Incomplete tasks on peace deal impact negatively

Ms. Yasmin Sooka, Chairperson of Commission on Human Rights

By Lodu William Odiya

The United Nations Human Right Commission on South Sudan yesterday revealed that the outstanding issues in the peace agreement continued to negatively impact on Human Right situation in the country.

Addressing a news conference at UNMISS headquarters in Thongpiny South Sudan Human Rights Commission chair, Yasmin Sooka said that lack of progress in implementing key provisions of the Revitalized Peace Agreement had continued to worsen the situation of Human Rights.

Ms Yasmin who spoke at the end of her visit to South Sudan, noted that lack of unification, graduation and deployment of armed forces as well as the deadlock over the command structures, contributed to the persistent insecurity and impunity in which human rights violations occured.

She stated that violence characterized by displacement and gross human rights violations including sexual violence at the subnational level remained pervasive.

“Yei is a case in point, where soldiers waiting to be part of a unified national force are poorly resourced forcing them to then prey on the local population,” said Sooka.

Sooka called on the regional partners and guarantors of the 2018 peace agreement to pay heightened attention to the situation in the country and push the parties to the pact to accomplish the remaining tasks so that peace was realized.

“It is also important to look beyond the electoral moment and ask what political system people would be voting for, particularly given the delay to develop a constitution on which elections would be based,” said Barney Afako, member of the commission on South Sudan.

The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan is an independent body mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate the situation in the country, and to determine and report the facts and circumstances of human rights violations and abuses, including by clarifying responsibility for violations and abuses that are crimes under national and or international law to assist in addressing impunity.

The Commission is also mandated to collect and preserve evidence, and to make this available to transitional justice mechanisms, including the hybrid court for South Sudan that is to be established under Chapter 5 of the Revitalized Peace Agreement of 2018.

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