Advance questions and statement to South Sudan

The second UPR of South Sudan was held on 7 November 2016. Below are the advance questions and statement provided by Norway in connection with the review. 

Advance questions: 1.Norway is gravely concerned about the many reports of atrocities and note that these may constitute war crimes and/or crimes against humanity. The culture of impunity for these crimes is one of the key challenges that would have to be addressed in an efficient way in order for South Sudan to ensure that human rights are secured in practice. What is currently being done by the Government of South Sudan to strengthen command and control within its security forces and to end impunity?

2.How is the government ensuring that allegations of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture, mass-rape and other human rights violations are independently investigated? How are perpetrators being held accountable?

3.Sexual violence continue on a disturbing scale. It has been described as a tactic of war with ethnic as well as political motivations. What is the government doing to end the use of sexual violence? What is being done to implement the joint communiqué signed by the Government and the Special Representative for the Secretary-general on Sexual Violence in Conflict in October 2014?

4.Reconciliation processes can be important in a peace process but cannot replace accountability. Continued impunity will likely trigger new rounds of violence. What concrete steps will South Sudan take to fulfil its obligation under the peace agreement to cooperate fully with the Hybrid Court?

5.We note with grave concern the deteriorating conditions for freedom of expression. What measures will the South Sudanese government take to ensure freedom of expression for its citizens, including human rights defenders, civil society and the media?   Statement:

Norway welcomes the delegation of South Sudan and commends the ratification of core conventions such as the CEDAW and the CRC. We recommend the ratification of the ICCPR and ICESCR.

Norway remains gravely concerned about the human rights situation in South Sudan. Since the outbreak of violence in 2013, serious human rights violations have taken place. This includes indiscriminate targeting of civilians, shocking levels of sexual violence and oppression of civil society, human rights defenders and the media.

We recommend that the government of South Sudan: 1.Immediately desists from violations of human rights, including attacks on civilians and unlawful killings, acts of rape and sexual violence, arbitrary detentions, abductions and looting. 2.Ends impunity for human rights violations and launch credible, transparent, and comprehensive investigations into all allegations of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including those possibly constituting international crimes. 3.Takes concrete steps to ensure freedom of expression, including for civil society and the media, and ensures that harassment, threats, unlawful detainment and intimidation of these groups by the national security services, end immediately. 4.Cooperates fully with the UN Commission on Human Rights for South Sudan and the OHCHR.