34th session of the Human Rights Council

CIVICUS is deeply alarmed by the report of the Commission on South Sudan about continued mass atrocities, violence, killings and crimes against humanity at a time when the country is plagued by the worst famine. South Sudan is on the verge of an ethnic war that can destabilise the entire region.  In fact, there is a real risk of genocide. 

The continued violence means that the security and the humanitarian environment has reached catastrophic levels. Atrocities currently committed by the South Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army and armed groups have forced more than 1.5 million refugees to flee to neighbouring countries.

The people of South Sudan are subjected to sexual violence, abductions, gang rape and other forms of gender-based violence.  The army and opposition groups carry vicious destruction of home, villages, target civilian healthcare facilities and places of worship, obstruct convoys transporting humanitarian assistance, and target civilians seeking refuge in camps.  

We are further concerned about violent attacks on journalists, representatives of the media outlets, human rights defenders and civil society organisations.

We are worried about the recruitment and use of children, attacks on schools and peacekeeping personnel by all parties, and the blocking of humanitarian access.

Mr. President, we call on the Council to renew the mandate of the Commission but with investigative powers, and we support the establishment of transitional justice institutions.

We call on the government to immediately cease all hostilities, conclude a permanent ceasefire and take steps to protect the rights of South Sudanese people. 

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