Statement on the human rights situation South Sudan

Interactive dialogue on the report of Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan. Statement, 13 March 2018.

As delivered by Ambassador Hans Brattskar

Norway is deeply concerned by the widespread human rights violations and abuses in South Sudan and the targeted crimes against women and children shown in the last report from the Commission on Human Rights.

We condemn such crimes and violations in the strongest possible terms. According to the report, several parties to the conflict have committed atrocities. However, the primary responsibility to protect its population lies with the Government.

We take note of the Government’s statements directing the government army, the SPLA, to respect international law and end abuses.

Perpetrators of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses, including any that amount to crimes against humanity or war crimes, must be held accountable. We encourage the African Union to establish as soon as possible the Hybrid Court described in Chapter V of the Peace Agreement. We would also encourage South Sudan to press charges through the civil court system and not through the military court alone. 

Like the AU, the UN and our Troika partners, Norway strongly supports the IGAD-led process to revitalize the 2015 Peace Agreement. The Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed 21 December last year was an important first step towards peace in South Sudan. Norway is deeply concerned by recurrent reports on breaches of the agreement. We urge all parties to continue to engage in the IGAD process and make compromises to the benefit of the people in South Sudan. 

Norway urges the speedy formation of an inclusive transitional government and ensure implementation of a revitalized Peace Agreement, especially regarding transitional justice, accountability, reconciliation, healing and reforms to the security sector.

Norway calls on the Human Rights Council to extend the mandate of the Commission.