Colombia: Annan expresses dismay as human rights abuses continue

24 March 2004

Voicing dismay at continuing human rights abuses by guerrillas and paramilitary groups in Colombia, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan issued a statement today calling for the violations to end and for international humanitarian law to be respected.

Mr. Annan's statement followed a meeting yesterday with Michael Fruhling, the head of the UN Human Rights Office in Colombia, which has been ravaged by civil conflict for four decades. Mr. Fruhling briefed Mr. Annan on the contents of the most recent report on the South American nation by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

In a statement released by Mr. Annan's spokesman, the Secretary-General "expressed deep concern" over the human rights situation in Colombia - especially the number of attacks against civilians - and offered his total support to the work of the UN Human Rights Office there.

Mr. Annan also thanked Colombia's Government for its cooperation with the OHCHR and urged it to swiftly implement the recommendations in the Office's report.


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