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HRC37: Statement by Denmark on the human rights situation in South Sudan

Denmark in dialogue on the human rights situation in South Sudan at the Human Rights Council


UN Human Rights Council
 37th Session

Interactive Dialogue on with
 the Human Rights Commission on South Sudan
 13 March 2018
 Intervention by Denmark

Mr. President,
 Denmark aligns itself with the statement by the EU.
 Once again, we approach the Council with extreme concern about the continuous mass atrocities in South Sudan. The scale of human suffering is almost beyond description.

Our concerns are fuelled by the brutal testimonies in the recent Human Rights Commission report.
 It is clear that several parties to the conflict - but most predominately the Government of South Sudan and its military allies - continue to attack its own people in a way that can only be described as inhuman. Gross violations of an almost unspeakable malice, including rape and sexual violence on women, men, and children cannot be justified by any measures.

Killings based on ethnic identity. Human mutilation. Attacks on unarmed and fleeing civilians. These horrid actions are inflicted on the same people, the parties claim to represent.

Despite committing to the IGAD High Level Revitalization Forum and the 2017 Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities as well as announcing full humanitarian access, the Government demonstrates slow progress in establishing the Hybrid Court and the Commission on Truth, Reconciliation and Healing. It continues to limit humanitarian access and fails to prosecute soldiers for crimes against their own people. Sadly, the civilians bear the brunt of this grave failure of leadership.
 The international community and the regional leaders have a responsibility to help put an end to this cycle of impunity, sparing no measures to enforce accountability.  As the report of the Commission recommends, we urge the prompt establishments of the long overdue Hybrid Court.
 We welcome and support the efforts of regional organizations to bring the warring parties to the negotiating table and revitalize the 2015 Peace Agreement. We reinforce our message of strong sympathy with the South Sudanese people.

Addressing the distinguished members of the Commission, we would like to ask, what the next step should be to ensure accountability for the horrid crimes in South Sudan?

Thank you.