March 13th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – At least twenty-three South Sudan prominent individuals could face the International Criminal Court (ICC) for war crimes and crimes against humanity according to United Nations human rights experts.
The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan has identified 23 individuals over the past year who bear command or superior responsibility under international criminal law for serious crimes related to the conflict in South Sudan.
Members of the Commission, mandated by the Human Rights Council to investigate human rights in South Sudan, told the Council on Tuesday morning that these individuals, along with previously identified alleged perpetrators, could face justice in courts around the world, not just in South Sudan.
“We have framed these crimes in multiple ways to allow future prosecutions to take place in jurisdictions inside and outside South Sudan,” Chair of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, Yasmin Sooka, told the Human Rights Council on Tuesday.
She said it would be an obligation for all the countries which are signatories to various treaties regarding human rights to enforce such prosecution.
“This allows for the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity in states that are parties to relevant treaties on torture, enforced disappearance and attacks on UN personnel,” she said.
In the report, the Commission focused on incidents occurring between May and June 2018 in Unity State, Western Bahr el Ghazal, and Central Equatoria State, concluding that such incidents may amount to serious violations of human rights and of humanitarian law.
Late last year, a South Sudan government militia group was accused by aid workers of carrying out attacks against civilians in different part of Unity State. Government soldiers also assaulted members of the CTSAMM near Juba last year as well.
The Commission further reiterated its continued concern about the lack of progress in establishing the Transitional Justice mechanisms that were adopted in the 2015 Peace Agreement and re-confirmed in the Revitalized Agreement of September 2018.
“These mechanisms are essential for dealing with the past, preventing fresh violations, ensuring accountability and constructing a cohesive society,” said Commission member Barney Afako.