Home | News    Thursday 14 May 2015

World bodies reiterate calls for sanctions on South Sudan

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May 13, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – Concerned about the renewed clashes between South Sudan’s warring parties in Unity state, the African Union (AU) has said it was time to implement sanctions against leaders responsible for atrocities in the country.

South Sudanese soldiers patrol the streets of Unity state capital Bentiu on 12 January 2014 (Photo: Simon Maina/AFP)

In a statement issued Tuesday, the AU’s Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) expressed concerns over the “extremely fragile” and “volatile” situation in the country, with the opposition accusing government troops of carrying out offensives in rebel-held areas.

“It is equally important to work towards the effective implementation of sanctions against all those undermining the quest for peace, violating international humanitarian law and obstructing the efforts of peacekeepers on the ground, in line with the UN Security Council resolution of 3 March 2015,” partly reads the AUPSC’s statement.

Acknowledging the role played by regional, continental and world leaders in efforts to end the tragedy unfolding in South Sudan, the AU urged the warring parties to bear responsibility in this respect.

“It is high time that they [South Sudan’s warring parties] live-up to their commitments. They have to end the unnecessary suffering they are inflicting on their own people. They have to understand that there is no military solution to the current conflict,” said the AU.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions displaced since violence broke out in the young nation in December 2013. According to the UN humanitarian coordinator, since the beginning of May 2015 alone, military activities in Unity State, have forced up to 100,000 people to flee their homes. Also, more than 2.5 million others are reportedly at risk of hunger and disease as a result of the conflict, and massive violations of human rights and destruction of property continue to take place.

Meanwhile, the continental body renewed its commitment to continue to work with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) leadership with a view to finding a peaceful and lasting way to resolve the conflict in the world’s youngest nation.

Part of its efforts, the AU stressed, was to expedite the operationalisation of the ad hoc committee of heads of state and government established by its Peace and Security Council last December, to enhance Africa’s support and input to the peace process.

The United Nations, in a recent statement, equally condemning the ongoing fighting, saying it was time to consider implementing sanctions against parties in the conflict.

“In early 2014, just a month after war had broken out between South Sudan’s government and the armed opposition led by Riek Machar, the former vice president, government forces tore their southward through Unity state, burning villages and displacing thousands of civilians into swamps and other hard-to-reach areas where over the next month they would struggle to survive,” reads the UN statement.

“Now Unity state may be seeing a repeat of that horrific violence. Once again government forces are on the march to capture territory from opposition forces, presumably before the rainy season restricts troop movement,” it added.

The world body further decried the situation in which government troops allegedly attacked villages, chasing, killing, abducting and raping civilians, while aid workers have been forced to leave the areas, further complicating humanitarian catastrophe.

The US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a statement, equally expressed concerns over the plight of civilians who fled for days in Unity state as one village after another was attacked amid what it described as the rise on cases of sexual violence, hunger, and extensive looting allegedly by pro-government forces and their allies.

"Now Unity state may be seeing a repeat of that horrific violence. Once again government forces are on the march to capture territory from opposition forces, presumably before the rainy season restricts troop movement," HRW said Tuesday.

The UN Security Council set up a sanctions regime in February and they should make full use of this now to place travel bans and asset freezes on violators, stressed HRW.

"It should also impose a long overdue arms embargo on both sides", said the rights body.

"The UN Security Council should also not just condemn violations but take firm steps to help ensure accountability for the war crimes and potential crimes against humanity UNMISS has already documented in South Sudan", it added.

(ST)

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  • 14 May 2015 10:31, by Panda Odhie

    Dear world devils don’t addicted on preaching lies ,nobody can abduct anybody in SS, you better not putting it in your wrong report, misinterpreted and copy as it is by those who want SS to be in totally mess and destroyed to achieve what is in their hearts. Fighting a mad dog is crime

    • 14 May 2015 13:06, by Mayom County Boy

      sanction is not the best solution for south Sudanese leaders to solve the crisis in the country .
      we need really peace that can unit every citizens .

    • 14 May 2015 13:59, by Eastern

      Panda,

      Really? How about the numerous women and children abducted by Murle people Jonglei state. Stop denying what’s already happening.

      • 15 May 2015 11:59, by Panda Odhie

        Those were Murle who used to abduct not the government army, where to take them, what somebody is going to do with that girl, woman or a child?. The army children are lacking good house ,feeding no need for abduction, it was style Arab during time when Sudan was in War with South. they just take you as slave ,but in South Sudan I didn’t think other communities can practice that except Murle.

  • 14 May 2015 11:01, by Mapuor

    Just chase Dr Riek Macar out of Ethiopia and deny him access to Kenya and Sudan and you will see him surrendering to the government. Needless to say,sanctions tend to have far reaching effects on innocent South Sudanese who are currently living at the edge of survival. Just ask Dr Riek to join his forces and you will see miracles.Dr Riek shiver on hearing the sounds of guns!



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