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South Sudan human rights violations continue, IGAD peace monitors say

South Sudan conflict

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the body overseeing the implementation of South Sudan’s 2015 peace accord said on Monday widespread human rights violations continue in war-torn South Sudan despite a ceasefire declared between warring parties.

The alleged violations, characterized by different rights groups including Human Rights Watch as “unthinkable crimes against civilians,” include “forced displacement, deliberate attacks against civilians, sexual violence and gang rape.

Speaking during a plenary meeting of stakeholders in Juba, JMEC chairperson Festus Mogae urged an inclusive political process, which brings together all Parties and estranged groups, saying inclusivity and full implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict of South Sudan (ARCSS) holds the key to peace and stability in the country.

“The current security situation in South Sudan remains fragile. Major violations of the ceasefire continue, some of which of which highlights the extent of Sexual and Gender Based Violence perpetrated by uniformed men,” Mogae said.

Mogae, the former Botswana president said the East African regional bloc, IGAD needs to approach the upcoming revitalization forum unified and with strength of purpose to end the ongoing civil war in country.

“As we await IGAD’s detailed plan for the High Level Revitalization Forum, I call upon us all to remain focused on the desperate plight of the people of this country”, Mogae said.

He also called for a coherent effort to aid political developments in the country, noting that Governments in the region hold “significant influence” on political developments to end the three-year war.

South Sudan has been embroiled in more than three years of conflict that has taken a devastating toll on the people of South Sudan.The conflict has killed tens of thousands and displaced more than 3 million ever since it broke out in December 2013 following disagreements in the country’s ruling party (SPLM) between president Salva Kiir and ex-deputy Riek Machar.

A peace pact signed in Addis Ababa in 2015 under intense international pressure was shattered again following renewed violence between rival government and opposition troops in the capital Juba in July 2016.

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