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HRC36: Denmark in enhanced interactive dialogue at the Human Rights Council on the situation of human rights in South Sudan 

18.09.2017  16:22

UN Human Rights Council
36th Session
Interactive Dialogue on South Sudan, 18. September 2017
Intervention by Denmark

Mr. President,
We thank the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan for its work and reporting.

Denmark is extremely alarmed by the humanitarian situation, levels of violence and human rights abuses in South Sudan. Just a few weeks ago, the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation concluded a two-day visit to South Sudan, in which she met with Government representatives and visited protection of civilian camps in Juba and in Malakal. The images of a population in total despair were appalling and made a strong impression.

Although the most desperate situations of famine were alleviated - due to the impressive work of humanitarian actors and quick reaction of donors - humanitarian needs are immense as 60 percent of the remaining population in South Sudan live with acute food insecurity. The human rights situation is further  deteriorating, and the conditions facing South Sudanese women are particularly  appalling, characterized by systematic sexual and gender based violence used as a weapon of war.

During her visit, the Danish Minister had the opportunity to speak to members of the Government and expressed Denmark’s profound concern about the continuous fighting, the scale of the humanitarian crisis, the lack of humanitarian access and the appalling working conditions facing humanitarian aid workers. In March this year, six aid workers were killed in an armed attack on a Danish funded development program, which brings the number of fatalities to 83 aid workers killed in South Sudan since the beginning of the civil war.

The humanitarian crisis in South Sudan is mainly manmade and South Sudan’s leaders and warring parties face a historic responsibility for all the suffering of the population. Impunity can never be accepted and those responsible should be hold accountable. We call on the Government of South Sudan to fully cooperate with AU and IGAD in their endeavors to bring peace to South Sudan.