Australian statement for the Enhanced Interactive Dialogue: Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, 10 March 2021
Human Rights Council – 46th session
Enhanced Interactive Dialogue: Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan
10 March 2021
Australia thanks the Commission for its vital work and continues to fully support the Commission’s mandate.
We are gravely concerned at continuing human rights violations and abuses and the significant escalation in violence, including sexual violence, at the local level. This involves thousands of combatants and a proliferation of weapons which are readily available to children. We call on the Government to re-establish state and local government authority throughout the country, including in the Equatoria region, and to invest in a genuine grassroots process to address local grievances.
Australia welcomes the Government of South Sudan’s commitment to its obligations under the 2018 Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan through its approval to establish a Hybrid Court. We encourage the government to enact the necessary domestic legislation without delay to ensure there is accountability for the most serious crimes and justice for victims.
Australia reiterates our concern at the shrinking civil space for journalists and civil society in South Sudan and reports of unlawful state surveillance and repression. We call on South Sudan to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the rights to freedom of speech, expression, peaceful assembly and association.
Australia asks the Commission what can be done to address local grievances and the high levels of violence at the local level, particularly in the Equatoria region?