28 September 2012 (BOR) – The chairperson of the South Sudan Human Rights Commission, Laurence Corbandy visited Jonglei State on Thursday to address the issues of human rights protection as addressed by the UN Mission in South Sudan.
- Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, Laurence Corbandy, Bor, September 27, 2012 (ST)
Director of the Human Rights Division and representative of the UN High Commission for Human Rights, Richard Bennett said the government must conduct investigations into cases of alleged human rights violations.
On 26 June UNMISS issued a report alleging incidents of human rights abuses in the state by members South Sudan army (SPLA).
Bennett said that he was sure that the SPLA is taking the necessary action “against those who were responsible”.
The SPLA is currently particularly active in region as a state-wide disarmament programme is being implemented involving over 10,000 soldiers and police.
President Salva Kiir ordered the disarmament 2,000 people have been killed over the last two years in large-scale cattle raiding and reprisal attacks between rival ethnic groups.
The UNMISS report accused the SPLA in the state of torture, rapes and the killing of civilians during the campaign that began in March following an upsurge in fighting deaths and displacement in December 2011 and January 2012.
Three months after the publication of the UNMISS report the state Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk and the SPLA head of peace restoring forces in Jonglei, Kuol Deim Kuol, refuted the report describing it as one-sided and lacking the SPLA perspective.
However, Deim has admitted that over 30 SPLA soldiers deployed as part of the disarmament campaign have been sacked.
Bennett described a meeting with Governor Manyang in which the issue was discussed, as beneficial. This view was reiterated by Corbandy although chairperson of the South Sudan Human Rights Commission described the UNMISS report as “100 percent nonsense”.
South Sudan’s UN Human Rights representative Benedict Sannoh was assaulted in August 2011 at a hotel in Juba, the country’s capital, by around 12 South Sudan police officers who beat, kicked and punched him while he laid on the floor.
After being held for five hours without charge the Liberian national was taken to a UN hospital. At the time UNMISS condemned the assault as unacceptable pointing out that it contravenes the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the UN and South Sudan.