South Sudan: Halt Abuses or Face the Consequences
11 July 2013
The United States and the United Nations must compel South Sudan to rein in soldiers who are committing atrocities in Jonglei State. This is one major finding from the latest report by Refugees International (RI), South Sudan: Protection and Assistance Challenges Demand Firm Response. The report calls on the U.S. to withhold a portion of its foreign aid to South Sudan until the government acts to halt these abuses.
An ongoing offensive by the South Sudanese army (SPLA) against rebel forces in Jonglei has been tarnished by government soldiers’ widespread abuse of civilians in Pibor County. Since the start of the offensive in February, SPLA troops have killed civilians, looted and burned homes and stores, and destroyed the compounds of non-governmental organizations. (…)
Peacekeepers from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) have also been denied permission to patrol in Pibor County, in a clear violation of South Sudan’s Status of Forces Agreement with the UN. UNMISS and the UN Security Council have failed to push back against these violations, which has left civilians unprotected from SPLA atrocities.
“The SPLA, and the government officials who command them, must halt these abuses immediately and give peacekeepers and humanitarians full access to people in need,” Ms. Briggs added. “If they do not, then there should be consequences. Withholding American aid is a very serious step, but it may be the only thing that can compel South Sudan to change its behavior.”
Read full press release. Read full report.