Republic of South Sudan
Republic of South Sudan
Joined United Nations: 14 July 2011
Human Rights as assured by their constitution
Updated 07 April 2013
11,090,104 (July 2013 est.)
President elected by popular vote for a four year term; election last
held 1-15 April 2010
Next election: 2015
HEAD OF GOVERNMENT
Vice President since 10 July 2011
According to the South Sudanese Transitional Constitution the
President is both the Chief of State and Head of Government
|DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Dinka, Kakwa, Bari, Azande, Shilluk, Kuku, Murle, Mandari, Didinga, Ndogo, Bviri, Lndi, Anuak, Bongo, Lango,
Republic; 10 states; Legal system is based in customary law where over 60 tribal, non-state systems of justice operate
in South Sudan, alongside a struggling state legal system. Rule of Law is working with tribal chiefs, state judges, police
and other stakeholders to map the law applied in each, to improve cooperation between them, and to develop an
integrated approach to justice.
Executive: President elected by popular vote for a four year term; election last held on 11-15 April 2010 (next to be
held in 2015)
Legislative: Bicameral National Legislature consists of the National Legislative Assembly (332 seats) and the Council
of States (50 seats); members serve four-year terms
elections: National Legislative Assembly - last held 11-15 April 2010 (next to be held in 2015); Council of States -
established and members appointed 1 August 2011; next election: 2015
Judicial: Supreme Court, Courts of Appeal, High Courts, County Courts
English (official), Arabic (includes Juba and Sudanese variants) (official), regional languages include Dinka, Nuer, Bari,
Until about 1500 South Sudan was mostly controlled by speakers of Central Sudanic languages. Linguistic evidence
shows that over time Nilotic speakers, such as the Dinka, Shilluk, and Luo, took over. These groups came from the Sudd
marshlands. Archaeological evidence shows that a culture based on transhuman cattle raising has been present in that area
since 3000 BCE, and the Nilotic culture in that area may thus be continuous to that date. A few Central Sudanic groups
remain such as the Mari and the Moru. The Nilotic expansion seems to have begun in the 14th century. This coincides
with the collapse of the Christian Nubian kingdoms of Makuria and Alodia and the penetration of Arab traders into
central Sudan. From the Arabs the South Sudanese may have obtained new breeds of hump-less cattle. Archaeologist
Roland Oliver notes that the period also shows an Iron Age beginning among the Nilotics. These factors may explain how
the Nilotic speakers expanded to dominate the region. One theory is that it was pressure from the Shilluk that drove the
Funj people north, who would establish the Sultanate of Sennar. The Dinka remained in the Sudd area, maintaining a
transhuman life style of herding cattle.The Shilluk spread east to the banks of the white Nile by the 16th century under the
legendary leadership of Nyikang, who is said to have ruled the Shilluk c.1490 to c.1517. The Shilluk gained control of the
west bank of the river as far north as Kosti in Sudan. There they established an economy based on cattle raising, cereal
farming, and fishing, with small villages located along the length of the river.The Shilluk developed an intensive system of
agriculture, and the Shilluk lands in the 17th century had a population density similar to that of the Egyptian Nile lands.
While the Dinka were protected and isolated from their neighbours, the Shilluk were more involved in international affairs.
The Shilluk controlled the west bank of the White Nile, but the other side was controlled by the Funj Sultanate, and there
were regular conflict between the two. The Shilluk had the ability to quickly raid outside areas by war canoe, and had
control of the waters of the Nile. The Funj had a standing army of armoured cavalry, and this force allowed them to
dominated the plains of the sahel. Shilluk traditions tell of King Odak Ocollo who ruled c. 1630 and led them in a three
decade war with Sennar over control of the White Nile trade routes. The Shilluk allied with the Sultanate of Darfur and
the Kingdom of Takali against the Funj, but the capitulation of Takali ended the war in the Funj's favour. In the later 17th
century the Shilluk and Funj allied against the Jieng, a group of Dinka who rose to power in the border area between the
Funj and Shilluk. The Shilluk political structure gradually centralized under the a king or reth. The most important is Reth
Tugo who ruled c. 1690 to 1710 and established the Shilluk capital of Fashoda. The same period saw the gradual
collapse of the Funj sultanate, leaving the Shilluk in complete control of the White Nile and its trade routes. The Shilluk
military power was based on control of the river.The non-Nilotic Azande people, who entered southern Sudan in the 16th
century, established the region's largest state. The Azande are the third largest nationality in Southern Sudan. They are
found in Maridi,Iba, Yambio<Nzara,EZon,Tambura and Nagere Counties in the tropical rain forest belt of western
Equatoria and Bahr el Ghazal. In the 18th century, the Avungara people entered and quickly imposed their authority over
the Azande. Avungara power remained largely unchallenged until the arrival of the British at the end of the 19th century.
Geographical barriers protected the southerners from Islam's advance, enabling them to retain their social and cultural
heritage and their political and religious institutions. The Dinka people were especially secure in the Sudd marshlands,
which protected them from outside interference, and allowed them to remain secure without a large armed forces. The
Shilluk, Azande, and Bari people had more regular conflicts with neighbouring states. In 1821 the Sennar Sultanate to the
north collapsed in the face of an invasion by Egypt under the Muhammad Ali Dynasty. After consolidating their control
over northern Sudan, the Egyptian forces began to foray south. In 1827 Ali Khurshid Pasha led a force through the Dinka
lands and in 1830 led an expedition to the junction of the White Nile and the Sobat. The most successful missions were
led by Admiral Salim Qabudan who between 1839 and 1842 sailed the White Nile, reaching as far south as modern Juba.
