Human Rights Council: 36th Session
Oral Intervention at Interactive Dialogue with the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and CIVICUS, on behalf of 20 African civil society organisations, thank the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan for their worrying update.

Mr. President, we welcome this opportunity to raise concerns about the devastating situation in South Sudan with national and regional interlocutors. While we welcome some of the steps made towards establishing the Hybrid Court on South Sudan, we urge all regional and international actors to work together to ensure that justice is secured for the victims of grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law in South Sudan.

Today, civilians, journalists and humanitarian workers continue to be deliberately and targeted through horrific and violent attacks by both state and non-state actors. International civil society groups have documented ethnically charged sexual violence of unimaginable brutality on a massive scale, which shows no signs of abating.

Today, many South Sudanese civil society organisations and media workers are forced to work from exile, making the documentation and reporting of violations in the country particularly challenging. Given the situation, the Commission’s mandate to collect evidence, document violations and advise on accountability mechanisms is of the utmost importance and should be given full support by members of this Council.

Under the new High Level Revitalisation Forum, it is critical for the Government of South Sudan to take significant steps to show its commitment to the implementation of the Peace Agreement, including Chapter V, and to cooperate in a meaningful way with the African Union for the speedy establishment of the Court.

We urge Member States of the Council to support the Commission’s work and to urge the Government of South Sudan to respect its responsibility to protect its citizens and to put an end to the senseless violence the country has been experiencing for the past four years.

  1. African Center for Democracy and Human Rights Studies, The Gambia
  2. Assistance Mission for Africa, South Sudan
  3. Association for human rights in Ethiopia
  4. Central Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (REDHAC), Cameroon
  5. Center for Peace and Justice, South Sudan
  6. CIVICUS, South Africa
  7. Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation, South Sudan
  8. Concertation Nationale de la Société Civile du Togo, Togo
  9. DefendDefenders (the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project), Uganda
  10. Eritrean Movement for Democracy and Human Rights (EMDHR), Eritrea
  11. EVE Organisation, South Sudan
  12. Human Rights Concern - Eritrea (HRCE) 
  13. International Youth for Africa, South Sudan
  14. La Nouvelle Société Civile Congolaise, DRC
  15. Mauritius Council of Social Services, Mauritius
  16. ONG Ezaka ho Fampandrosoana any Ambanivohitra (ONG EFA), Madagascar
  17. Réseau Ouest Africain des Défenseurs des Droits Humains/ West Africa Human Rights Defenders Network,
  18. South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network, South Sudan
  19. Women Monthly Forum
  20. Zambia Council for Social Development, Zambia
  21. Pan Africa Human Rights Defenders Network

 

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