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CAR: High-level UN and European mission to assess humanitarian crisis and protection needs

GENEVA (6 February 2015) – A group of high-level experts from the United Nations and the European Commission will undertake a mission to the Central African Republic from 10 to 14 February to assess the current humanitarian crisis in the country, which has been deteriorating since last year. The experts will also look into ways of responding to the protection and assistance needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country.

The four-day joint mission is headed by the UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Ms. Kyung-Wha Kang; the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs, Mr. Chaloka Beyani; and European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department Director of Operations, Mr. Jean-Louis de Brouwer.

The Central African Republic is engulfed in a full-blown humanitarian crisis with more than 438,000 IDPs across the country, including over 58,000 in the capital Bangui alone, and more than 423,000 refugees in neighbouring countries.  Some 2.7 million people need immediate humanitarian assistance, while reports of terrible atrocities and attacks against civilians and aid workers continue.

The delegation will assess the new dimensions, scope and urgency of the humanitarian crisis in CAR and identify key issues, and propose concrete courses of action for promoting and protecting the rights of IDPs.

Through their findings, the experts expect to strengthen global support for the humanitarian response and advocate for peace and security with relevant stakeholders at local, regional and global level.

The delegation is scheduled to travel to Bambari in the Ouaka Province (north-centre) to assess the humanitarian impact of the crisis and the on-going relief efforts. They will also visit Yaloke in Ombella M’Poko, where more than 500 members of the Peuhl minority currently seek to be relocated to neighbouring countries.

The experts will meet with senior Government officials, UN representatives, international NGOs, donors, religious leaders and affected communities.

On 14 February, at the end of the joint mission, the international experts will share with the media their findings and preliminary recommendations at a press conference in Bangui.

Chaloka Beyani, professor of international law at the London School of Economics, was appointed Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2010. As Special Rapporteur, he is independent from any government or organization and serves in his individual capacity.

For more information, visit:
UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/IDPersonsIndex.aspx  
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): http://www.unocha.org/
European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO): http://ec.europa.eu/echo/

The UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/Standards.aspx

UN Human Rights, Country Page – Central African Republic: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AfricaRegion/Pages/CFIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact:
In Bangui (during the visit): Mr. Jean Jacques Purusi Sadiki (+ 236 75 42 42 61 / purusisadiki@un.org)
In Geneva: Ms. Harriet Hirst (+41 22 917 9172 / idp@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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Check the Universal Human Rights Index: http://uhri.ohchr.org/en