Human Rights South Sudan

Despite the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS), fighting continued between government and opposition forces, along with violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law. A Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) was formed in April, but it fell apart following heavy fighting between government and opposition forces in Juba in July. The reconstituted government in Juba was accepted by the international community but rejected by opposition leader Riek Machar and his allies. The ongoing fighting continued with devastating humanitarian consequences for civilian populations. Government security services actively suppressed independent and critical voices from the opposition, media and human rights defenders.

Background

Implementation of the ARCSS, the peace agreement, was slow and faced numerous hurdles including disagreement over the number of states, the cantonment of opposition fighters and security arrangements in the capital Juba.

On 26 April, opposition leader Riek Machar returned to Juba to be sworn in as First Vice-President of the TGoNU, as provided for in the ARCSS. Ministers of the TGoNU were sworn in the following week.

In early July, a series of violent clashes between government and opposition forces in Juba heightened tensions and led to a deadly shoot-out on 8 July between bodyguards of President Salva Kiir and then First Vice-President Riek Machar outside the Presidential Palace, where the two were meeting. On 10 and 11 July, there were heavy clashes between government and opposition forces in Juba.

The fighting in Juba forced Riek Machar and opposition forces to flee southward, where they evaded active pursuit by government forces over the next month. Meanwhile President Salva Kiir dismissed Riek Machar as First Vice-President and replaced him on 25 July with opposition politician Taban Deng Gai. Riek Machar rejected and denounced the dismissal which resulted in a split in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/Movement in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO). The international community eventually accepted the new government and urged it to resume implementation of the ARCSS.

Relative calm was restored in Juba following the flight of Riek Machar and opposition forces but the fighting in Juba triggered a surge of violence in the southern Equatoria region, resulting in killings of civilians, looting, and arbitrary detentions. Lainya, Yei, Kajokeji, Morobo and Maridi counties were particularly affected. Between July and December, more than 394,500 South Sudanese arrived in northern Uganda as refugees as a result of the insecurity.

In September, the UN Security Council (UNSC) adopted resolution 2304 authorizing the establishment of a 4,000-member Regional Protection Force (RPF), as an addition to the existing 12,000 members of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) peacekeeping force. The RPF mandate would be to facilitate safe movement in and out of Juba; protect the airport and key facilities in Juba; and engage any actor preparing for or engaging in attacks against civilians, humanitarian actors, or UN personnel and premises. However, the RPF was not in place by the end of the year.

The same resolution provided that the UNSC would consider the imposition of an arms embargo should South Sudan create political or operational impediments to operationalizing the RPF or obstruct UNMISS in the performance of its mandate. Despite reports of attacks on and obstruction of UNMISS staff and the government’s averseness to the RPF’s mandate and establishment, in December the UN Security Council failed to approve a resolution that would have imposed an arms embargo.

Internal armed conflict

Despite the ARCSS, there was fighting in many areas of the country throughout the year. The fighting was continuously accompanied by violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law by parties to the conflict, including killings, looting and destruction of civilian property, abductions and sexual violence.

On 17 and 18 February, fighting took place in the UN Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, which housed around 45,000 people. Government soldiers entered the site and participated in the fighting. Around one third of the camp was burned to the ground, and at least 29 internally displaced people were killed.

In Western Bahr el Ghazal in early 2016, government soldiers carried out attacks against civilians: killings, torture including rape, looting and burning down of civilian homes. Clashes between government and opposition allied forces in Wau town on 24-25 June displaced an estimated 70,000 people and killed dozens.

During the July fighting in Juba, armed actors, particularly government soldiers, committed violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law, including killings, sexual violence, and looting of civilian property and humanitarian assets. Government soldiers also fired indiscriminately near Protection of Civilians sites and, in some cases, deliberately targeted them. Fifty-four displaced people were killed in the sites during the fighting, according to the UN.

In September, the number of refugees who had arrived in neighbouring countries since the start of the conflict in December 2013, reached 1 million. The number of internally displaced people seeking protection in Protection of Civilians sites rose over the course of the year to 204,918 in October. A total of 1.83 million people continued to be displaced within the country and 4.8 million people were affected by food insecurity.

Arbitrary detentions and torture and other ill-treatment

South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS) and the national army’s Military Intelligence Directorate continued to conduct arbitrary arrests, prolonged and – in some cases – incommunicado detentions, and enforced disappearances of perceived government opponents. Detainees were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment in multiple detention facilities.

Over 30 men were detained by the NSS at a two-storey detention facility within its headquarters in the Jebel neighbourhood of Juba. They were detained on accusations of supporting the SPLM/A-IO, but were not charged or presented in court. None of them had had access to legal counsel by the end of the year. The NSS restricted access to family members and failed to provide adequate medical care. Some were subjected to beatings and other forms of physical assault, especially during interrogation or as punishment for breaking internal detention rules. Some had been in detention for over two years.

The NSS continued to arbitrarily detain George Livio, a journalist with the UN’s Radio Miraya, without charge or trial, in Juba. The NSS arrested George Livio in Wau on 22 August 2014. The NSS has denied requests from his lawyer to meet him and has restricted his access to family members.

Loreom Joseph Logie, who had been arbitrarily detained by the NSS since September 2014, died on 17 July. Prior to his death he had suffered from a tapeworm infection that was untreated and caused liver damage.

A detention facility at a military base in Gorom, about 20km south of Juba, was used, at least between November 2015 and May 2016, to detain soldiers and civilians allegedly affiliated with the opposition. Detainees were held without charge or trial. They were held in poorly ventilated metal shipping containers, fed only once or twice a week and given insufficient drinking water. Many detainees died at this facility due to harsh conditions; others were victims of extrajudicial executions.

The Giyada military barracks in Juba remained a site where arbitrary and incommunicado detentions, torture and disappearances continued to be carried out. Conditions were particularly harsh in an underground military intelligence cell, where detainees were held without access to natural light or sanitary facilities.

Elias Waya Nyipouch, former Governor of Wau state, was arrested at his home on 26 June. He was detained in Juba at the Giyada military barracks and moved on 21 October to the Bilpam barracks, also in Juba. He was held without charge or trial at the end of the year.

Lack of accountability

There were no credible investigations and prosecutions of violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law conducted in fair trials by civilian courts. Some crimes committed against civilians by government soldiers were reportedly prosecuted before military courts, despite the provision under South Sudan’s SPLA Act providing that if military personnel commit an offence against a civilian, the civil court should assume jurisdiction over the offence.

Although the ARCSS provided for the establishment of a Hybrid Court for South Sudan by the African Union Commission, little progress was made towards its establishment. There was also little progress towards the establishment of a Commission on Truth Reconciliation and Healing or a Compensation and Reparations Authority. These two bodies were also provided for in the ARCSS.

