HRW urges South Sudan leaders to address the persistent deteriorating humanitarian situation.
Human Rights Watch said Thursday that South Sudanese officials should address persistent instability, rights violations, and the deteriorating humanitarian situation throughout the country’s protracted transition phase.
Regional and international partners should increase pressure and leverage to ensure that institutional changes are completed, the rule of law is restored, and considerable progress in human rights protection is made, according to the rights organization.
The parties to the September 2018 peace settlement decided on August 4, 2022, to extend it for another 24 months, beginning in February 2023, when the original agreement is set to expire. President Salva Kiir, who signed the extension with four other political factions, said that it would allow for the unity of the military forces, the writing of a new constitution, and time to prepare for elections in order to prevent a return to violence.
“The previous four and a half years in South Sudan have been marked by repression, violence against civilians, and assaults that have hindered attempts to complete the transition,” said Human Rights Watch researcher Nyagoah Tut Pur. “The extension must be accompanied by a radical change in South Sudan’s leadership’s mindset as well as actual efforts toward addressing the country’s human rights situation.”
According to HRW, the expansion occurs amid a background of pervasive insecurity and a strong repressive atmosphere. South Sudan inhabitants suffer a grave humanitarian crisis, with 60 percent of the population enduring food insecurity, due to localized and inter-communal violence in certain sections of the nation, floods, chronic underdevelopment, and the effect of Covid-19.
South Sudan erupted into a brutal war in 2013, with all sides committing atrocities against people. A 2015 peace agreement for a unity government fell apart in 2016, escalating hostilities. That agreement was “revitalized” in 2018 by warring parties and was supposed to expire in February 2023. However, intermittent violence has persisted.
“The prolongation of the peace accord should not be exploited to prolong the misery and betray the dreams of the people of South Sudan,” Pur added. “Regional and international allies must be prepared to take aggressive action to guarantee that leaders correct past mistakes and pave the road for justice, democracy, and long-term peace.”