Target: Ambassador Choi Kyonglim, President of the United Nations Human Rights Council
Goal: Assign a special rapporteur to monitor human rights violations in South Sudan.
South Sudan is in the midst of a brutal civil war between its government and opposing rebel forces. What makes the conflict particularly horrific is that both of the warring sides have continued to murder and torture innocent civilians. In a situation where the government is violating its citizens’ human rights in the most sadistic ways possible, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) must take extreme measures and assign someone to document it and expose it to the rest of the world.
Some of the reports that have reached the public are truly terrifying. It was recently reported that government forces attacked civilians living in a UN camp in Malakal, killing 25 and injuring 100 others. There was an opportunity for the UNHRC to assign a special rapporteur to South Sudan last year, but they instead issued a special report. The reported documented the government and its army committing crimes that included killings, illegal detention, widespread sexual violence, use of child soldiers, forced displacement, and the destruction and looting of civilian property.
Both the rebel forces’ and the government’s armies have committed heinous human rights violations. There will clearly never be an end to the conflict unless we start documenting their crimes more thoroughly. The UN High Commissioner stated that the “failure to address the deeply ingrained disregard for human life will only lead to such violations re-occurring.” The UNHRC must assign a special rapporteur that will help bring accountability to these disgusting human rights violations in South Sudan.
Dear President Kyonglim,
The widespread violation of human rights happening in South Sudan has reached a boiling point, and there must be immediate action taken to both bring justice to past victims and prevent these acts of evil from continuing into the future. Assigning a special monitor to help record these violations is the first step in accomplishing this.
Aside from just shedding more light on the situation, the special rapporteur could engage with regional and international officials to help bring in a special hybrid court that includes both international and domestic judges. This court could help in dealing with the most severe crimes, and has been successful in past situations where a country’s national court was corrupted.
The war in South Sudan has spiraled out of control, and action must be taken to help resolve it. I understand that there have been other strategies discussed such as an arms embargo to help prevent abuse against civilians. I believe that there are many other actions that must be taken to fully restore basic human rights to the country, but assigning a special rapporteur is a very attainable and necessary action that you must carry out.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Steve Evans