Impunity the Key Obstacle to Human Rights Defence in South Sudan

South Sudan is facing difficulties in reconciliation of parties – courtesy photo

Without tackling impunity, South Sudan will not stem pervasive violence, and horrific human rights violations and abuses, a UN inquiry said in a new report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It details how perpetrators of the most serious crimes, including widespread attacks against civilians and extrajudicial killings, remain unpunished. Senior government officials and military officers are implicated in serious human rights violations.

Following the presentation of its 20-page report of main findings to the Human Rights Council on 7 March 2023, the full report reflects in greater detail the Commission’s findings on emblematic situations and sites of human rights violations during 2022.

The report identifies Unity State Governor Joseph Monytuil and Lieutenant General Thoi Chany Reat of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces as among the individuals warranting criminal investigation in relation to State-sanctioned extrajudicial killings carried out in Mayom in August 2022.


Koch County Commissioner Gordon Koang is among the individuals identified as being responsible for leading widespread attacks against civilians in Leer in February and April 2022. The Commission’s findings identify other individuals warranting further scrutiny or investigation in relation to human rights violations in Warrap State, Upper Nile State, northern parts of Jonglei State, and the Equatoria states.

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