UN Investigators Propose Hybrid Court for South Sudan

3/19/2019

In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan has called on the African Union to quickly establish a court for South Sudan to prosecute perpetrators of heinous crimes and bring justice to victims of sexual violence, torture, and other human rights violations. The Commission has compiled a list of 23 individuals it says are responsible for serious crimes under international law, which will be handed over to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for future prosecutions.

The report, which is based on a fact-finding mission to South Sudan, details multiple incidents of rapes and gang rapes at the hands of both government and opposition forces. It documents countless incidents of sexual slavery, abductions, forced marriage and pregnancy, mutilation of sexual organs, and killings. Commission Chair Yasmin Sooka says 25 percent of all reported cases of conflict-related sexual violence involve children, some as young as 7.

According to the report, arbitrary detention, torture, and enforced disappearances have also increased. It found that people are held in prison under horrific conditions where they are tortured and treated in the cruelest, most inhumane manner. Many have died after subsisting on starvation diets.

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