The Americas

UN oficial to monitor Colombia peace tribunals closely

  • A man poses for a photo behind a cut-out supporting the "yes" vote ahead of a referendum on the peace deal between the government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. Colombians will vote on Oct. 2 in a referendum where they will be asked to ratify or reject the deal. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    A man poses for a photo behind a cut-out supporting the "yes" vote ahead of a referendum on the peace deal between the government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. Colombians will vote on Oct. 2 in a referendum where they will be asked to ratify or reject the deal. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man with a sign reading "Vote No" attends a rally organized by supporters of the "no" vote for the upcoming referendum on the peace deal signed between the government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. Colombians go to the polls on Oct. 2 in a referendum where they will be asked to ratify or reject the deal. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

    A man with a sign reading "Vote No" attends a rally organized by supporters of the "no" vote for the upcoming referendum on the peace deal signed between the government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. Colombians go to the polls on Oct. 2 in a referendum where they will be asked to ratify or reject the deal. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)  (The Associated Press)

  • A man cycles under banners supporting the "yes" vote in an upcoming referendum on the peace deal between the government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. Colombians go to the polls on Oct. 2 in a referendum where they will be asked to ratify or reject the deal. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    A man cycles under banners supporting the "yes" vote in an upcoming referendum on the peace deal between the government and rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016. Colombians go to the polls on Oct. 2 in a referendum where they will be asked to ratify or reject the deal. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations' top human rights official says he will closely watch how special peace tribunals set up as part of Colombia's peace process operate to make sure people who committed serious war crimes during the long conflict are held accountable.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein met with government officials and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia during his visit this week to the South American nation.

He said Thursday that while Colombia has made progress on some areas of human rights, in other areas there has been virtually none. He said he was "shocked" by the high levels of rural poverty in Colombia's predominantly black state of Choco.

He said the peace accord is an opportunity to address long-neglected social ills and inequality.