Freedom of expression

The space for journalists and human rights defenders to work freely continued to shrink, as it had since the start of the conflict. The authorities, especially the NSS, continued to harass and intimidate journalists, summoning them for questioning and arbitrarily arresting and detaining them. Numerous journalists and human rights defenders have fled South Sudan due to perceived security risks.

Joseph Afandi, a journalist in Juba with the daily El Tabeer, was arrested by the NSS on 23 December 2015 for criticizing in an article the human rights record of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). He was held in incommunicado detention at the NSS headquarters in Juba until his release in February. While in detention, he was subjected to torture and other ill-treatment.

Alfred Taban, a journalist and chief editor of the daily Juba Monitor, published an opinion piece on 15 July in which he said that both Machar and Kiir had “completely failed” and “should not remain in their seats”. Alfred Taban was arrested the following day by NSS agents and detained at their headquarters in Juba for one week. He was then transferred to police custody and charged with “publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to South Sudan” and with “undermining the authority of or insulting the president.” He was released on bail on 29 July. No court date had been set for a trial by the end of the year.

On 12 September, staff of the newspaper Nation Mirror were summoned by the NSS and shown a letter ordering the paper to “close down because they had indulged in activities incompatible with their status.” The order followed the publication of an opinion article condemning corruption within the armed forces and an article about corruption allegations against government officials.

Freedom of association

In February, two laws regulating NGOs activities’ were enacted. The laws restricted the right to freedom of association by mandating that all NGOs needed to register; non-registered NGOs were prohibited from operating. The Relief and Rehabilitation Commission held sweeping powers to register and monitor NGOs and to revoke registration of NGOs that were judged not to be in conformity with the NGO Act. The acceptable “objectives of NGOs” listed in the Act did not include human rights work or policy advocacy.

Right to health – mental health

Although levels of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression among the population remained high, the availability and accessibility of mental health and psychosocial support services remained limited. Juba Teaching Hospital – the only public medical facility that provided psychiatric care – still only had 12 beds in its psychiatric ward. The availability of psychotropic drugs was inconsistent and limited. There were only two practising psychiatrists in the country, both of whom were in Juba. Neither of them saw patients on a full-time basis. Due to the lack of appropriate services and facilities, people with mental health conditions continued to be routinely housed in prisons, even if they had not committed any crime. In prison, mental health patients continued to receive insufficient medical care and were sometimes chained or held in solitary confinement for long periods.

Legal, constitutional or institutional developments

In May, South Sudan completed ratification of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and of the Organization of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa.

Südsudan: Vorsätzliche Tötungen durch Regierungstruppen

 

Soldaten der südsudanesischen Armee (SPLA) auf einem Militärstützpunkt in Malakal am 16. Oktober 2016: © ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN/AFP/Getty Images

Soldaten der südsudanesischen Armee (SPLA) auf einem Militärstützpunkt in Malakal am 16. Oktober 2016: © ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN/AFP/Getty Images

25.Oktober – Südsudanesische Regierungstruppen haben im Juli in der Hauptstadt Juba Angehörige der ethnischen Gruppe der Nuer getötet, Frauen und Mädchen vergewaltigt und massive Plünderungen begangen. Dies dokumentiert Amnesty International in einem aktuellen Bericht.

Der neue Bericht „We did not believe we would survive: Killings, rape and looting in Juba“dokumentiert Verstöße gegen das Völkerrecht durch Regierungstruppen und die enttäuschende Reaktion der Vereinten Nationen (UN) darauf.

Grundlage für den Bericht sind Recherchen, die Amnesty im Juli, August und September 2016 vor Ort selbst durchführte. Der Bericht schildert gezielte Tötungen, willkürliche Angriffe, Vergewaltigungen und massive Plünderungen durch die südsudanesischen Truppen.

Forderung nach Waffenembargo

„Es ist beschämend, dass die sudanesische Regierung ohne Einschränkungen Waffen kaufen kann, obwohl sie diese immer wieder einsetzt, um Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Verbrechen im Sinne des Völkerrechts zu begehen. Die UN muss endlich ein umfassendes Waffenembargo verhängen. Ansonsten muss sie damit rechnen, als mitschuldig an diesen Verbrechen betrachtet zu werden“, erklärte Joanne Mariner, leitende Beraterin von Amnesty International für Krisenarbeit.

„Es muss ein wirksamer Mechanismus etabliert werden, um die Einhaltung eines Waffenembargos zu überwachen. Staaten dürfen keinen Gewinn mit Waffen machen, die zum Töten von Zivilpersonen genutzt werden.“

Waffeneinsatz gegen Zivilpersonen

Die sechsjährige Joy Kamisa wurde durch eine Rakete getötet, die von einem Kampfhubschrauber abgeschossen wurde und das Haus ihrer Großmutter im Stadtteil Gudele von Juba traf.

Die zweieinhalbjährige Nyamuch erlag Kopfverletzungen, die durch einen Granatsplitter verursacht worden waren. Sie und mehrere ihrer Geschwister wohnten in einer Schutzzone, die speziell für Zivilpersonen auf dem UN-Stützpunkt im Stadtteil Jebel in Juba eingerichtet worden war. Sie wurden von einem Sprengsatz getroffen, als sie versuchten, den Hauptstützpunkt der UN zu erreichen, um sich dort in Sicherheit zu bringen.

Menschliche Schutzschilde

Der Bericht dokumentiert auch Verstöße der bewaffneten Oppositionsgruppe Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in-Opposition (SPLA-IO). So wird beschrieben, wie Kämpferinnen und Kämpfer der Opposition am 10. und 11. Juli 2016 in die Schutzzonen des UN-Stützpunkts im Stadtteil Jebel eindrangen.

Außerdem hat die SPLA-IO einen Stützpunkt in der Nähe einer Schutzzone für Zivilpersonen errichtet. Dadurch wurden Zivilpersonen der Gefahr ausgesetzt, bei bewaffneten Auseinandersetzungen zwischen Oppositionsgruppen und Regierungstruppen zwischen die Fronten zu geraten.

„Mein Leben ist zerstört“

Die Kämpfe begannen am 8. Juli, als es am Präsidentenpalast zu einem Schusswechsel kam zwischen Truppen, die loyal zu Präsident Salva Kiir standen, und Kämpferinnen und Kämpfern, die den Vize-Präsidenten Riek Machar unterstützen. Kurz darauf attackierten Regierungstruppen Menschen aufgrund ihrer ethnischen Zugehörigkeit zur Gruppe der Nuer oder ihrer mutmaßlichen politischen Unterstützung für Riek Machar.

