Human Rights Council .
25 February–22 March 2019
Agenda item 4 .
Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
In the present report, submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 37/31, the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan provides an overview of the human rights situation in South Sudan and updates the Council on critical developments and incidents that occurred in 2018, on which the Commission has collected and preserved evidence.
The Commission concludes that despite the signing of the peace agreement, violations including rape and sexual violence continue to occur which may amount to international crimes, including war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Commission provides an update on the political economy and transitional justice developments and submits recommendations. The Commission has prepared a conference room paper for discussion purposes which reflects in greater detail the evidence that it has collected and its findings.
Human Rights in South Sudan for a period of one year. The Commission submitted its first report (A/HRC/34/63) on 6 March 2017.
By resolution 34/25, the Council extended the mandate of the Commission for another year and requested it to continue to monitor and report on the human rights situation in South Sudan; to make recommendations to prevent further deterioration of the situation; and to report and provide guidance on transitional justice, including reconciliation.
The Council also requested the Commission to determine and report on the facts and circumstances of, collect and preserve evidence of, and clarify responsibility for, alleged gross violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence and ethnic violence, with a view to ending impunity and providing accountability. The Council further requested it to make such information available to all transitional justice mechanisms, including those to be established pursuant to Chapter V of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS), including the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, to be established in cooperation with the African Union.
In its Resolution 37/31, the Council renewed the Commission’s mandate on 23 March 2018 for an additional year with the same mandate.
The current members of the Commission, appointed by the President of the Human Rights Council, are Yasmin Sooka, Andrew Clapham, and Barney Afako, with Ms. Sooka as its Chair.
The Commission was supported by a secretariat based in Juba. It conducted missions to Bentiu, Dablual, Goli, Kuruki, Leer, Mayendit, Panyume, Wau, and Yei within South Sudan, as well as to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Arua, Imvepi, Kampala and Kiryandongo in Uganda, Nairobi and Kakuma in Kenya, and El Daein, El Fasher, Khartoum, and Nyala in Sudan. The Commission met with a range of victims, witnesses, government officials, and members of civil society. It also organized a workshop on sexual and gender-based violence.
The Commission took 135 detailed individual witness statements and gathered over 3,100 documents, including confidential records, covering incidents in South Sudan since December 2013. It also undertook analysis of material gathered in the previous mandate. All evidence is preserved in the Commission’s confidential database and archives.
The Commission thanks the Government of South Sudan for facilitating its missions. It is also grateful for the cooperation it received from the Governments of Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda during its missions to those States. It also appreciates the assistance and contributions of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), United Nations agencies, civil society organizations, and experts.