Target: South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit
Goal: Reinstate UN official responsible for investigating human rights abuses in South Sudan
United Nations official Sandra Beidas has been expelled from South Sudan for investigating the country’s numerous reports of human rights abuses. A recent report published by Beidas accuses the South Sudanese army of multiple incidents of rape, torture, killings, and abductions. Government officials justify the expulsion by accusing Beidas of falsifying the records, calling the report “unethical.” The truth of human rights violations in South Sudan must be ferreted out. Call upon South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s administration to allow the investigation to continue.
The UN report is not the first to cast doubt upon South Sudan’s human rights record. Recently, Amnesty International also put out a report that accused the South Sudanese security forces of human rights abuses, including the raping and killing of countless civilians. Nevertheless, government officials expelled Ms. Beidas, saying that she had no evidence to support her claims. In response to accusations by Amnesty International, South Sudanese officials said that the supposed violations were few and far between. And government officials refused to provide any explanation to UN officials when they were questioned.
UN officials in South Sudan have accused the country of violating “the legal obligations of the government of the Republic of South Sudan under the Charter of the United Nations.” They point to the importance of monitoring, investigating, reporting on, and building a wider capacity for human rights throughout the country. Little more than a year old, the country of South Sudan still suffers from weak infrastructure and underdevelopment. Ethnic tensions plague the country as well, making democratic progress slow at best. Failing to recognize and rectify issues of human rights violations only serves to weaken an already struggling nation.
Call upon President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s administration to take action and ensure the protection of human rights in this newly formed country.
Dear President Salva Kirr Mayardit,
The recent expulsion of United Nations officer Sandra Beidas for investigating human rights abuses in South Sudan has raised troubling questions. While your government maintains that Ms. Beidas’ accusations are unfounded and “unethical,” her report corresponds with human rights violations documented by a recent Amnesty International publication. These violations include rape, killings, abductions, and torture of citizens at the hands of security personnel.
It is essential that these human rights abuses be thoroughly investigated. The expulsion of a UN official and an ongoing refusal to discuss the accusations begs the question of how serious South Sudan is about upholding human rights. As a relatively new country, it is paramount that South Sudan works to build strong institutions, infrastructure, and accountability.
I ask that you reconsider the expulsion of Ms. Beidas and work to rectify these human rights abuses.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: babasteve via Flickr