Item 4: Enhanced interactive dialogue with the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan
JST on behalf of the Troika for South Sudan
23 September 2021
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I am delivering this statement on behalf of the Troika – Norway, the UK and US.
As longstanding friends of the people of South Sudan, we have welcomed the Government’s repeated commitment to addressing human rights challenges, and we remain committed to supporting a better future for all South Sudanese. We also welcome the opening of Parliament, a critical institution for debate and accountability.
However, we are deeply concerned at unjustified restrictions on freedoms of expression and assembly imposed by the Government. Threats of violence and intimidation by the Government, including threats of use of live ammunition against peaceful protesters, are unacceptable. Civil society actors have been arbitrarily detained and charged with capital offences. These, Madam President, are not the actions of a government listening to the voices of those it serves.
We urge the government to demonstrate it will listen to its citizens and to promote much-needed public discussion about the country’s future, including by engaging in a credible constitution drafting process.
We also urge it to ensure this debate takes place without fear of violence or arbitrary detention. It must uphold the protection and promotion of freedoms of expression and association guaranteed in the Transitional Constitution. And we stand ready to support it in this effort.