Ein Plakat in Juba zeigte den Präsidenten Salva Kiir (links) und den Oppositionsführer Riek Machar (rechts), später Vize-Präsident, am 14. April 2016: © ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN/AFP/Getty Images

Ein Plakat in Juba zeigte den Präsidenten Salva Kiir (links) und den Oppositionsführer Riek Machar (rechts), später Vize-Präsident, am 14. April 2016: © ALBERT GONZALEZ FARRAN/AFP/Getty Images

Der 32-jährige Journalist John Gatluak Manguet Nhial, der Gesichtsnarben der ethnischen Gruppe der Nuer aufwies, wurde bei einem Angriff auf das Hotel Terrain am 11 Juli von einem Regierungssoldaten erschossen, wobei andere Soldaten höhnisch riefen: „Nuer, Nuer.“

Eine 24-jährige Angehörige der Dinka, deren Ehemann Nuer ist und seit Juli vermisst wird, berichtete Amnesty, dass Regierungstruppen das Grundstück der Familie gestürmt und ihren Mann und Schwager festgenommen hätten. Sie habe den Soldaten gesagt, dass die beiden Männer für die Regierung arbeiteten. Die Soldaten hätten darauf geantwortet, dass sie immer noch Nuer seien, und „Nuer sind Rebellen“. „Mein Leben ist zerstört“, sagte sie gegenüber Amnesty. „Ohne ihn ist mein Leben hoffnungslos.“

Soldaten vergewaltigten gezielt Frauen, die nicht der Gruppe der Dinka angehörten. Damit sollte ihnen Leid zugefügt und ihre Ehemänner erniedrigt und bestraft werden. Eine 35-jährige Angehörige der Nuer, die von drei Soldaten vergewaltigt worden war, gab an, dass die Männer gesagt hätten: „Dein Mann ist ein Nuer, also ein Feind.“ Ihre Kleidung sei voller Blut gewesen, als die Männer sie schließlich freiließen.

Das Versagen der UN-Friedenstruppen

Der neue Amnesty-Bericht zeigt auch schwere Verfehlungen der UN-Friedenstruppen auf. Die Reaktion der UN-Truppen auf die Gewalt war „enttäuschend und unangemenssen“. Zivilpersonen wurden nicht vor Vergewaltigungen und Tötungen geschützt.

Eine 24-jährige Nuer-Frau wurde vor dem UN-Stützpunkt in Jebel von fünf Regierungssoldaten vergewaltigt. Ihren Angaben zufolge konnten sowohl Angehörige der UN-Friedenstruppe als auch private Sicherheitsleute die Tat beobachten, kamen ihr aber nicht zur Hilfe. Auch beim Angriff auf das Hotel Terrain, bei dem Frauen von mehreren Männern vergewaltigt wurden, griffen die UN-Truppen nicht ein, obwohl ihr Stützpunkt nur einen Kilometer entfernt liegt.

Während der Kämpfe haben UN-Friedenstruppen sogar ihre Stellungen verlassen, als sie in einer der für Zivilpersonen eingerichteten Schutzzonen, POC 1, unter Feuer gerieten. Die Zivilpersonen wurden dadruch schutzlos zurückgelassen.

UN-Friedenstruppen gefährdeten die Zivilbevölkerung sowohl durch ihre Handlungen als auch durch ihre Untätigkeit. In einem Fall schossen UN-Truppen Tränengas in eine Gruppe verängstigter Nuer-Angehöriger auf dem UN-Stützpunkt Jebel.

„Die UN-Friedenstruppen sind an ihrer Aufgabe gescheitert, die Zivilbevölkerung zu schützen. Sie standen untätig daneben, als Menschen vergewaltigt und getötet wurden,“ so Joanne Mariner.

Verantwortliche für Gewalt müssen zur Rechenschaft gezogen werden

Der neue Amnesty-Bericht kritisiert auch den Einsatz von Militärgerichten bei Verfahren, in denen Soldatinnen und Soldaten Straftaten zur Last gelegt werden. Angesichts des chronischen Versagens der Justiz im Südsudan muss ein sogenannter hybrider Gerichtshof für schwere Menschenrechtsverbrechen, wie dem vorsätzlichen Töten von Zivilpersonen, eingesetzt werden. Ein hybrider Gerichtshof setzt sich aus juristischem internationalen und südsudanesischem Personal zusammen.

„Systematische Vergewaltigungen und Tötungen dürfen nicht straffrei bleiben. Die Regierung des Südsudan muss sicherstellen, dass diese Taten umgehend, unparteiisch und unabhängig untersucht werden. Diejenigen, die solcher Verbrechen verdächtigt werden, müssen in fairen Verfahren vor zivilen Gerichten und ohne Todesstrafe zur Verantwortung gezogen werden“, so Mariner.

Südsudan: Armee begeht Gräueltaten an Zivilbevölkerung

Vor Kämpfen fliehende Zivilistinnen und Zivilisten im Südsudan im Februar 2016: © Justin Lynch/AFP/Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28 Juli 2016 – Im Südsudan begehen Regierungssoldaten trotz des Friedensabkommens mit den Rebellen weiterhin ungestraft mutmaßliche Kriegsverbrechen: Menschen werden willkürlich ermordet, Frauen entführt und in Gruppen von mehreren Soldaten vergewaltigt, Kinder und ältere Menschen bei lebendigem Leib in ihren Häusern verbrannt. Dies belegt ein neuer Amnesty-Bericht.

Der Bericht „‚We are still running‘: War crimes in Leer, South Sudan“ beschreibt die Gräueltaten, die Truppen von Präsident Salva Kiir und mit ihnen verbündete Milizen systematisch begehen. Obwohl im August 2015 ein Friedensabkommen zwischen Präsident Salva Kiir und seinem Kontrahenten Riek Machar vereinbart wurde, kommt der junge afrikanische Staat nicht zur Ruhe. Zivilistinnen und Zivilisten leiden weiterhin unter dem bewaffneten Konflikt, etwa 2,3 Millionen Menschen befinden sich auf der Flucht.

In 123 Fällen dokumentiert der Bericht, dass Männer, Frauen und Kinder in der Stadt Leer von Regierungstruppen und verbündeten Milizen getötet oder entführt wurden. Die Angriffe der Regierungstruppen richteten sich gezielt gegen zivile Einrichtungen.

Zeuginnen und Zeugen berichteten von sexueller Gewalt und Sklaverei, Zerstörung von Häusern, einschließlich von Nahrungsmitteln und anderer Produkte, die für das Überleben notwendig sind. Ganze Dörfer wurden niedergebrannt und das Vieh gestohlen. Ältere Menschen, Behinderte und Babys wurden bei lebendigem Leibe verbrannt.

Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter von Amnesty sprachen auch mit 26 Frauen und Mädchen, die sagten, dass sie von Regierungstruppen oder verbündeten Milizen entführt worden seien. Die Frauen und Mädchen wurden zumeist in Gruppen von einigen wenigen bis zu etwa 100 oder mehr entführt. Die überwiegende Mehrheit der Frauen und Mädchen sagte aus, dass sie vergewaltigt und gezwungen wurden, für ihre Entführer zu arbeiten.

Vergewaltigungen wurden systematisch als Kriegswaffe eingesetzt, Schwangere und Mütter mit kleinen Kindern gezielt getötet. Sechs Frauen und Mädchen wurden in staatlichem Gewahrsam hingerichtet.

In einigen Fällen nannten Zeuginnen und Zeugen Namen der Täter sowie die ihrer Kommandeure. Amnesty International hat diese Namen der Regierung des Südsudan mitgeteilt und forderte diese auf, die Vorwürfe umgehend zu untersuchen und die Täter zur Rechenschaft zu ziehen.

Trotz der Hinweise auf Kriegsverbrechen sind bisher keinerlei Schritte unternommen worden, die Täter zu belangen. Auch eine Entschuldigung bei den Betroffenen von offizieller Seite ist unterblieben, ebenso wie Entschädigungen.

Im August 2015 unterzeichneten die Kriegsparteien nach mehrmonatigen Verhandlungen ein Friedensabkommen. Trotzdem wurden die Kämpfe fortgesetzt und weitere schwere Menschenrechtsverletzungen begangen.

2,3 Millionen Menschen befinden sich auf der Flucht. Allein in Leer sind von November 2014 bis November 2015 über 7.600 Zivilistinnen und Zivilisten getötet und circa 1.500 Frauen vergewaltigt worden. Am 13. Juli 2016 brach die Gewalt in Leer erneut aus.

Amnesty International fordert den UN-Sicherheitsrat auf, endlich ein Waffenembargo gegen Südsudan zu verhängen. Die Kommission der Afrikanischen Union muss dringend den im Friedensabkommen vereinbarten „Hybriden Gerichtshof“ einrichten, um die Straflosigkeit im Südsudan zu beenden.

Download the entire report:  AFR6544862016 (ENGLISH).pdf

SOUTH SUDAN: „OUR HEARTS HAVE GONE DARK“

THE MENTAL HEALTH IMPACT OF SOUTH SUDAN’S CONFLICT

By Amnesty International, , Index number: AFR 65/3203/2016

Parties to South Sudan’s internal armed conflict that erupted in December 2013 have violated international human rights and humanitarian law, with a devastating impact on civilian populations. These violatons have also had less visible, but no less significant, repercussions on people’s mental health—the state of emotional and psychological wellbeing in which individuals can realize their potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and be active members of their community.

Download Link zum vollständigen Report: Download PDF (english)

DENIED PROTECTION OF THE LAW


NATIONAL SECURITY SERVICE DETENTION IN JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN

“If you criticize [the government] you will be arrested,
tortured and killed for no reason. That’s how [my cousin] was
arbitrarily arrested; that’s how he will be lost if there is no
intervention. And that’s how we, the family members, will
lose a brother, father, community member and future leader
of South Sudan.”
(Cousin of NSS detainee)

The entire report: DENIED PROTECTION OF THE LAW

UN berichten von Massenvergewaltigungen im Südsudan

In dem Bürgerkriegsland sind nach UN-Angaben Tausende von Frauen und Mädchen Massenvergewaltigungen ausgesetzt. Die Täter sind demnach vor allem Regierungstruppen, aber auch Rebellen.

Im Südsudan werden laut einem Bericht des UN-Hochkommissariats für Menschenrechte in Genf Vergewaltigungen massiv als Terrorinstrument und Kriegswaffe eingesetzt. Oft würden ganze Horden über Frauen herfallen. Die Untaten seien als Kriegsverbrechen und Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit einzustufen, da sie systematisch verübt und sich jeweils gegen bestimmte ethnische Gruppen richten würden.

Vergewaltigungen als Kriegswaffe

Der Einsatz von Vergewaltigungen müssten als Terrorinstrument und Kriegswaffe betrachtet werden, sagte der UN-Hochkommissar für Menschenrechte, Said Raad al-Hussein. 2015 seien innerhalb von fünf Monaten allein im südsudanesischen Bundesstaat Unity, der wegen seiner Erdölvorkommen umkämpft ist, 1300 Vergewaltigungen bekannt geworden.

Vor allem Regierungstruppen, aber auch Rebellen, würden Zivilisten angreifen, vergewaltigen und töten sowie Ortschaften plündern. Kinder würden vor den Augen ihrer Eltern getötet, es gebe außerdem Berichte, dass behinderte Menschen bei lebendigem Leibe verbrannt würden. Im Südsudan herrsche eine der furchtbarsten Menschenrechtslagen der Welt, erklärte der UN-Hochkommissar. Dennoch sei das Bürgerkriegsland mehr oder weniger vom internationalen Radar verschwunden.

Ruf nach dem Internationalen Strafgerichtshof

Zeid sprach sich dafür aus, dass der UN-Sicherheitsrat erweiterte Sanktionen und ein „umfassendes Waffenembargo“ verhängen solle. Außerdem müsse in Betracht gezogen werden, die Verbrechen vor den Internationalen Strafgerichtshof zu bringen. Bereits im Mai 2014 habe UN-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-Moon darauf hingewiesen, dass es dringende Indizien für Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit im Südsudan gebe. Erbitterte Kontrahenten: Präsident Salva Kiir.

Amnesty: Soldaten ließen 60 Menschen ersticken

Auch Amnesty International bezichtigt südsudanesische Regierungstruppen eines Kriegsverbrechens. Nach einem Bericht der Menschenrechtsorganisation sollen mehr als 60 Jungen und Männer von Soldaten so lange in einen Schiffscontainer festgehalten worden sein, bis sie erstickten. In dem Bericht wird das Verbrechen vom Oktober 2015 erstmals genau beschrieben. Einziger Überlebender war demzufolge ein Achtjähriger. Laut Angehörigen waren die Opfer Bauern und Hirten und keine Kämpfer. Sterbliche Überreste fanden Amnesty-Mitarbeiter später auf einem Feld verstreut – darunter zahlreiche Skelette, die gebrochene Knochen aufwiesen.

2,5 Millionen Südsudanesen auf der Flucht

Der Südsudan erlangte vor fünf Jahren seine Unabhängigkeit vom Sudan. Ende 2013 begann ein Bürgerkrieg, der den jungen Staat in einen Strudel ethnisch motivierter Gewalt zog und bereits Zehntausende Opfer gefordert hat. Rund 2,5 Millionen Menschen sind vor der Gewalt geflohen. Entzündet hatte sich der Bürgerkrieg an Auseinandersetzungen zwischen Präsident Salva Kiir und seinem Stellvertreter, Riek Machar, die jeweils verschiedenen Volksgruppen angehören – Kiir den Dinka und Machar den Nuer.

