Norway is appalled by the widespread human rights violations and abuses in South Sudan. The High Commissioner’s report (dated 6 March 2017) makes it clear that there has been no improvement in the human rights situation since the council last met on the situation. Instead, human rights violations continue on a shocking scale and 100 000 South Sudanese now face famine conditions in what has become a humanitarian disaster.
We are especially concerned about the deliberate targeting of civilian populations on the basis of their ethnic identity by means of killings, abductions, rape and sexual violence, and the burning of villages and looting.
We condemn these crimes and violations in the strongest possible terms and note with deep disappointment that the Government so far is showing a lack of responsibility for the fate of their own people and unwillingness to resolve the conflict in their country. While all parties in the conflict have committed atrocities, 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. However, we also note that these promises have yet to result in change on the ground.
Norway strongly supports the work of OHCHR to address the South Sudan government’s responsibility for an expanding trend of egregious human rights violations and continuous impunity.
Norway urges the speedy return to an inclusive political process and the full implementation of the 2015 peace agreement, including its provisions on transitional justice, accountability, reconciliation, healing and reforms to the security sector.
Perpetrators of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses, including any that amount to crimes against humanity must be held accountable. In this context, we would encourage the African Union to establish as soon as possible the Hybrid Court described in Chapter V of the Peace Agreement.
Norway calls on the Human Rights Council to extend the mandate of the Commission and to provide the Commission with a mandate to investigate the many human rights violations.
It is vital that the Special Rapporteur engages with other international and regional mechanisms, including the UN, UNMISS, AU, African Commission for Human and Peoples Rights, and civil society, with a view to providing support to national, regional, and international efforts towards verifying, preventing and prosecuting human right violations and abuses.
Providing an extension, how should the commission structure its work to provide a future hybrid court with good and credible documentation to build on?