HRC Will Expedite Appointment of Independent Expert on Human Rights in the Central African Republic

U.S. Mission Geneva - Geneva, Switzerland

The United States welcomes the proposals in the Human Rights Council (HRC) today that will expedite the appointment of an Independent Expert for the Central African Republic in recognition of the seriousness of the ongoing human rights situation.

The action was taken at the request of the delegations of the Central African Republic and other members of the Africa Group, at an organizational meeting of the Human Rights Council on Monday 16 December 2013 at the United Nations Office at Geneva.

The mandate for a new Independent Expert to examine the situation of human rights in the Central African Republic was created by resolution 24/34 which was co-sponsored by the United States at the September 2013 session of the Human Rights Council. An expert would normally have been appointed at the subsequent session which takes place in March 2014, however the deterioration of the situation and the suffering of the population require urgent action. More than 500,000 residents of the CAR have been displaced and hundreds killed in sectarian fighting between the government forces and armed groups.

Today’s meeting marks the first step in a two-step process. The Central African Republic delegation announced its intention to call for a Special Session of the Council in January, and Ethiopia on behalf of the Africa Group urged the urgent appointment of the expert, who will be tasked with monitoring the situation of human rights in the Central Africa Republic and making recommendations on technical assistance and capacity-building to address human rights issues.

The United States remains deeply concerned about the horrific violence committed by armed groups and independent militias against innocent civilians in the CAR. We are actively supporting the international community’s efforts to end the violence, protect civilians, prevent atrocities, provide humanitarian assistance, lay the groundwork for accountability, and help create an environment for constitutional and democratic governance to take root. The expedited appointment of an independent expert on the human rights situation in the Central African Republic is part of a range of ongoing preventive efforts including U.S. support for the training and deployment of French and African Union peacekeepers.

- Cross posted on U.S. Mission Geneva

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