Deutsche Welle –  11.03.2016

Amnesty Report 2015/16 – Südsudan

 

The internal armed conflict that erupted in South Sudan in December 2013 resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the destruction of entire towns. Approximately 1.4 million people were internally displaced and another 500,000 fled to neighbouring countries. An estimated 4 million people were at a high risk of food insecurity, with the UN repeatedly warning of a deepening humanitarian crisis and potential famine should fighting continue. Des ite a cessation of hostilities agreement in January 2014 and continuous efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to negotiate a political solution to the conflict, fighting continued throughout 2014. The conflict was characterized by a total disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law and there was no accountability for abuses committed in the context of the conflict. BACKGROUND On 15 December 2013, a political dispute within South Sudan’s ruling party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), escalated into an armed confrontation in Juba between forces loyal to President Kiir and those loyal to former Vice-President Riek Machar. By the end of 2013, violence had spread to Jonglei, Unity and Upper2 Nile states. IGAD, an eight-country East African regional organization, began mediating between the government of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army/ Movement in Opposition (SPLA/M-IO) in January 2014. The parties signed a cessation of hostilities agreement on 23 January, but it was violated almost as soon as it was signed.

The parties subsequently recommitted to the cessation of hostilities on 5 May and signed an agreement to resolve the crisis on 9 May, but fighting continued. In June, participation in the IGAD  negotiations was broadened to include other stakeholder groups. This included several SPLM leaders who were detained in December, accused of participating in an attempted coup. Seven were released at the end of January while four others stood trial for treason, but were released at the end of April after the government dropped charges against them. Delegates from civil society, political parties and faith-based groups also participated in the talks.IGAD continued its efforts to reach a political settlement. On 8 November, IGAD heads of state issued a resolution granting the warring parties 15 days to consult with their constituencies on the structure of a transitional government. The resolution recommitted the parties to end all hostilities, and provided that further violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement would result in asset freezes, travel bans and an arms embargo. IGAD leaders further authorized the IGAD region to intervene directly in South Sudan to protect life and restore peace. On 24 December 2013, the UN Security Council approved an increase in the military strength of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to 12,500 troops and an increase in the mission’s police force to a maximum of 1,323 personnel. In May 2014, the Security Council revised the mandate of UNMISS to focus on protection of civilians, monitoring and investigating human rights, creating the conditions for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and supporting the implementation of the cessation of hostilities agreement. A Commission of Inquiry was established by the AU in March 2014, but its final report had not yet been publicly released by the end of the year. The AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) repeatedly condemned the killing of civilians and violations of the 23 January cessation of hostilities agreement by both parties to the conflict. The AU PSC also indicated its readiness, upon recommendation by IGAD, to take targeted sanctions and other measures against any party that undermined the search for a solution to the conflict.

INTERNAL ARMED CONFLICT

Both government and opposition forces demonstrated a disregard for international humanitarian law. Other armed groups, including the opposition-allied White Army and the Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) fighting on behalf of the government, also committed violations of international humanitarian law. In the days following the outbreak of violence in Juba, government soldiers targeted and killed people based on ethnicity and assumed political affiliation. Hundreds of Nuer civilians and government soldiers who had been captured and disarmed or otherwise placed hors de combat were executed, mainly by Dinka members of the armed forces. Many Nuer were killed in or near their homes. Some men were picked up at home or in the street, taken away and later killed in other locations. In one incident, over 300 people were killed in a police building in Gudele. Parties to the conflict attacked civilians sheltering in hospitals and places of worship. For example, after government forces re-took control of Bor town on 18 January, the bodies of 18 women, all of them Dinka, were found in and around the compound of St Andrew’s Cathedral. They were believed to have been victims of an attack by opposition forces. The remains of 15 men and women were found at Bor hospital. When opposition forces attacked Malakal for the third time in mid-February, they targeted Malakal Teaching Hospital, where civilians had previously found safe shelter. They shot dead a number of people. Conflict-related sexual violence was widespread. This included cases of gang rape, of pregnant women being cut open and of women being raped using wooden sticks or plastic bottles.1 At least four girls staying at Christ the King Church in Malakal were abducted by opposition forces on the night of 25 February and raped nearby. Government and opposition forces burned down homes, damaged and destroyed medical facilities and looted public institutions and private property as well as food stores and humanitarian aid. Looting and destruction left Bor, Bentiu, Malakal and many other towns destroyed. UNICEF estimated that parties to the conflict had recruited approximately 9,000 children to serve in armed forces and groups. Civilians were injured, abducted and killed within or in the immediate vicinity of UN bases. On 19 December, approximately 2,000 armed youths surrounded the UNMISS base in Akobo, Jonglei state, and opened fire, killing two peacekeepers and an estimated 20 civilians who had sought refuge there. On 17 April, there was an armed assault on the UNMISS base in Bor during which more than 50 internally displaced people were killed. Obstruction of humanitarian assistance significantly impeded civilians’ access to life-saving assistance. Parties to the conflict also attacked UN and humanitarian workers. Members of the Mabanese Defense Force, a government-allied militia, killed five humanitarian workers of Nuer ethnicity in August. The whereabouts of two Nuer UN employees abducted in October by forces of the government-allied Shilluk militia leader Johnson Olony remained unknown. In September, a UNMISS helicopter was shot down, killing three of its crew members.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

The authorities, especially the National Security Service (NSS), harassed and intimidated journalists and human rights  defenders. The NSS summoned journalists for questioning, arbitrarily detained journalists and ordered a number of journalists to leave the country. In March, the NSS ordered the Almajhar Alsayasy Arabic language newspaper to cease publication because of its description of the genesis of the conflict and for interviewing politicians critical of the government. In June, NSS officers contacted the editors of several newspapers and instructed them to stop publishing articles discussing the federal system of government. On 2 July, NSS officers went to the offices of Juba Monitor and seized copies of the paper because it contained two opinion pieces about  federalism. Around 15 armed NSS officers confiscated all 3,000 copies of The Citizen newspaper on the morning of 7 July. On 1 August, Deng Athuai Mawiir, acting chairperson of the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance and a member of the civil society delegation to the IGAD-brokered peace negotiations, was shot in the thigh by an unknown gunman. While the perpetrator and motive for the attack remained unknown, this incident contributed to a climate of fear among civil society activists, journalists and human rights defenders.

