Sunday, February 22, 2015

UN Demands Accountability for Human Right Abuses in South Sudan
February 21, 2015 (JUBA) - The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki Moon has vowed to ensure perpetrators of widespread human rights abuses in the South Sudanese conflict are held accountable.

In his latest report on the conflict in South Sudan, Ki Moon gives a daunting account of the war situation, which has seen thousands of people killed and nearly two million displaced in over a year.

“Despite their repeated pledges to end the fighting, the two parties continued sporadic military engagements in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States,” he said in his report issued on Thursday.

Although the warring sides have signed many peace agreement, none has held.

Since April last year, the two warring parties have violated the Cessations of Hostilities Agreement 26 times, Ki Moon observed in his report.

“Ten of the violations were attributed to SPLA and 12 to SPLM/A in Opposition, while four were attributed to both parties,” he added.

The UN chief said his office will explore "options for the establishment of criminal accountability and transitional justice processes to address the gravity and scope of the serious human rights atrocities committed in the country since the beginning of the crisis."

He urged the African Union’s Security Council to "urgently" consider releasing its report on crimes committed during the South Sudan conflict. The AU said it postponed the release of the report for fear it will affect efforts to achieve a peaceful end to the war.

Several activists and human right entities criticised the AU’s delay to unveil the report of a body commissioned to probe crimes committed during the South Sudan conflict.

The UN chief, in his 18-page report, urged South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar to make the compromises necessary to end the fighting peacefully, saying they "can no longer hold the fate of the country hostage to their personal ambitions."

He appealed to the international community to work towards ensuring peace returns to South Sudan saying, "There are consequences for those who continue to undermine the peace effort."


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