South Sudan

South Sudan: Renewal of UN arms embargo positive step to help curb conflict-related sexual violence

26 May 2022

Following the United Nations Security Council’s decision to renew the arms embargo on South Sudan for another year, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena said:

“The renewal of the arms embargo is a step in the right direction and it is crucial to curtailing the flow of weapons that have been used to commit or facilitate war crimes, human rights violations and abuses including conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). South Sudan and all other UN members states, particularly neighbouring states, should diligently enforce it.

“We also welcome the preservation of the integrity of the benchmarks adopted by resolution 2577 in May 2021, and particularly the maintaining of the implementation of the Action Plan for the armed forces on addressing CRSV in South Sudan as a benchmark against which any future amendment of the arms embargo will be reviewed. We call on the Government of South Sudan to expedite implementation of the action plan.

“Given the high prevalence of CRSV in the country and endemic impunity with which it is met, we particularly welcome that the Council reiterated its call on the government to establish the Hybrid Court for South Sudan. Special emphasis should be put on protection of victims, witnesses and judicial actors and criminal accountability, including transitioning from using military courts to civilian courts to prosecute crimes committed against civilians.”

Background

On 18 May, Amnesty International published a report“If you don’t cooperate, we’ll gun you down”: conflict-related sexual violence and impunity in South Sudan revealing how CRSV is ongoing in the country, and how guns can be used to facilitate sexual violence. It also exposes how two sections of an action plan that was drafted to address CRSV in the country, adopted by the government in January 2021, are yet to be fully implemented.

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