The United Kingdom thanks the Commission for their critical work to promote truth and accountability in South Sudan. We commend the Government of South Sudan for their continued cooperation with the Commission.
The Commission’s work remains incredibly important. Despite progress made in the September 2018 peace deal, civilians continue to be killed and raped, children are recruited as combatants, and communities are forcibly displaced communities. All this takes place without fear of punishment. The Government must address this culture of impunity, and parties to the peace agreement must ensure they implement Chapter V.
The Government must also investigate sexual violence and abuse; support survivors; and to take action to prevent further attacks. In this regard, we welcome the Commission’s reporting on the root causes of sexual and gender-based violence, and encourage the Government of South Sudan to implement their recommendations.
We note with concern the Commission’s reporting on the securitisation of the State, including arbitrary detention and enforced disappearances. We call for accountability for the disappearances of Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Ezbon Idris. Moreover, restrictions on freedom of expression remain and we are deeply concerned by the lack of investigation or accountability regarding the 2017 death of journalist Christopher Allen.
We would like to ask the Commissioner what institutional steps need to be taken by the Government of South Sudan to ensure that human rights are prioritised as the revitalised peace agreement transitions to the next phase?