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Impunity drives cycle of ‘horrific’ crimes in South Sudan, Human Rights Council hears

WorldAfricaImpunity drives cycle of 'horrific' crimes in South Sudan, Human Rights Council hears
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“It is hard to imagine peace while state actors continues to engage in gross human rights violationsCommission member Barney Afako, presenting the latest report, said human rights council in Geneva.

“A true demonstration of the government’s stated commitments to peace and human rights would involve sacking and prosecuting the officials responsible.”

Based on investigations conducted during 2022 in South Sudan and the neighboring region, the report identified widespread attacks against civilians, systematic sexual violence against women and girls, the presence of children in the fighting forces and state-sponsored extrajudicial killings,

change is possible

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Commission members told the council that South Sudan “could fall apart”, and that the 2018 revitalization peace deal, which ended a brutal civil war, remains the framework to address conflict, repression and corruption.

He added that the accord also paves a way for South Sudanese to create a permanent constitution that strengthens the rule of law and respect for human rights, thus laying the foundation for national stability.

“The challenge to advancing peace and human rights in South Sudan is enormous, and International attention and support should not be flagged,” Mr. Afako said.

missing civilian location

While long-delayed progress on a constitution and elections is planned over the next 18 months civic space is necessary to make these meaningful virtually disappeared, They said. At the same time, activists and journalists work under threat of death and detention.

“We demand that the authorities immediately end the harassment of civil society, and protect political space,” he said.

Commission member Andrew Clapham said senior government officials and military officers should be held accountable for serious crimes, “or we’ll never see an end to gross human rights violations”.

attacks on civilians

,Attacks on civilians continue Precisely because criminals are confident that they will enjoy impunity,” he said.

The report’s findings describe several situations where state actor are primary convicted of serious crimes under the laws of South Sudan as well as international law. Members of non-state armed groups have also committed violent crimes in various areas of conflict.

Established in 2016, the UN commission is tasked with addressing alleged gross violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence and ethnic violence. eliminate impotence and providing accountability.

Its three members are mandated to determine and report the facts and circumstances of rights abuses, collect and preserve evidence, and clarify responsibility for alleged violations.

systematic rape, sexual violence

“We have documented human rights violations in South Sudan for many years, and it continues appalled by the ongoing violencehorrific sexual violence, targeting of civilians, and crimes perpetrated by members of the armed forces, various militias and armed groups,” Mr Clapham said.

Recalling a recent visit, he met with members of the commission brave survivors who shared their experiences of trauma, loss and hunger.

“Faced with persistent cycles of violence and insecurity, many people told us they are hopeless and losing hope,” They said.

The report detailed specific incidents, including an operation in Lear County, where Government officials directing the militia to carry out mass killings, systematic rapeand forced displacement against civilians in territory believed to be loyal to the opposition.

Mr Clapham said although the government has announced spell check The commission has investigated committees on a number of situations, appears to have been the only body to have inquired, no report has been published, and no related criminal trial has taken place.

In the meantime, he said the commission continues to preserve evidence to enable future prosecutions and other accountability measures.

critical juncture

“The world’s youngest country stands at a crossroads,” Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the Human Rights Council on Tuesday, “but with the support of the international community, the government has an opportunity.” Choose the Path to Healing and Lasting Peace, It is important to strengthen accountability and civic space.”

He said that at present The number of victims is “staggering”, In 2022, the Human Rights Division documented 714 incidents of violence affecting 3,469 civilians. Some 1,600 were killed, 988 were injured, and 501 were abducted.

Despite calls for a ceasefire and implementation of the peace accord, struggle and struggle As a result of documented human rights violations and abuses against its people across the country.

“Generations of South Sudanese have lived a life of fear, extreme violence and chronic instability,” he said. urged the government to fulfill its obligations Under international humanitarian and human rights law, including protecting civilians from attack and ensuring accountability for violations.

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