UN Sets Commission on South Sudan Human Rights Situation

The United Nations Human Rights Council said it has established a Commission to look into the Human Rights situation in South Sudan.

“In a resolution on the situation of human rights in South Sudan, adopted without a vote, the Council decided to establish a Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, composed of three members for a period of one year, with the mandate to, inter alia, monitor and report on the situation of human rights in South Sudan,” the council noted.

The three member commission will be required to make recommendations for the improvement of the situation, in a comprehensive report expected in an interactive dialogue with Council at its thirty-fourth session.

A recent report by the United Nations described “in searing detail” a multitude of horrendous human rights violations, including a government-operated “scorched earth policy,” and deliberate targeting of civilians for killing, rape among others.

The report pinned government troops in the war torn country for masterminding mass rape between April to September 2015 in the oil-rich Unity state. Over 1,300 reports of rape were recorded.

See: UN Report: Over 1,300 Women raped by South Sudan Soldiers, 60 Civilians suffocated in a container

Although warring parties signed a peace deal in August 2015, conflict and abuses against civilians have continued and spread.

On February 17, 2016, government forces attacked civilians living in a UN camp in Malakal. At least 25 people were killed, more than 100 were injured, and much of the camp was destroyed.

In regions such as Western Equatoria, previously unaffected by the fighting, government soldiers have fought rebels, attacked civilians, burned homes, displaced communities, and targeted people for arbitrary detention and other abuses.