July 21, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— From outset, Your Excellencies in your respective capacities, we urge you to act and act now, do not listen to any one who opposes this saving action to be done by a third deterrent force and good effects of arms embargo on South Sudan. Your determined and courageous action is needed more than ever before for the suffering South Sudanese people and we hope your decision prevails too soon.
- Immediate deployment of the third deterrent force
We the undersigned South Sudanese human rights and civil society organisations under the secretariat of South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy(SSHURSA) welcome the quick decision taken by the African Union, IGAD and the region to deploy in South Sudan a third deterrent force to be under the United Nations Mission In South Sudan(UNMISS). Truly, this force will help calm the raging violence in the country. This is the right decision entirely in the interest of the suffering South Sudanese people.
We congratulate the AU and the IGAD countries for the decision to deploy in South Sudan such a third force. We greatly thank you; the EU, United Nations, Troika Countries and the rest of the members of the international community in supporting the deployment of this regional force. Your continued support and desire to see a peaceful, democratic and reconciled South Sudan give a glimpse of hope to the voiceless and suffering South Sudanese communities in Juba and countrywide. Our people yearn for peace but our leaders have failed them and the recent violence in Juba, clearly communicates a message of a failed leadership and determination to destroy the Peace Agreement which the parties signed.
Our great gratitude goes to the countries; Kenya, Ethiopia, the Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda for accepting to contribute such a force to be deployed in South Sudan. Your action is timely needed.
Your Excellencies, we add our voice to the ongoing measures your good offices are taking. We thus, with urgency, bring to your kind attention the following recommendations which we request your good offices to continue giving uncut support so that South Sudan is quickly saved from another civil war which will lead to its disintegration.
RECOMMENDATIONS(WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN):
- moving from paper to action hence timely deployment of the third deterrent force in Juba. The force must be well equipped, large in size and competent, capable of defending itself, institutions of the Transitional Government of National Unity(TGoNU), civilians and their property in Juba and in other parts of South Sudan and in UNMISS protection of civilian sites.
- deployment of the same third deterrent force after Juba, in other major towns of Malakal, Bor, Bentiu, Wau, Maridi, Yambio, Mundri and Torit to protect civilians and offer same protection to the public and private institutions and property. These places have been too, marred by violence.
- timely and continued full support and funding of this third deterrent force so as to make it capable of executing its protection mandate, efficiently and effectively.
- Timely approval to impose arms embargo on South Sudan:
Your Excellencies, additionally, we kindly request your immediate action and support for the arms embargo to be imposed on South Sudan. With the deployment of a third deterrent force and arms embargo in place, your support shall have reduced or neutralise the belligerent elements of South Sudan; be they the forces of the armed Opposition or those under President Salva Kiir. This will reduce violence because the source(arms) that partly encourages violence shall have been curtailed. We urge you, your Excellencies to engage with any country which is opposed to this initiative. They are not the ones suffering but South Sudanese are and therefore, no one should listen to anyone opposing a justified cause for South Sudanese people.
Why we make this appeal to your offices:
Your Excellencies; South Sudan has reached a climax and at the apex of its collapse. The question is not longer whether there should be peace in South Sudan but rather whether South Sudan holds together as a country. With that in mind, Your Excellencies, we are very much convinced that it is only the regional and international intervention that will ensure the smooth implementation of the August 2015 Peace Agreement. It is the common concern of putting measures in place to ensure the implementation of the Agreement that will preserve dignity and rekindle hope in the face of our suffering people. Nothing else but your action will help save South Sudan from disintegration and now is the right time act.
No more trust between principals:
There is no doubt, after the recent violence in Juba, trust in terms of security between the two principals (Salva Kiir and Riek Machar) has died off. Without a third force, these two leaders will never ever come and work together again in Juba. This will give a room to warlike military generals and some politicians whose dislike for the Peace Agreement caused the recent well planned and executed violence in Juba.
It is important for your offices to act because as far as we know, there are military generals and tribal think tanks in South Sudan who have not been happy with the peace Agreement signed by their leaders. They detest the accountability provisions enshrined under Chapter V of the Peace Agreement, specifically; the provision of setting up a Hybrid Court for South Sudan to stamp off impunity.
Your Excellencies, it should be more emphasised to your good offices that; South Sudan is in total anarchy; the forces of destruction are well prepared to execute their scheme of destroying South Sudan.
They will oppose the deployment of the third deterrent force because this will neutralise them and prevent them from carrying out their heinous acts on South Sudanese people. We urge you not to give in and strongly go forward to save South Sudanese because signs are clear that another looming civil war is at hand unless your offices act courageously and forcefully, quickly to rescue the situation of our people.
