by Benson Agoha
United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-Moon has announced plans to dispatch a human rights official to Ukraine in light of recent crisis, even as the situation in Crimea remain tense.
Ban Ki-moon said he is sending Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Šimonovic to Kiev and the eastern part of Ukraine, including Crimea, to monitor the human rights situation.
Mr. Šimonovic is expected to travel to Crimea over the weekend, a statement on the UN News Centre said.
The announcement came as the UN confirms that Robert Serry, the Senior UN Advisor reportedly threatened during his visit to Crimea was in good shape phyically, after he was ordered to leave the region.
A UN chief said Serry was met outside the main naval headquarters by a number of unidentified men and ordered to "leave Crimea and go to the airport."
Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told reporters from Kiev that Mr. Serry apparently returned to his vehicle, and when the car could not drive away, he walked back to his hotel accompanied by a UN colleague, adding “On his way to the hotel he stopped by a cafe to call me, and that’s when we talked.”
"Mr. Serry, dispatched to Crimea to take stock of the situation there, had been relying on Ukrainian authorities for security. He was threatened but not kidnapped," the statement said.
Eliasson said “He expects that all authorities that have control of the situation will continue to guarantee his safe return to the hotel and continued work. Otherwise, he will be forced to come back to Kiev to continue his work from here.”
Mr. Serry reportedly took a flight out of Simferopol and returned to Kiev where Mr. Eliasson was continuing his meeting with authorities to stress the need for calm and international unity as diplomatic efforts gear up to resolve and restore order.
Mr. Eliasson reported said “I don’t think I’ve ever made so many references to the UN Charter” as he was photographed holding up the little blue booklet while calling for a de-escalation of tensions between Kiev and Moscow.
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