eugène Nindorera (+225 20 23 32 81 / nindorera@un.org) or Johel Dominique (+41 79 444 4537 / jdominique@ohchr.org).

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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