South Sudan urged to reverse expulsion of UN human rights officer

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Navi Pillay

The United Nations human rights chief has urged the government of South Sudan to reverse an expulsion order against a senior United Nations human rights officer issued two weeks ago.

In a statement released on Friday, Navi Pillay says the expulsion of the officer working for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is in breach of international agreements.

She stressed the importance of allowing human rights staff to do their work, including human rights monitoring, investigating, reporting and helping the country improve its human rights.

Farhan Haq from the Office of the Spokesperson for the United Nations Secretary-General has more.

"Ms. Pillay said that in the two weeks since the expulsion, the authorities have so far not provided the UN with any satisfactory evidence of serious misconduct by the staff member in question. She also said that the reasoning given by the authorities when they announced the staff member in question had 48 hours to leave the country, accusing her of misinforming the international community about human rights abuses, was 'utterly unsatisfactory and unacceptable,' and appeared to relate to the staff member's core work as a human rights officer."

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Ms. Pillay warned that any attempt to undermine part of the core mandate of UNMISS is a direct threat to the integrity and independence of the United Nations.

Filed under Today's News.