JUSTICE SYSTEM

The criminal justice system routinely failed to ensure accountability for perpetrators of human rights abuses due to weaknesses in the criminal justice system. These included inadequate technical capacity in investigatory methods, a lack of forensic experts, interference or resistance by security services and the government and a lack of victim support and witness protection programmes. The justice system also failed to guarantee due process and fair trials. Common human rights violations included arbitrary arrest and detention, prolonged pre-trial detention and the failure to ensure the right of an accused person to legal counsel.

Two UNMISS employees were arrested by the NSS in Wau in August and transported to Juba. They remained in detention at the NSS headquarters at the end of the year. They had not been charged or brought before a competent legal authority. The internal armed conflict exacerbated pre-existing problems in the justice system, particularly in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile states. The capacity of the police and judiciary to enforce the law was undermined by militarization and the defection of many police officers. Representatives of the judiciary and the Ministry of Justice left these states following the outbreak of violence and had not return states following the outbreak of violence and had not returned to their posts by the end of 2014.

LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY

The government did not conduct prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigations with a view to prosecuting and holding accountable individuals suspected of crimes under international law and serious violations of human rights.

President Kiir established a committee to investigate human rights abuses allegedly committed during an attempted coup on 15 December 2013. The committee’s eight members were selected by the President’s Office, its activities were funded by the presidency and it was mandated to report directly to the President. No report, or update on its findings, was made public by the end of the year. The SPLA set up two investigation committees at the end of December 2013. In February 2014, the SPLA announced that approximately 100 individuals had been arrested as a result of investigations. However, they all escaped on 5 March during a gunfight among soldiers at the Giyada military barracks in Juba, where they were detained. In November, the SPLA announced that two individuals had been rearrested for their role in violations committed in December. No information was made public about their identity or the charges against them. On 30 December 2013, the AU PSC called for the establishment of an AU Commission of Inquiry into human rights violations and abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan. Its mandate included recommending measures to ensure accountability and reconciliation. Members of the Commission, chaired by the former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, were sworn in by March 2014. In its June interim report, the Commission of Inquiry said it was not yet in a position to determi ne hether crimes under international law had been committed. The Commission of Inquiry submitted its final report to the AU Commission in October, but it had not been publicly released by the end of the year.

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS

South Sudan was not party to any core international or regional human rights treaties. Although parliament voted to ratify several treaties and President Kiir signed their instruments of accession, the government failed to formally deposit instruments of accession with the AU or the UN. The treaties were: the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights; the AU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa; the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; the UN Convention against Torture; and the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. A National Security Service Bill was passed by Parliament on 8 October and was awaiting presidential assent in December 2014. The Bill grants the NSS broad powers, including the power to arrest and detain, without adequate provisions for independent oversight or safeguards against abuse. National and international human rights advocates as well as a number of members of Parliament called for President Kiir to refuse assent and to return the Bill to parliament for revisions.3 A draft Non-Governmental Organizations Bill was being considered by Parliament, which would restrict the right to freedom of association. The Bill would make registration compulsory, prohibit NGOs from operating

without being registered, and criminalize voluntary activities carried out without a
registration certificate. The national legal framework failed to define and sanction crimes under international law, including crimes against humanity and genocide. It also failed to define or criminalize torture. In addition, it failed to provide for command or superior responsibility as a mode of liability for crimes under international law.

Waiting for peace

Op-ed: Accountability in South Sudan cannot wait for peace – but could foster it

By Ken Scott, Amnesty International’s Research Consultant for South Sudan ,

 19 July 2015, 14:42 UTC

Today, South Sudan observes its fourth anniversary as a state. I say “observe” because there is nothing to celebrate. Since conflict broke out in mid-December 2013, South Sudan has become one of the neediest, most tragic places on earth.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed, in schools and hospitals, churches and mosques, even in guarded UN camps for already displaced persons.  On 30 June, the UN reported grave acts of brutality against civilians by government forces in Unity State, including burning people alive in their houses.   UNICEF recently concluded that “violence against children in South Sudan has reached new levels of brutality”, citing the gang rape and the murder of girls as young as eight and the castration of boys left to die.  

Although the UN and international community have repeatedly voiced “outrage” and called for an end to the conflict, peace efforts to date, led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, have failed. Recent talks sponsored by the President of Kenya also showed no tangible progress.

Among the root causes of the South Sudan conflict are an unfortunate culture of impunity and a historical absence of accountability.  The Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 failed to address gaps in accountability resulting from decades of civil war with the North.   After 18 months of killing, mayhem and rape, the South Sudan government has done nothing of significance to hold any of its own officials and forces accountable for violations committed and in fact obstructs international efforts to monitor human rights abuses and investigate probable war crimes. 

There has been no shortage of speeches calling for accountability, but a tragic shortage of real action. A year ago, there was already consensus among South Sudanese civil society and international actors including UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for some type of hybrid court, but no such mechanism has yet been established. The principal reasons given by the international community for not taking more action over the past year are the desire to give peace efforts a maximum chance of success by not naming persons allegedly responsible for the violence, and to show deference to the African Union in the hope for a genuine African accountability solution.

All of us hope that genuine peace can be established in South Sudan – a peace that is more than a cease-fire between rival elite, a peace that will addresses the country’s real issues and needs.   However, accountability cannot wait any longer.  While some have expressed the view that the violence against civilians will only stop when such a peace is established, the prohibition of crimes against humanity and the rules of international humanitarian law are meant to prevent and stop such violence even while an armed conflict continues. It may not be possible to achieve a complete peace in the short-term, but that does not and cannot mean that mass violence against civilians must, in the meantime, simply be accepted as “just the way it is.”

There is no need to wait for a fully developed peace or until a full-blown court or tribunal is established. Indeed, the people of South Sudan cannot wait.

It is not true that justice and accountability can only be addressed once peace has been established. An investigative Commission of Experts was established for the Balkan wars in the 1990s three years before the Dayton peace accords were signed. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was established two years before the accords. International investigators were on the ground and evidence was being collected while the fighting continued. The International Independent Investigation Commission to investigate the murder of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri and twenty-one others was established by Security Council resolution in April 2005, four years before the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was created in 2009.

The conflict in South Sudan must be addressed in a similar fashion. There is no need to wait for a fully developed peace or until a full-blown court or tribunal is established. Indeed, the people of South Sudan cannot wait.

There is ample authority in the UN Charter, Chapter VII, for the creation of a hybrid accountability mechanism for South Sudan, and, since 2011 and as recently as 28 May, the UN Security Council has made at least eight Chapter VII findings that the situation in South Sudan constitutes a threat to international peace and security.   

Adequately resourced criminal investigators must get on the ground in South Sudan as soon as possible before more evidence is destroyed, concealed or otherwise lost.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry said almost a year ago, „We’re well past the point where enough is enough“.   If that was true a year ago, it must be doubly true now. How many more South Sudanese civilians must be murdered and young women sexually assaulted before real, concrete actions are taken to obtain sustained security for all?

