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Government told to end culture of impunity

Mustafa Samoure, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General

By Jale Richard

The government needs to stop the culture of impunity and have justice for the victims of human rights abuses and violations during the conflict in South Sudan, says a top UN Official in South Sudan.

“South Sudanese leaders should take a strong public stand against human rights violations and let the supporters know that impunity will never be tolerated,” Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General in South Sudan Mustafa Samoure said. “The victims of human rights violations and abuse deserve redress and justice.”

Samoure, made the remarks in Juba yesterday at the celebration of the International Human Rights Day under the theme: “stand up for someone’s rights.”

He applauded the steps taken by the government to punish perpetrators of human rights abuses, but said there is still need for more work to ensure that there is redress and justice for the victims of human rights abuses and violations.

“Call for accountability and justice need to be heeded and peace process and national healing and reconciliation have to be sustainable,” he said.

Samoure said in order to ensure sustainability and durability of national reconciliation and healing, there is need for accountability for the violations and abuses of human rights in the country.

The culture of violence should be broken to ensure future sustainability of the peace and reconciliation process, he added.

“If the cycle of violence and impunity is not broken, any peace and reconciliation process will not yield sustainable result, making future actions a dream. The people of South Sudan deserve assurance than the one which condemns them through repeating the horror of the past,” Samoure said.

“Respect for human rights is not only a legal and moral obligation of the governments all over the world, but also the close legitimacy on the leaders who deserve our respect.”

He raised concerns about growing hate speech and intolerance amongst South Sudanese, something he said, is threatening the unity of the people of South Sudan.

“The struggle against marginalization and exclusion from meaningful participation in the national life laid a ground for unity and struggle for independence, now there is deep division threatening the power towards unity of this nation. There is need for all South Sudanese to work together for inclusion for peace, justice and reconciliation,” he said.

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