The United Nations Human Rights experts have warned of deteriorating security situation in South Sudan.
They further cautioned that the situation migh worsen if the international community pays no greater attention to the increasing violence at the local levels.
“Without these steps, we are likely to see millions more South Sudanese displaced or crossing borders, creating havoc for neighboring countries and aid agencies,” said Yasmin Sooka, Chairperson of the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan.
Sooka who spoke during the recent 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York last weekend , further advises that the world should pay attention to the escalating violence proliferating in some parts of the country.
“We tried to get across the message that it is critical donors and member states continue to monitor the peace agreement, security sector reform, and ensure constitutional legislation is pushed through before elections.”
Even though parties to the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement for South Sudan agreed to a two-year extension of the transitional governance arrangements, elections will not be held until late 2024. The UN experts said the shape of the electoral system remains undefined.
Sooka added that elections require a conducive environment, but South Sudanese who have questioned the government or exposed atrocities continues to receive death threats and been detained or tortured, with the political space shrinking.
Meanwhile, UN Commissioner Barney Afako said now, four years later, none of the three proposed transitional justice bodies have come into being the Commission on Truth, Reconciliation and Healing, the Hybrid Court, or the Compensation and Reparation Authority.
“You cannot exclude large numbers of people who have suffered from having a say in the future justice system. Nor can you cherry pick between the different transitional justice bodies they all have to work together to bring closure to the people of South Sudan,” Commissioner Afako said.
He urged the government to make available interim reparations to survivors whose lives have been shattered.
“Survivors in South Sudan, particularly those of repeated incidents of sexual violence, tell us again and again that criminal accountability is the only way to guarantee their safety and peace for the country. That’s why setting up the hybrid court is non-negotiable,” said another Commissioner, Andrew Clapham.