In early May, the United States pledged $5 million to help set up an accountability mechanism for South Sudan. This pledge must lead to concrete action now.

A strong and sustainable international mandate can lead to justice and perhaps real steps toward justice can lead to peace.   Maybe the warring parties in South Sudan will cease or at least reduce their attacks on civilians, churches and schools when they see serious international criminal investigators on the ground with a robust protection force and every intention to indict and bring to justice those responsible for so much human misery.  The time to act decisively, to stop the violence is now!

Briefing Paper on South Sudan for Member States

 

Briefing Paper on South Sudan for Member States – Twenty-ninth session of the Human Rights Council

23 June 2015

A resolution that aims to establish a special rapporteur mandate on South Sudan is currently being deliberated at the Human Rights Council’s 29th session. The Council needs to address the serious lack of accountability for ongoing and widespread violations and abuses against the civilian population. We encourage members of the Council to bear the following in mind while negotiating the resolution.

Both parties to South Sudan’s conflict have committed violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights, including extrajudicial killings, the abduction of women and girls, rape and other forms of sexual violence, recruitment and use of children, looting and destruction of property. The parties have also attacked the UN protection of civilian sites (POCs) and sometimes fight in close proximity to the PoCs. Mortar shells have landed in these sites and caused civilian casualties. Some of these violations and abuses may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The conflict has displaced over 2 million persons, including 135,000 who are living in UN bases across the country and over 500,000 in neighbouring countries. There are ongoing incidents of fighting within Unity and Upper Nile states with parties to the conflict clashing in close proximity to the POCs.

The 23 January 2014 Cessation of Hostilities agreement brokered by the Inter- Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has been violated several times by both parties. On 5 March, a final deadline imposed by IGAD to achieve a peace agreement failed due to lack of consensus on the transitional government structure and power sharing. Early this month, IGAD unveiled a proposal with key provisions for an agreement on the resolution of the conflict. This included parameters for power-sharing and the structure of a transitional government, a permanent ceasefire and transitional security arrangements, a permanent constitution-making process and on transitional justice and national healing. Both the government and the opposition have rejected the proposal.

Notwithstanding the efforts of IGAD, the parties to the conflict currently seem to be aiming to achieve a military solution to the conflict. Both have made strategic military gains ahead of the start of the rainy season. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported in the week of 15 June that at least 129 children were killed in Bentiu in May with boys being castrated and left to bleed to death and girls as young as eight years raped or killed.

Escalating violence

Amnesty International researchers were recently in South Sudan where they spoke to civilians fleeing conflict in Upper Nile, Jonglei and Unity states. The situation in Unity and Upper Nile states has not subsided, with both parties to the conflict carrying out targeted attacks against the civilian population and civilian property and infrastructure.  

In Bentiu, Unity state, Amnesty International researchers recently interviewed individuals who fled violence in Rubkona, Guit, Koch and Leer counties since 20 April. They consistently described men in Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) uniform or civilian clothing, mostly from the Bul Nuer ethnic group, attacking their villages, armed with axes, machetes and guns.  They gave chilling accounts of government forces setting entire villages on fire, killing and beating residents, looting livestock and other property, committing acts of sexual violence, and abducting women and children.

A woman from Chat Chara, in Rubkona County, described groups of young men allied with the government attacking her village, burning tukuls (thatch roofed mud structures) and beating residents.

They came and said, ‘bring your property out,’ and then they burnt our tukul. They beat us with sticks and metal rods, saying ‘where are the boys and young men?’ They took our property, our maize and clothes, and forced us to carry them towards Mayom. We were many women from the village. One woman got tired and was killed. They also shot her two-year old daughter.”

She was eventually let go and made her way to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) POC site.

Nyanaath (not hear real name), a mother of three, said that government forces attacked her village in Guit County on 10 May at noon. The attackers, some of whom were in uniform and others in civilian clothes, stole cows, looted property from tukuls and set all the tukuls on fire. The attackers then raped women, including her. Nyanaath told Amnesty International that soldiers took her, pushed her on her back and pulled down her underwear. One started raping her while another pointed his gun at her. She also saw 10 boys and girls between 10 and13 years old being abducted by soldiers.

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported that between 29 April and 12 May, at least 28 towns and villages in Unity state were attacked, with civilians and their property targeted and looted. This has led to the displacement of over 15,000 people.

Abuses have also been reportedly committed by the opposition forces. Members of an armed group previously aligned with the government clashed with SPLA government forces on 21 April in Malakal town and are reported to have subsequently directed attacks against civilians. The armed group and Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM/IO) forces took over control of Malakal from the government on 15 May. The government forces retook the town 10 days later.

A man from Atar in Piji county now in Malakal POC described how on 25 April, forces of the armed group attacked his r village:

“[The leader said they are] changing to the rebels’ side.  He told us that now they are killing civilians and we should run to Malakal as they will burn the [cattle] camp. He came to the village on 25 April around 2pm with 2 buses and one small bus and they attacked the people. Anyone they saw they shot, they had machine guns, big guns and RPGs and they burnt all the tukuls.  We ran away and it took us three days to get here [UNMISS Malakal].  We crossed the river at night, there is a shallow part where you can cross but some people were drowned when they fell into deep water stepping in holes.  We slept after crossing the river and then ran in the daytime.”

Conflict-related sexual violence

Persistent reports of sexual violence perpetrated by both government and opposition forces since the beginning of the conflict strongly indicate that conflict-related sexual violence is a consistent characteristic in all affected states. The current armed conflict environment places women and girls at a heightened risk of sexual violence.

Amnesty International has spoken to several witnesses and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence since the beginning of the conflict.

A 42 year old woman in Malakal POC narrated to Amnesty International how the Shilluk armed group killed 7 men and raped 18 women in February 2015 in Lul, Upper Nile State.

“They took the men to the barracks, they told us to stay in the classrooms. At around 7 o’clock in the evening, we heard gunshots and the cries of people, we got alarmed and started screaming as well. We wanted to run, but the soldiers… told us to lie down. They searched our property and took what they wanted. They then took out the women at around 9pm. They took them all out to go rape them. Only two of us were left in the classroom. Me and another woman who had just given birth. They stayed with them until six in the morning. All the women came back. Most of them were crying, some couldn’t talk. One had a swollen face.”In October 2014, President Salva Kiir signed a communiqué with the Special Representative on violence against women committing the government to combating sexual violence. On 4 May 2015, the government acceded to the Convention against Torture and its additional protocol as well as two other key human rights treaties, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination on all Forms of Discrimination against Women.

