An official website of the United States government

Ambassador Harper: The human rights situation in S. Sudan is one of the gravest situations we face at the HRC
March 23, 2016

ID on the High Commissioner’s Report on South Sudan

Statement by the United States of America, as delivered by Keith Harper, US Ambassador to the HRC

31st Session of the Human Rights Council
March 23, 2016

The United States is gravely concerned about the human rights situation in South Sudan.  Since fighting began in December 2013, many serious human rights violations and abuses have been committed.  Numerous reports, including the UNMISS report on December 4, 2015 and most recently in the High Commissioner’s report that was released on March 11, have brought this to light.

The United States is deeply alarmed at the trend of wholesale destruction of villages, indiscriminate targeting of civilians and healthcare facilities, extraordinary levels of sexual and gender-based violence, the attack on the UNMISS Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, continued obstruction and extortion of humanitarian assistance convoys, and the wholesale looting and destruction of humanitarian compounds.  The human rights situation in South Sudan is one of the gravest situations we face at the Human Rights Council.

The United States welcomes the March 11 report of OHCHR.  We urge all parties in South Sudan to protect civilians, allow safe and prompt humanitarian access, and provide access to all relevant special procedures mechanisms.

To this end, we have cosponsored a resolution to create a commission to monitor and report on the human rights situation in South Sudan.  It also would provide the transitional government with guidance on transitional justice, including accountability and reconciliation.

Question:  What can Member States and other stakeholders do to fulfill the OHCHR recommendation on providing more support to civil society, and how best to support the AU’s efforts in establishing the hybrid court?