Situation of human rights in South Sudan

Year

2021

UN Body

Human Rights Council

Session

46

Session Type

HRC Regular

Agenda Item

4

Country Concerned

South Sudan

Condemnatory

Yes

Analysis

  • This is one of two competing resolutions on South Sudan in the same session. Historically, the South Sudan resolution had been adopted under Agenda Item 10 until 2014, then under Item 2 in 2015. Since 2016, it has been adopted under Agenda Item 4 signifying a trend moving to stronger criticism over the years. Although it was adopted under Agenda Item 4, South Sudan’s position ranged from varying degrees of support for the resolution to criticism of certain aspects of the resolution, particularly references to some of the Commission of Inquiry’s findings, and the resolution was sometimes deemed non-condemnatory. The resolution had always been adopted by consensus. In the last few years, South Sudan had requested the resolution be moved back to Item 10.
  • This year's Item 4 resolution contains a mix of praise and criticism, directly attributing some serious human rights violations to the governmnet, endorsing the findings of the Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan and extending its mandate.
  • In a departure from its prior approach, the African Group opposed this year’s Item 4 resolution and called for a vote. It said that the resolution did not sufficiently support a country in a post-conflict situation, for example it did not sufficiently focus on technical assistance, a charge disputed by the main sponsors.
  • The African Group’s position and the introduction of the competing Item 10 resolution support the conclusion that this resolution is condemnatory. Several countries including Eritrea and Sudan made the point that Item 4 resolutions should not include provisions for technical assistance which should be only under Item 10.

Main Sponsors

Albania, Norway, United Kingdom, United States

Vote

Yes - 20, No - 16, Abstain - 11

Key Praise

None

Key Criticism

  • "Urges the Government of South Sudan to address the previous and current findings of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, which include corruption and economic crimes...the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict...the abduction, torture and displacement of people...the use of starvation as a method of warfare...and sexual and gender-based violence, including rape, gang rape, sexual mutilation, forced marriage, abduction and sexualized and gender-based torture."
  • "Calls upon the Government of South Sudan to allow and facilitate, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, including international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles, the full, safe, rapid and unhindered access of relief personnel, equipment and supplies..."
  • "Expresses concern at the findings of the Commission in its report regarding widespread and pervasive violence at the subnational level, localized conflicts, often with the participation of organized armed militias affiliated with the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces or the Sudan People’s Liberation Army in Opposition..."
  • "Reaffirms the importance of the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, with continued emphasis on the need to establish the facts and circumstances of alleged violations and abuses of human rights with a view to ensuring that those responsible are held to account..."
  • "Decides to extend the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan..."

Full Vote

  • Yes20

    • Argentina
    • Armenia
    • Austria
    • Bahamas
    • Bulgaria
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Fiji
    • France
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Marshall Islands
    • Mexico
    • Netherlands
    • Poland
    • South Korea
    • Ukraine
    • United Kingdom
    • Uruguay
  • No16

    • Bahrain
    • Bolivia
    • Cameroon
    • China
    • Ivory Coast
    • Cuba
    • Eritrea
    • Gabon
    • Libya
    • Mauritania
    • Pakistan
    • Philippines
    • Russia
    • Somalia
    • Sudan
    • Venezuela
  • Abstain11

    • Bangladesh
    • Brazil
    • Burkina Faso
    • India
    • Indonesia
    • Malawi
    • Namibia
    • Nepal
    • Senegal
    • Togo
    • Uzbekistan