The government needs to uphold and implement agreements that they have committed to and ensure security sector and law reform to address the gaps in protection and access to justice for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

Increased Repression

Amnesty International and other organizations have documented several cases of violations by the National Security Service (NSS) and military intelligence (MI) since the country’s independence in 2011. In March 2015, the Justice Minister announced that the National Security Service Bill, passed by Parliament on October 8 2014, had become law. It grants the NSS extensive and broad powers of arrest, detention and seizure without adequate safeguard mechanisms or safeguards against abuse. This is despite domestic and international opposition to its passage, the absence of the President’s signature, and other views rejecting this position.

Cases of enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and prolonged detention have escalated since the conflict began with allegations of torture and ill-treatment while in custody.

A 40 year old man who was arrested by the NSS in February 2015 in Juba recounted his experience in custody to Amnesty International

‘In detention, they used to give us rice and either lentils or beans. Once a week on Wednesday. In National security headquarters in Jebel, they have dug a pool, it is filled with water, they tie your hands and feet and throw you in the water, when they feel you are getting weak or choking, they pull you out and press the water out of your chest and stomach until you vomit the water, they do this over and over again. They will say tell us what you know, you can see the marks here on my hands and feet. They tie with rope, very tightly. They also take electric wire, they connect to socket and beat your back with it…There are no doctors…No lawyers visit. My testimony was only taken once by the national security people. There were many Nuer and people from Equatoria. They were accusing me of supporting the opposition’

He was released in March 2015 through the intervention of a senior military official.

Another man, Simon (not his real name) told Amnesty International researchers that he was captured by NSS and military intelligence personnel at the end of February 2014, when he left the UNMISS POC site to withdraw money from his bank account. He said he was first detained at an NSS office near the Ministry of Justice and then transported to the NSS Headquarters in Jebel.

I found about 70 people in one cell. They didn’t say anything about why they had arrested me. Most of the people are from Nuer. They were just arrested on the streets but they would say they captured them in war, that they are rebels.

He remained in NSS detention for over two months, in poor conditions. He described being beaten and other forms of torture sustained by fellow detainees.

They beat me with pipes. They would say tell us what you have done… Others were pierced with needles. They would strip you naked and pierce your sensitive parts like the penis with the needles.  

Need for accountability

Although the government of South Sudan set up inquiries into conflict-related crimes in the months after fighting erupted, none of these has resulted in independent, impartial and effective investigations or accountability. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir established an eight-member committee to investigate human rights abuses by government and opposition forces, which his administration touted to the international community as demonstrative of its commitment to accountability. The committee submitted a report to the president in December 2014. It has not been released publicly.

On 30 December 2013 the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) issued a communiqué calling upon the Chairperson of the AU Commission to “urgently establish a Commission to investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed…and make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities.” Members of the African Union Commission of Inquiry (AUCISS) on South Sudan were sworn in in March 2014. The AUCISS committed in its June 2014 interim report to produce a detailed final report containing findings and recommendations on healing, reconciliation, accountability and institutional reforms that would contribute to finding lasting solutions to the crisis in South Sudan

The Commission of Inquiry completed investigations and left South Sudan in August 2014. On 29 January 2015, the PSC decided to defer the consideration of the AUCISS report to a later date based on an understanding that publishing the report would impede the peace process.  On 13 June, the PSC issued a communique stating that a ministerial-level meeting would be convened in mid-July to consider the AUCISS report. It is not clear whether the report will be published then. The release of the AU Commission of Inquiry’s report could not only play an important role in helping to deter further violations and crimes but contribute to the design of a transitional justice process. So long as the report is shelved, justice remains on hold while parties are emboldened to commit further crimes without fear of the legal consequences.

In its June proposal, IGAD proposed ‘a hybrid court for South Sudan‘ (HCSS) to be established through a Memorandum of understanding between the AU, UN and the transitional government to be formed.  Its jurisdiction would include genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other international crimes. It also proposes the establishment of a national commission for truth, reconciliation and healing.

In light of the above, a Special Rapporteur would be a positive force to meet the international community’s obligations to ensure accountability and justice for abuse of human rights and international humanitarian law in South Sudan. Member states must act quickly to ensure the mandate is established while also calling on the AU to make public the report of the AUCISS. They must demand an end to the ongoing human rights violation and abuses and further urge the South Sudanese authorities to cooperate in the establishment of a hybrid court.

Eskalation der Gewalt im Südsudan


Die Eskalation der Gewalt in Südssudan ist eine Folge fehlender regionaler und internationaler Aktionen

Untersuchungen von Amnesty International in den letzten Wochen haben aufgezeigt, dass die Eskalation der Gewalt auf allen Seiten eine Folge fehlender Aktivitäten der internationalen Gemeinschaft sind.
Beobachter der Organisation haben im Gebiert um Bentiu im Unity State haben diese Gewalt dokumentiert, einschließlich gezielter Tötung von Zivilpersonen, von Entführungen und sexueller Gewalt. Die Führer aller Parteien Südsudan zeigen weinig Interesse, Gewalt und Kämpfe zu beenden, aber auch die internationale Gemeinschaft unternimmt nicht die nötigen Schritte, um eine Ende der Gewalt herbeizuführen, sagt Michelle Kagari, deputy director von Amnesty International.
Tausende sind in die Camps der UN-Truppen geflohen, um der Gewalt und den Kämpfen zwischen der Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition, den Regierungstruppen und anderen bewaffneten Milizen zu entkommen.
Flüchtlinge aus den Bezirken Rubkona, Guit, Koch und Leer haben Amnesty einheitlich ausgesagt, Bewaffnete in SPLM Uniform, aber auch in ziviler Kleidung, ausgerüstet mit Gewehren aber auch Äxten und Macheten, hätten ihre Dörfer überfallen und die Bewohner vertrieben.

 

Amnesty International fordert:
 
  • Der UN Sicherheitsrat muss ein umfassendes Waffenembargo für alle Parteien im Südsudan durchsetzen
  • und er muss umgehend dafür sorgen, dass den für die Gewalt verantwortlichen Personen Reisebeschränkungen auferlegt werden, deren Konten gesperrt und diese nach internationalem Recht zur Verantwortung gezogen werden.
  • Die Afrikanische Union (AU) muss ihre Entscheidung rückgängig machen, den Bericht der Untersuchungskommission für den Südsudan bis zum Abschluss eines Friedensabkommens und bis zum AU-Gipfel im Juni zu prüfen und und ihn erst dann öffentlich zu machen.
  • Die zwischenstaatlichen Entwicklungsbehörde (IGAD) muss ihren Verpflichtungen nachkommen und dafür sorgen, dass gezielte Sanktionen und ein Waffenembargo verhängt werden, um den Konflikt im Südsudan zu beenden.