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UN rights chief to visit South Sudan

Navi Pillay will meet South Sudan's President Salva Kiir during a trip to Juba (© 2009 AFP)

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay will make her first visit to South Sudan from May 8 to 12, her office said Friday, as a deadline loomed for a UN-ordered ceasefire with Sudan.

Pillay’s spokesman told journalists in Geneva the UN rights chief would meet with President Salva Kiir as well as various ministers, the speaker of parliament and the South Sudan Human Rights Commission to discuss humanitarian officials and protecting civilians affected by the border conflict with Sudan.

The announcement came just hours ahead of a 1500 GMT deadline set by the United Nations Security Council for Sudan and South Sudan to cease hostilities or face possible sanctions.

Both Khartoum and Juba have pledged to seek peace after weeks of bloody clashes between the former civil war foes began in late March, peaking with the South’s seizure of the key Heglig oil field before pulling back after international condemnation.

Signature : GENEVA (AFP)

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