World bodies condemn all violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in South Sudan

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“We remain ready to intensify actions including coordinated sectoral sanctions that will have an increasingly significant impact” the G8 warns factions in South Sudan and Russia last week, March, 2014.(Photo credits: AFP)

March 29, 2014(JUBA) — World bodies comprising of the United States, European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland have strongly condemned the violations and abuse of human rights, and violations of international humanitarian law that displaced more than a million South Sudanese. The international community have also condemned the ongoing violations of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by the Government of South Sudan, including restriction of movement, detentions and harassment of aid workers. The ten states further condemned the seizure of UN property and supplies by the warring parties in South Sudan.

The ten states firmly stand behind UNMISS and its operations in the country, including peacekeeping and sheltering of the internally displaced thousands of South Sudanese. UNMISS operations in South Sudan almost stalked in the last three weeks following the government-led demonstrations and restrictions imposed on the world body in the country.

The government of South Sudan has accused UNMISS of running a “parallel government” and supporting rebels, but the sharpest criticism came after the government seized weapons and alleged landmines.  UNMISS issued a statement accepting the error in transportation but denied having transported landmines but gas masks.

The United Nations, supported by the international community, is investigating the case. Many countries have shown concerns and condemn the harassment of the humanitarian personals and seizure of the supplies by both the government and anti-government forces.

The ten states have condemned the violation of Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and urge all parties to obey the agreements and the IGAD-led mediation, currently held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The report reads:

We the Ambassadors and Chargé d’Affaires ad interim of the US, United Kingdom, Norway, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and the European Union strongly reiterate our support for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and its work on behalf of the international community for the people of South Sudan. We strongly condemn the continued obstruction of UNMISS operations by Government and opposition forces and any threats to UNMISS personnel. We call on all parties to publicly denounce any actions against the mission, SRSG Johnson, and any UNMISS personnel.

We condemn the ongoing violations of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by the Government of South Sudan, including restriction of movement, harassment, and detention of personnel, and seizure of UN property and supplies. In this regard, we emphasize that all threats and attacks on United Nations personnel and facilities are unacceptable and may constitute violations of international law.

We condemn the violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law that have resulted in the loss of lives, and internal displacements as well as refugees along the borders in neighboring nations. We express concern at the dire humanitarian situation and urge all parties to expedite as a matter of urgency the free, safe and unhindered access of humanitarian organizations for the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to populations in need.

Furthermore, we urge all parties to engage constructively in the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD)-led negotiations. We are deeply concerned by ongoing violations by all parties of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and urge all parties to the conflict to immediately comply with that Agreement, and cooperate with the IGAD monitoring and verification efforts.

Related articles:

UNMISS: “There were no landmines”

UNMISS Commander Speaks Out On Seized Weapons

South Sudan: Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013

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