Open Letter to: UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan

By Tito Anthony

Excellency,

unhrcommission

August 1, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —— Centre for Peace & Justice write to draw your attention to continuing human rights violations and abuses against civilians in Equatoria and Upper Nile regions including unlawful attacks on villages killing of men and boys, rape of women and girls. We are also concerned about the continuing repression of civil and political rights, in particular the ongoing crackdown on of independent civil society activist and human rights defenders.

Centre for Peace & Justice call upon UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan should adopt a strong and action-oriented resolution on South Sudan transitional justice process, in which the commission should working with International rights bodies and  South Sudanese civil society organizations to monitor and report on ongoing human rights violations & abuses and recommend to both the South Sudanese government and armed opposition concrete ways to end them, and publicly urge the both Government of South Sudan and armed opposition not to recruit children to their forces and use them as tools to fights because recruiting children as soldiers is prohibited under international law.

Four years on, the conflicts between South Sudan and armed opposition in Upper Nile and Equatoria regions continue to have a devastating impact on civilians, which led to displacement of million internally and two million seek refuge in neighboring countries. South Sudanese government forces continue to attack villages indiscriminately and to block humanitarian aid groups from accessing affected areas.

In Upper Nile and Equatoria regions, where conflict is going on for 4years now, government forces continue to attack civilians, especially in Yei, Mundri, Parjok, Wau Shulluk, Leer, Waat [Lou Nuer Area], Nasir, Maiwut and among others locations that are hosting civil population.

Across South Sudan, national security officials and other security forces have targeted opposition party members, human rights defenders, students and political activists for arrest, detention, and other abuses. In the recent one was arrest of former governor of Wau State who was detent without access to family member visit, medical assistance and lawyer and was release by the President without being told why he was arrested.

In light of the situation in South Sudan, the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan must take stronger action in response to the widespread and grave violations of human rights and humanitarian law. We urge your office to ensure that the following are taken to consideration:

  • Office of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan to urgently dispatch monitors team from International human rights organizations and South Sudanese Civil Society organizations, with expertise in sexual and gender-based violence, to investigate crimes under international law and serious violations and abuses of human rights in Upper Nile and Equatoria regions and identify those suspected of criminal responsibility, provide recommendations for accountability, and to report to the Commission on its findings.
  • Similarly condemn attacks targeting the civilian population and civilian objects in fighting zone in particular looting, destruction of civilian facilities, killings and sexual violence committed by both sides.
  • Urge the government of South Sudan to allow unconditional access to international humanitarian agencies and NGOs to affected areas.
  • Condemn the continued restrictions on the media, human rights defenders and political opponents, freedoms of association and of peaceful assembly, and the use of arbitrary detention and torture.
  • Urgently call for the release of individuals arbitrarily detained by the NSS and urge the Government of South Sudan to repeal the National Security Act 2014, NGO Act 2016 and all other legislations which grants unlimited immunities to Government of South Sudan agents.

Best regards,

Tito Anthony,

Centre Coordinator

Centre for Peace & Justice

Can be reach via  tito.zechariahkom@gmail.com

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