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South Sudan

    August 01, 2014

    (Juba, South Sudan) – South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS) should stop seizing and shutting down newspapers as well as harassing, intimidating and unlawfully detaining journalists, two leading human rights organizations said today in a joint report.

    Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said that against the backdrop of an internal armed conflict that has raged for seven months across much of the country, the moves are restricting freedom of expression and curtailing public debate about how to end the conflict. The groups called for an end to these abuses and for South Sudan’s parliament to ensure proper oversight of the NSS, in line with international human rights law and standards.

    July 17, 2014

    The United Nations Security Council must impose a comprehensive arms embargo on South Sudan, Amnesty International urged after receiving reports of Chinese small arms and ammunition proliferation amongst both sides in the conflict.

    The organization also has confirmed that China supplied a further 1,000 tons of small arms and light weapons worth US$38 million to the country just over two weeks ago. 

    “China is playing a dangerous diplomatic game with the lives of millions of people in South Sudan. It has pledged to provide peacekeeping troops to protect civilians, and at the same time has sent over 1,000 ton of arms,” said Elizabeth Ashamu Deng, South Sudan Researcher at Amnesty International.

    “Such arms are likely to fall into the hands of both parties to the conflict and be used to fuel the atrocities threatening civilian lives.”

    The Security Council, of which China is a permanent member, has already condemned violations of international humanitarian law in South Sudan, including extrajudicial executions and ethnically targeted violence.

    July 08, 2014
    There are currently more than a million internally displaced people in South Sudan.  © Amnesty International


    Questions & Answers on the Conflict in South Sudan, 3 years after its independence
    -by Elizabeth Ashamu Deng, Amnesty International

    On 9 July, South Sudan will mark three years as an independent state. But the growing pains of the world’s newest country are evident as millions are trapped in a vicious cycle of violence. Amnesty International’s Elizabeth Ashamu Deng looks at some of the problems facing South Sudan today.

    July 08, 2014
      Both sides to the conflict committing war crimes and crimes against humanity More than 1 million internally displaced and 400,000 forced to flee the country 3.9 million people face an alarming risk of food insecurity as fears of famine loom Arms flow into South Sudan as conflict continues

    Since the conflict began in December 2013, more than 1 million people have been displaced, with 400,000 fleeing to neighbouring countries. Around the country 3.9 million people face an alarming risk of food insecurity, as fears of an impending famine loom.  More than 100,000 people are in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps at UN bases – some have been trapped in these compounds for months, afraid they will be attacked if they leave.

    One local human rights defender told Amnesty International: “What is there to celebrate when I don’t feel free?”

    July 07, 2014
    An elder in South Sudan

    by Alex Neve
    Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada

    Greeting to Amnesty International supporters, from Juba, South Sudan.

    As our human rights mission gets underway, I thought I’d share an uplifting "Amnesty moment" amidst two long, hot days of interviews in IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps here in Juba; with more to come. 

    These IDP camps are actually within United Nations peacekeeping bases.  The two in Juba hold around 30,000 people.  Nationwide, UN soldiers are sheltering about 100,000 people.  It was an unprecedented decision back in December when people were fleeing widespread massacres. Whereas UN bases have usually been a no-go zone for people fleeing atrocities, this time the UN Mission here made an unparalleled decision to open the gates.  It saved thousands of lives at the time, no doubt.

    July 07, 2014

    Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International Canada
    - in Juba, South Sudan

    “Stop publishing articles on federalism”

    That is the warning media outlets in South Sudan received in late June, through phone calls and visits from government security officers. 

    The National Security Service had decided that it was a threat to “national security” to discuss federalism – an approach to governance embraced by states around the world and already a feature of the interim South Sudanese Constitution. There was no written decree to back up their ominous warning. 

    May 08, 2014

    Following today’s publication of new Amnesty International research on horrific atrocities amid the conflict in South Sudan, the United Nations has released its own comprehensive report echoing calls for accountability for all those responsible for crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations.

    The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) report came out just hours after Amnesty International released Nowhere Safe: Civilians Under Attack in South Sudan following a recent mission to the country.

    “These reports document how individuals up and down the chain of command on both sides of the conflict have been responsible for perpetrating, ordering or acquiescing to a litany of grave abuses,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Eastern Africa.

    Both reports document extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, rape and other acts of sexual violence, arbitrary arrests and detention, targeted attacks against civilians not taking part in hostilities, and attacks on hospitals, churches and humanitarian workers – including those from the UN.

    May 07, 2014

    Posted at 0001hrs BST 8 May 2014

    A new investigation into the conflict in South Sudan has revealed horrific atrocities committed by both parties to the conflict, with targeted attacks on civilians due to their ethnicity and perceived political affiliations, constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said in a report released today.

    December 24, 2013

    The UN Secretary-General’s request for the UN Security Council to provide additional human and material resources to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) reflects the urgent need to protect civilians at risk amid the escalating violence, Amnesty International said.

