from RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – THE United Nations Security Council’s decision to renew the arms embargo on South Sudan for another year is hailed as a positive step to curb conflict-related sexual violence.
Amnesty International welcomed the sanction, noting it curtails the flow of weapons that have been used to commit or facilitate war crimes, human rights violations and abuses including conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV).
“South Sudan and all other UN members states, particularly neighbouring states, should diligently enforce it,” Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena, said.
Amnesty also welcomed the preservation of the integrity of the benchmarks adopted by resolution 2577 in May 2021, particularly the maintaining of the implementation of the Action Plan for the armed forces on addressing CRSV in South Sudan.
This is hailed as a benchmark against which any future amendment of the arms embargo will be reviewed.
“We call on the Government of South Sudan to expedite implementation of the action plan,” Muchena said.
Given the high prevalence of CRSV in the country and endemic impunity, Amnesty welcomed that the Council reiterated its call on the government to establish the Hybrid Court for South Sudan.
Muchena said special emphasis should be put on protection of victims, witnesses and judicial actors.
Conflict has battered South Sudan, the world’s newest country, since independence in 2011.
Earlier in May, the UN mission is South Sudan (UNMISS) revealed cases of conflict-related sexual violence more than doubled over the past year despite an overall decrease in violence against civilians.
From January to March 2022, UNMISS documented 63 cases. This is up from 28 compared to the same time last year.
– CAJ News