Human Rights Council
22 February–19 March 2021
Agenda item 4
Human rights situations that require the Council’s attention
In the present report, submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 43/27, the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan provides an overview of the situation of human rights in South Sudan and updates the Council on critical developments and incidents on which the Commission has collected and preserved evidence.
In its resolution 31/20, the Human Rights Council established the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan for a period of one year. The Commission submitted its first report to the Council at its thirty-fourth session (A/HRC/34/63).
In its resolution 34/25, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Commission for another year, and requested it to continue to monitor and report on the situation of human rights 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 Human Rights Council also requested the Commission to determine and report the facts and circumstances of, to collect and preserve evidence of, and to 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 the Commission 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, including the hybrid court for South Sudan, to be established in cooperation with the African Union.
In its resolution 37/31, the Human Rights Council extended the mandate of the Commission for an additional year, and again in its resolutions 40/19 and 43/27. The current members of the Commission, appointed by the President of the Council, are Yasmin Sooka (Chair), Andrew Clapham and Barney Afako.
The Commission was supported by a secretariat based in Juba. It conducted missions to several locations within South Sudan, including Bor (Jonglei), Pibor (the Greater Pibor Administrative Area), Akop, Awul, Kuajok and Warrap town (Warrap), and Juba, Lasu, Lainya and Yei (Central Equatoria). It also conducted missions in Europe (undisclosed locations). The Commission met with a range of victims, witnesses, government officials, members of civil society and other key stakeholders.
During the current mandate, the Commission took more than 100 detailed individual witness statements and gathered more than 100 documents, including confidential records, covering incidents in South Sudan since December 2013. All of the evidence collected is preserved in the Commission’s confidential database and archives.
The Commission extends its gratitude to the Government of South Sudan for facilitating its missions. It also appreciates the assistance and contributions of the African Union, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), United Nations agencies, civil society organizations and experts.