The armed force under President Salva Kiir is neither an army of national character nor the armed force under the First Vice-President Riek Machar is anything near that name.
The armed forces in South Sudan instead of protecting civilians; but rather reduced themselves to committing outrageous acts such as:
- raping and dehumanisation of women and girls(various reports and field interviews indicate).
- Targeting civilians on the basis of their ethnicity as outlined in various human rights reports.
- killing, arbitrarily arresting and detaining journalists and any person with critical voice against the unlawful behaviour of the security and military apparatus(Refer to recent murder in Juba of Internews Journalist John Gatluak Manguet Nhial and continued detention of Juba Monitor Editor Alfred Taban)
- Pillaging, looting and destroying public and civilian property. The recent violence in Juba again clearly brought to light such continued behaviour of the army as public and civilian property became a target. The property and items of UN agencies were looted in Juba city.
- Attacking of UN personnel, its premises and civilians under the UNMISS protection(since 2014 to the recent violence in Juba, UNMISS premises attacked, see attached Civil Society and human rights organisations’ report: ‘we have dignity, we are humans; we need help’).
Why this appeal is important:
The third deterrent force will act as buffer zone between the belligerent forces and prevent violence against civilians, civilian property, UNMISS premises and other humanitarian agencies being harassed countrywide by the elements of the army, military intelligence and security apparatus.
The third deterrent force will also help prevent the violations of human rights and international humanitarian law as it will contain the indiscipline elements of the army and armed opposition.
Your action of imposing arms embargo will lead to peaceful South Sudan as the strength of perpetuating violence through false belief in using heavy arms to gain victory will be reduced.
Finally, we again urge your offices to act timely to save South Sudan. Any delay in efforts to save South Sudan, is an opportunity for evil forces to triumph. Never listen to innocent civilians who are mobilised to participate in politically-motivated demonstrations against the deployment of the third deterrent force and arms embargo on South Sudan. Those who demonstrate have been brainwashed to the point of participating in matters that contribute to their own sufferings. The people, should instead, demonstrate against the continued violence, insecurity, abuses of their rights and lack of basic necessities of life such as food, clean water, shelter, medical and healthcare facilities in South Sudan.
Thanks Your Excellencies and South Sudanese people are looking forward to relying on your quick remedial and rescue action. We hope your offices remain seized of this matter to its implementation.
- South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy(SSHURSA).
- Goodhearted Orphaned and Disabled Organisation(GODO).
- Institute for Rights of Women(IRW).
- Centre for Peace and Reconciliation(CPR).
- Young-Adult Empowerment Initiative (YEI).
For follow up and more inquiries on this appeal, you may contact us through our representative.
Parties to the Peace Agreement—SPLM/A-IO and SPLM-IG, FD/SPLM leaders and other political parties;
President Jekaya Kiwete; Chair, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, Tanzania’s ruling party;
Foreign Embassies in the Republic of South Sudan;
Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament;
Uganda’s Parliamentary Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Human Rights;
Chair, Kenya National Human Rights Commission;
Acting Chair, South Sudan Human Rights Commission;
Chair, Uganda Human Rights Commission;
Director, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, South Africa;
Professor PLO Lumumba;
Donald Deya; Chair of Pan African Lawyers’ Union(PALU);
- Muthoni Wanyeki; Africa’s Amnesty International Regional Director;
Gilbert Onyango; Africa’s Regional Representative, Universal Periodic Review;
Human Rights Watch’s Africa Regional Director;
East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project;
Lawrence Mute; African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, South Sudan Focal Point;
Dr. Willy Mutunga; former Kenya’s Chief Justice;
Chaloka Beyani; Human Rights Council’s in–charge of internally displaced persons;
Kenyan human rights and Civil Society groups;
Uganda Law Society and Uganda Civil Society groups: HURI-Net Uganda, Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment(ACODE), Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa, African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, Refugee Law Project, Human Rights Network for Journalists Uganda and others.
We kindly urge persons and institutions copied and those not copied in this letter to push for this call in any strength they can. Your voice counts a lot to save South Sudan. The common cause to protect human dignity unites us. Join and support us in speaking out for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Biel Boutros Biel; LLM(UP), LLB(Hons(BU), Dip.Law(LDC), Dip. Journalism(IIBMS). Executive Director, South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy(SSHURSA) and former co-chair of the National Human Rights Forum with the Chair of South Sudan Human Rights Commission. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Cell: +211955912237(SS), +256772369971(Ug), +256712268 536(Ke).