South Sudan Fails to Punish Rights Violators, UN Commission Says

Human-rights violations are still being perpetrated in South Sudan, with no progress made in punishing those responsible for crimes during the more than two-year civil war, a United Nations commission said.

The rights commission visiting South Sudan was also concerned by the harassment of civil society organizations, restrictions on UN and humanitarian groups and a decline in press freedom, Yasmin Sooka, a member of the delegation, told reporters Thursday in the capital, Juba. The commission was formed in March to investigate atrocities in the oil-producing African nation.

“One of the root causes of the current situation is the lack of accountability for crimes committed,” Sooka said. Also of concern is the “slow progress on the implementation of the provisions of the peace agreement which is fundamental to ending the conflict, human rights violations and normalization of the lives of South Sudanese.”

Resurgent violence in July killed hundreds in Juba, worsening a conflict that began in December 2013 and has left tens of thousands of people dead, while uprooting 2 million from their homes. The UN Security Council in August approved 4,000 extra regional peacekeeping troops for South Sudan.

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