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South Sudan: Human Rights Watch Calls for Accountability in Transition Process

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The decision by the United Nations Human Rights Council to renew its investigative mandate on South Sudan sends a powerful message to the country’s leaders that accountability remains essential to the transition process, a senior Human Rights Watch official said Friday.

On March 31, the UN Human Rights Council voted to renew in full the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, despite opposition from government.

“The decision by the UN’s top human rights body to renew its investigative mandate on South Sudan sends a powerful message to the country’s leaders that accountability remains essential to the transition process,” said John Fisher, the Geneva director at Human Rights Watch.

He added, “In the face of a deteriorating human rights and humanitarian crisis, the government should cooperate with the Commission, implement its recommendations, and urgently fulfil their commitments to end systemic impunity for serious crimes.

The Commission currently comprises of Yasmin Sooka (South Africa), Andrew Clapham (UK and Switzerland) and Barney Afako (Uganda).

Established in March 2016, mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan is to determine and report the facts and circumstances of, collect and preserve evidence of, and clarify responsibility for alleged gross violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes, including sexual and gender-based violence and ethnic violence, with a view to ending impunity and providing accountability.

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