August 6, 2016(Nyamilepedia) ——– The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy(SSHURSA) welcomes the decision taken by the leaders of Intergovernmental Authority on Development(IGAD) to deploy a regional third force in South Sudan. The decision was taken on 5 August 2016 by IGAD leaders in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
SSHURSA welcomes the IGAD decision as a step forward to restore stability in South Sudan. The regional force should be well equipped as an intervention force to ensure that the August 2015 Peace Agreement which the warring parties signed is fully implemented. The force should be fully mandated to protect civilians and installations in Juba and also in the state capital towns and most parts of South Sudan.
While selecting this force, SSHURSA urges IGAD leaders to continue fully noting that South Sudan has failed to protect its citizens. Its national army is not worth the name as it is a constituent of tribal militias that have been oftentimes accused by different national, regional and international human rights groups of human rights abuses; including committing recent sexual violence against women and girls in Juba.
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SSHURSA urges IGAD countries, Troika, United Nations and rest of international community to move from words to tangible actions to ensure that the proposed regional force is immediately deployed in South Sudan. The regional leaders and friends of South Sudan should ensure that the dismantled Transitional Government of National Unity(TGoNU) is immediately reinstalled. The security of Juba City is guaranteed and its practical demilitarisation is timely materialised.
SSHURSA calls upon the First Vice-President Riek Machar to immediately return to Juba as soon as security arrangements are effected so that he resumes his duties. He and President Salva Kiir should try hard to ensure that with the assistance of the regional force and international community, South Sudan moves forward to a peaceful coexistence and tolerance, justice, national reconciliation and healing.
SSHURSA urges the United Nations and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to ensure that investigations on human rights abuses are carried out and perpetrators are held accountable before the Hybrid Court to be set up immediately as provided for under article 3 of Chapter V of the Peace Agreement. Alternatively as a last resort, the United Nations Security Council should refer South Sudan’s human rights situation to the International Criminal Court for further investigations and subsequent prosecutorial measures against perpetrators in order to curb impunity in South Sudan.
SSHURSA calls on all parties to abide by the Agreement as an option left to hold South Sudan together.
Biel Boutros Biel
Executive Director, SSHURSA
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