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Scrutiny by UN Rights Body on South Sudan Remains Critical

Item 4 Enhanced Interactive Dialogue with the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan

Delegates sit at the opening of the 41th session of the Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, June 24, 2019. © 2019 Magali Girardin/Keystone via AP

Thank you, Madam President. 

South Sudanese continue to live in a context of widespread impunity and insecurity, which threatens the enjoyment of their most fundamental rights, and highlights the ongoing need for Human Rights Council scrutiny.

We welcome the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan’s recent findings exposing widespread corruption and embezzlement of public funds by government officials, which deprives the South Sudanese people of critical funding, and undermines the government’s ability to meet the needs of the millions who are currently food insecure and to protect the rights to health and education.

Impunity for serious crimes under international law is the norm. We remain seriously concerned that South Sudan’s authorities are not prepared to live up to their commitments under the revitalized accord to ensure perpetrators are held to criminal account fairly. The Government and the African Union Commission have yet to finalize the establishment of the hybrid court.

Widespread rights violations persist.

Repression of domestic dissent is on the rise. Since July, following calls for peaceful protests by a civic action coalition, the authorities detained political activists, shut down a thinktank linked to the coalition, harassed the press and threatened to use live ammunition against protestors.

Security forces in Warrap state under the orders of the state governor summarily executed at least eight suspected criminals, including two children, as part of an anti-crime campaign. The UN peacekeeping mission documented similar patterns of arbitrary arrests and extrajudicial executions in both Warrap and Lakes states.

Against this backdrop, robust international monitoring and reporting by the Commission, along with concerted efforts to ensure their recommendations are implemented, remain critical.

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