265: Resolution on the human rights situation in the Republic of South Sudan

The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the Commission), at its 15th Extra-Ordinary Session held from 7 – 14 March 2014 in Banjul, The Gambia:

Recalling its mandate to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights pursuant to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter);

Further recalling that one of the objectives of the African Union,  as stipulated in Article 3(f) of its Constitutive Act, is to promote peace, security, and stability in the continent;

Taking cognisance of Article 23 of the African Charter which also provides for the right of all peoples’ to national and international peace and security;

Bearing in mind that South Sudan is a Member State of the African Union and signatory to the African Charter;

Commending the efforts made by the African Union to promote dialogue among the various parties towards achieving peace, security and political stability in the Republic of South Sudan;

Concerned about recent developments in South Sudan, which have massive implications on regional peace, security and stability;

Further concerned about the humanitarian consequences of the situation in South Sudan;

Alarmed with reports of serious and massive human rights violations, including the extra-judicial killing of civilians and captured soldiers, massive displacements and arbitrary detentions, mostly on ethnic grounds;

Bearing in mind the attacks against the civilian population, and the discovery of mass graves in some parts of the country;

Denouncing the acts of warring factions against innocent civilians, contrary to basic regional and international human rights standards; 

Welcoming the decision of the African Union Peace and Security Council to establish a Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan and make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability and reconciliation among all South Sudanese communities;

Stressing the need for South Sudan to cooperate with the African Union Commission of Inquiry to identify perpetrators of the atrocities and hold them accountable, in line with the African Union’s firm commitment to fight impunity;     

Noting the significance of effective redress for victims of human rights violations, not only at the domestic level, but also the regional and international level to end impunity;

Concerned by South Sudan’s delay in ratifying and thereafter domesticating the African Charter as well as other fundamental human rights instruments, which provide avenues of redress for victims of human rights violations;

The Commission:

Strongly condemns the attacks on the civilian population perpetrated by the parties to the conflict;

Requests the Government of South Sudan to ensure the full protection of the civilian population;

Calls on all parties to immediately halt the violence, peacefully resolve their differences and follow through on peace agreements;

Calls on the Government of South Sudan to ensure that perpetrators of the human rights violations are held accountable for their actions;

Urges the Government of South Sudan to cooperate with the African Union Commission of Inquiry; and

Calls on the Government of South Sudan to immediately ratify and domesticate the African Charter and other fundamental human rights instruments.


Done in Banjul, The Gambia on 14 March 2014