UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL - 51st SESSION

Item 10 – National intervention during the Interactive Dialogue with the High Commissioner on South Sudan

Statement delivered by Ernst Schutte

Mr President,

We take this opportunity to express our continued support for the Revitalized Peace Agreement in South Sudan. The government has set itself ambitious benchmarks for its full implementation in the recent Roadmap. We have seen positive steps in the last weeks, such as the Graduation of Unified Forces. However, the road is long and challenging. We encourage the government to step up its efforts to prevent any further delay.

Peace cannot be a paper exercise. We are deeply concerned that violence persists throughout the country, and that government forces and agencies are part of the perpetrators. Brutal attacks paired with pandemic rates of sexual violence are causing mass displacement and humanitarian crises. At the same time, the silencing of activists is restricting free reporting on the situation at hand. We need the government to intervene immediately, to cease the hostilities and hold perpetrators to account. Without justice there can be no peace.  

In the Roadmap, the Government has pledged to implement all three Transitional Justice mechanisms of the peace agreement by the time we reconvene for our next Human Rights Council. NL stands ready to support South Sudan in this process. We hope to then discuss the first successes of truth, reconciliation and justice for the people of South Sudan, who are longing for answers and accountability for the legacy of the past.

Mr President,

We would like to ask the OHCHR: what will you do to ensure these mechanisms are operational by March 2023, and what can the international community do to ensure justice is effective and people-centered?

Thank you.