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UN renews mandate of Commission on Human Rights in S. Sudan

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Thursday, March 25, 2021

Members of the Human Rights Council sitting through a session. Photo: UN HRC

The United Nation Security Council has renewed the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan.

The UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday renewed the mandate of the Commission for another year.

The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan was established in 2016 by the Human Rights Council.

It is authorized to collect and preserve evidence of human rights violation and related crimes in the country.

The Commission is also tasked with providing technical assistance to the Government of South Sudan to establish a holistic transitional justice programme.

This includes the establishment of the hybrid court for South Sudan.

The commission has so far compiled dossiers on 111 individuals allegedly implicated in violations.

In one of its report, the commission underlined the importance of ending the circle of retaliatory violence in South Sudan by holding those responsible to account and promoting peace-building between individual communities.

It demanded that those responsible should be prosecuted and that victims and their families have access to justice, truth and reparations.

The renewal of the commission’s mandate has so far been welcomed by Amnesty International.

According to the organization’s Director for East and Southern Africa, the Security Council’s decision is vital in addressing the near-total impunity in South Sudan.

Deprose Muchena said it must now take urgent measures to halt past and ongoing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and abuses in the country.

Since 2016, the resolution to renew the Human Rights Commission has been adopted by consensus.

South Sudan is one of the few states in the world to cooperate with the mechanism set up to address its human rights situation.

This year, however, South Sudan engaged to reject the renewal of the mechanism.

It said the resolution was adopted by a vote of 20 in favour, 16 against, and 11 abstentions.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has welcomed the United Nations Human Rights Council’s decision to renew the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan.

Amnesty International, in a statement, described the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan as a “vital mechanism in the context of grave past and ongoing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and near-total impunity in the country”

“The Commission plays an invaluable role documenting serious breaches of human rights and international humanitarian law. It contributes to combatting impunity by collecting and preserving evidence for future prosecutions and clarifying alleged responsibilities for crimes under international law and other human rights violations,” Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena said on Wednesday.

He further urged South Sudan to take urgent measures to halt ongoing human rights violations and abuses and continue its cooperation with the Commission as it continues its important work.

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