Leading UN human rights official returns to Côte d’Ivoire to assess human rights situation

ABIDJAN/NEW YORK/GENEVA (27 November 2012) - A year and a half after he visited Côte d’Ivoire at the height of the civil conflict, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, returns to the country today to assess and discuss the human rights situation with the authorities.

“I hope to discuss with governmental authorities, civil society, the victims and other actors what needs to be done to prevent a deterioration of the situation, to strengthen the protection of civilians, prevent further atrocities, and improve the human rights situation in general,” Šimonović said.

During the six-day mission, Šimonović will visit some of the areas on the border with Liberia that have been the scene of recent attacks. He will hold meetings with central government and local authorities, civil society organisations, UN officials and the diplomatic corps. He will address a press conference in Abidjan on Saturday, December 1.

During his last mission to Côte d’Ivoire, 2 – 9 April 2011, Mr. Šimonović visited Duékoué as bodies of victims of mass killings were being discovered in mass graves and Abidjan where he met with the president-elect Alassane Ouattara.

For more information and media requests, please contact:
Abidjan: Juliette Mandan Amanchi, ONUCI, +225 20 23 66 75 / + 225 05 99 01 57
New York: Fred Kirungi, OHCHR, +1-917-288-3160 / +1-917-367-3431 / kirungi@un.org
Geneva: Cécile Pouilly, OHCHR: +41 22 917 9310 / cpouilly@ohchr.org