Gov’t unhappy with ‘renewal’ of Human rights mandate

By William Madouk

The government is unhappy with the renewal of mandate for the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, saying that it undermines the sovereignty of the country.

This comes after Human Rights Council on Tuesday extended the responsibility for Human Rights commission for yet another year.

According to the council, the mechanism will remain till reason that led to its establishment are addressed in a meaningful manner.

This year, the resolution was adopted by a vote of 19 in favor, 09 against, and 19 abstentions.

Reacting to the matter, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Deng Dau Deng said government is ‘disturbed’ by the extension of the commission mandate that is ‘unhelpful’.

“Our position as the government really is, we are quite disturbed by this renewal of mandate of the Human Rights Council because it is not helpful really,” Dau told No.1 Citizen in an exclusive interview.

Mr. Dau cited that, while the government is trying to pull out from ‘degrading’ reporting to boarder scope such as capacity building still they are kept under rights docket undermining sovereignty. 

“Because we are talking of pulling out of this reporting, but go to specific areas where we can help our rule of law prosecutors and judges so that they are given specific capacity building and training,” Dau explained.

“Definitely, we are not happy with it [renewal], because we cannot be kept under human right docket as a country, we cannot be kept like that!” he added.

When asked about a voice of concern by the council over the sluggish implementation of the peace agreement especially on transitional justice process, Mr. Dau quizzed whether the latter gave funds for speedy execution.

“Did they bring money for us to be able to do this? They just report and they don’t know the difficulties the government is in,” acting minister of Foreign Affairs noted.

“We were working since 2018, and if they brought money and they said we have delayed then they have right,” he continued.

Dau said the council unanimously endorsed item ‘10’ and ‘2’ on technical assistance and capacity building to help improve human rights situation in South Sudan and to hold the culprits accountable for their deeds.

Latest annual report presented by the commission before the Human Rights Council, said civilians were attacked and their food aid was looted in September 2022, and sex abuses were documented.

According to the report, impunity remain as a major driver of the human rights and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. The report also implicated senior government officials, who vehemently denied wrongdoing.

On March 2023, the Minister of Justice, Ruben Madol during 52nd session of UN human rights commission objected the renewal of the mandate arguing it undermines state authority.

Justice Madol alleged that UN experts also undermined the government’s efforts to implement the revitalized peace agreement.

In February, Minister of Cabinet Affairs Dr. Martin Elia Lomuro also accused the UN Rights body of compiling ‘concocted’ report in a frantic push for regime change.

Dr. Lomuro during a workshop to analyze two human rights reports, criticized UN Commission on human rights under Yasmin Sooka for incessantly distorting the country’s image for their own ‘clandestine’ agenda.

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