South Sudan: Widespread rights violations persist

Statement at the 48th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Interactive Dialogue with the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan

Delivered by Paul Mulindwa

CIVICUS and its partners in South Sudan thank the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan for their update and this crucial continued scrutiny.

We welcome steps taken to implement recommendations of the Revitalized Peace Agreement. However, its implementation continues to be slow.

Despite renewed commitment towards the formation of the Government of National Unity, there is no improvement in the human rights situation. Dire humanitarian, food security, and economic conditions in the country continue to have an enormously detrimental effect on civilians. Localised violence continues unabated in many parts of the country. We are gravely concerned by reports of extrajudicial executions carried out by government forces in Warrap State in July of at least 42 people. Thirteen people were arbitrarily executed in June at the instruction of state officials in Cueibet and Rumbek East.

Civic space is closed, with independent and critical voices, including human rights defenders particularly targeted. The Commission has highlighted the troubling practice of surveillance of journalists and activists to instil fear. We continue to see restrictions on freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association; arbitrary arrest and detention; and sexual violence. The current arrests of activists and crackdown on peaceful protests in South Sudan is particularly concerning.

We call on the South Sudan government to take concrete steps to ensure human security and protection of human rights.

We ask the Commission what are the next steps that the Council and members states do to further accountability, as well as to enhance protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms?

We thank you. 

Civic space in South Sudan is rated as closed by the CIVICUS Monitor