UN Urges All Parties in South Sudan to Respect Peace Agreement in Light of Potential War Crimes

2/22/2019

The UN’s Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan has urged all parties in the country to cease conflict immediately in light of potential war crimes and honor the Revitalized Peace Agreement, signed in September. The commission found that the country’s violence has “markedly worsened” since December 2017. It was particularly concerned by reports of sexual violence, 25 percent of which involve child victims.

“Rapes, gang rapes, sexual mutilation, abductions and sexual slavery, as well as killings, have become commonplace in South Sudan,” said committee chairperson Yasmin Sooka. “There is no doubt that these crimes are persistent because impunity is so entrenched that every kind of norm is broken.”

In addition to sexual violence, the reports also found arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, and the recruitment of child soldiers, although the number of child soldiers has been declining. The commission recommends the region invest in transitional justice courts and ensure that women and other marginalized communities are represented in the transitional justice process.

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