    On Monday evening UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an additional 5,500 peacekeepers to join the 7,000 UNMISS troops already on the ground with a mandate to protect civilians.

    “The Secretary-General’s proposal shows that the UN is acutely aware of how dire and dangerous the situation is in South Sudan,” said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director.

    "UNMISS peacekeepers must live up to their mandate to protect civilians, which they have not been able to do effectively in the past. Terrified civilians desperately need protection.”

    The move to expand the peacekeeping mission comes after violent clashes between rival groups of soldiers erupted in the capital Juba on 15 December before spreading to other parts of the country. 

    December 20, 2013

    Warring factions in South Sudan must immediately rein in their troops to prevent further attacks on civilians, Amnesty International said amid violence that has erupted across the country.

    There is mounting evidence that troops and armed civilians from South Sudan’s two largest communities, the Dinka and Nuer, are carrying out targeted killings of civilians based on their ethnic background.

    Three United Nations peacekeepers were also reportedly killed on Thursday when armed Nuer youths in Akobo, Jonglei state, forced their way into a peacekeeping base sheltering Dinka civilians.

    “Attacks on civilians seeking shelter from fighting is a shocking development in this increasingly vicious conflict,” said Netsanet Belay, Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    “The fact that these attacks were carried out by armed youths is a disturbing sign that this conflict is moving beyond fighting between soldiers and into widespread inter-communal violence.”

    Fighting originated in the capital Juba on Sunday but has since spread to other parts of the country including Jonglei, South Sudan’s largest state.

    May 24, 2013

     South Sudan state authorities have failed to carry out adequate investigations into the killing of eight peaceful protesters in December 2012 by government security forces, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today.

    On December 9, security forces opened fire on a peaceful protest, killing six people on the spot. Two more protesters died later in a hospital. The protest had been triggered by the killing of two men during an outbreak of violence between youth and security forces the evening before.

    “Eight peaceful protesters are dead in South Sudan at the hands of security forces and apparently no one has been charged or prosecuted five months later,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa Director at Human Rights Watch. “This sets a bad precedent for a new country and undermines freedom of expression and peaceful assembly across South Sudan.”

    The December 9 protest and the killing of the two men during an outbreak of violence the evening before took place during civil unrest in Wau, capital of Western Bahr el Ghazal state, over a decision to move a county administrative headquarters outside of the town.

    May 03, 2013

    (Juba, May 3, 2013) – Security force harassment and unlawful detention of journalists is undermining freedom of expression in South Sudan, the Agency for Independent Media (AIM), Amnesty International, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and Human Rights Watch said today, on World Press Freedom Day.

    Since South Sudan became independent in July 2011, its security forces have regularly intimidated and unlawfully arrested and detained journalists and editors in connection with the content of their reporting. The organizations are calling for an end to the harassment and have documented multiple cases, many at the hands of South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS), a security organ whose mandate and functions have never been established by law and which does not have any authority to arrest and detain people.

    “The South Sudanese authorities have done far too little to end unlawful detention of media workers in recent years,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should rein in its security forces and investigate and prosecute all attacks on journalists.”

    February 21, 2013

    Tensions are spiraling in South Sudan’s western Bahr El Ghazal state following a series of arrests by the state authorities and a security clampdown that has left 24 dead and more than 60 injured, Amnesty International said today in a new report.

    The organization is calling for a thorough investigation into the largely unreported events of December 2012 in the wake of a controversial decision to relocate Wau County headquarters.

    On 8 and 9 December 2012, security forces killed 11 people following road blocks and protests in Wau town. The protests began over the state government’s decision to move Wau County headquarters from Wau to Bagari – a town 19 kilometres away.

    “The failure of the authorities to ensure proper investigations into the events in Wau County in December 2012 has allowed tensions to mount,” said Amnesty International’s Africa Director, Netsanet Belay.

    “Those responsible for unlawful killings, including the security forces responsible for killing protesters, must promptly be held to account.”

    South Sudanese Women Speak Peace: Presentations, MP Panel and Discussion

    Featuring women peacebuilders Agnes Wasuk Petia and Awak Deng and MP Panel with Hélène Laverdière, MP, and others TBC

    Moderated by Jennifer Henry, KAIROS Executive Director

    Thursday, December 7, 2017, 7:00 pm-9:00 pm

    Desmarais Building, Room 1160, 55 Laurier, University of Ottawa

    Our special guests will highlight the critical role of grassroots organizations like the South Sudan Council of Churches in responding to violence against women in war-torn South Sudan and in building peace at the community and national level. MPs from each political party have been invited to respond in the context of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and the National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security.

    Amnesty International led a human rights research mission to Sudan's southern Kordofan region in January 2013.

    “The international community continues to watch this catastrophe unfold as the humanitarian situation worsens in conflict-affected areas of Southern Kordofan. It’s time for some concerted action.” 

    -Khairunissa Dhala, Amnesty International’s South Sudan researcher.

    The mission was led by Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada and Khairunissa Dhala, South Sudan Researcher from Amnesty's International Secretariat.


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