The Egyptian forces attempted to set up forts and garrisons in the region, but disease and defection forced their quick
abandonment. The lack of formal authority was filled in the 1850s by a set of powerful merchant princes. In the east
Muhammad Ahmad al-Aqqad controlled much land, but the most powerful was Al-Zubayr Rahma Mansur who came to
control the Bahr el Ghazal and other parts of South Sudan. Al-Zubayr was a merchant from Khartoum, who hired his
own private army and marched south. He set up a network of trading forts known as zaribas through the region, and from
these forts controlled local trade. The most valuable commodity was ivory. In 1878 he was replaced by Emin Pasha
(Eduard Schnitzer) in 1878. The Mahdist Revolt did not spread south to the non-Muslim region, but cut off the South
Sudan from Egypt, leaving Emin Pasha isolated and without resources. He was rescued in a mission led by Henry Morton
Stanley. Equatoria ceased to exist as an Egyptian outpost in 1889. Important settlements in Equatoria included Lado,
Gondokoro, Dufile and Wadelai. In 1947, British hopes to join the southern part of Sudan with Uganda were dashed by
the Juba Conference, to unify northern and southern Sudan. In 1955, one year before Sudan achieved independence, the
First Sudanese Civil War started, with aims of achieving representation and more regional autonomy. For seventeen
years, the Sudanese government fought the Anyanya rebel army. In 1971, former army Lt. Joseph Lagu gathered all the
guerilla bands under his South Sudan Liberation Movement (SSLM). This was the first time in the history of the war that
the separatist movement had a unified command structure to fulfill the objectives of secession and the formation of an
independent state in South Sudan. It was also the first organization that could claim to speak for, and negotiate on behalf
of, the entire south. Mediation between the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the All Africa Conference of
Churches (AACC) eventually led to the signing of the Addis Ababa Agreement in 1972, which established the Southern
Sudan Autonomous Region. In 1983, President of Sudan Gaafar Nimeiry declared all Sudan an Islamic state under
Shari'a law, including the non-Islamic majority southern region. The Southern Sudan Autonomous Region was abolished
on 5 June 1983, ending the Addis Ababa Agreement. In direct response to this, the Sudan People's Liberation
Army/Movement (SPLA/M) was formed under the leadership of John Garang, and the Second Sudanese Civil War
erupted. This war lasted for twenty-two years (until 2005), becoming the longest civil war in Africa. In 2005,
Comprehensive Peace Agreement, mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), as well as
IGAD-Partners, a consortium of donor countries, was signed in Nairobi and autonomous Government of Southern Sudan
was formed. This agreement lasted until 2011, when South Sudan declared independence. On 6 June 2011 armed
conflict broke out between the forces of Northern and Southern Sudan, ahead of the scheduled independence of the
South on 9 July. This followed an agreement for both sides to withdraw from Abyei. By late June, several international
interlocutors including the United Nations advanced a proposal to base 4,200 Ethiopian soldiers in Abyei to serve as
peacekeepers. From 9–15 January 2011 people from South Sudan voted on whether they should break away from
Sudan and declare independence. On 30 January 2011, the results had shown that 98.83% of the population had voted
for independence from Sudan. At midnight on 9 July 2011, South Sudan became an independent country under the name
Republic of South Sudan. On 14 July 2011, South Sudan became the 193rd member state of the United Nations. On 28
July 2011, South Sudan joined the African Union as its 54th member state.South Sudan is currently at war with at least
seven armed groups. In March 2012, the Sudanese Air Force bombed areas of the South Sudanese state of Unity, near
the border of the Sudanese province of South Kordofan. South Sudanese forces responded by seizing the Heglig oil field.
On 22 April, more fighting broke out on the border as Sudanese soldiers backed by tanks and artillery launched three
waves of attacks six miles deep inside South Sudan. At least one South Sudanese soldier was killed and two wounded in
the attack.The two parties recommenced negotiations in June 2012 under mediation by the African Union's envoy Thabo
Mbeki. On 27 September, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and South Sudanese President Salva Kiir signed eight
agreements in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, which led the way to resume important oil exports and create a six-mile
demilitarised zone along their border.
Source: Wikipedia History of South Sudan
Industry and infrastructure in landlocked South Sudan are severely underdeveloped and poverty is widespread,
following several decades of civil war with Sudan. Subsistence agriculture provides a living for the vast majority of the
population. Property rights are tentative and price signals are missing because markets are not well organized. South
Sudan has little infrastructure - just 60 km of paved roads. Electricity is produced mostly by costly diesel generators
and running water is scarce. The government spends large sums of money to maintain a big army; delays in paying
salaries have periodically resulted in riots by unruly soldiers. Ethnic conflicts have resulted in a large number of civilian
deaths and displacement. South Sudan depends largely on imports of goods, services, and capital from the north.
Despite these disadvantages, South Sudan does have abundant natural resources. South Sudan produces nearly
three-fourths of the former Sudan's total oil output of nearly a half million barrels per day. The government of South
Sudan derives nearly 98% of its budget revenues from oil. Oil is exported through two pipelines that run to refineries
and shipping facilities at Port Sudan on the Red Sea, and the 2005 oil sharing agreement with Khartoum called for a
50-50 sharing of oil revenues between the two entities. That deal expired on 9 July 2011, however, when South Sudan
became an independent country. The economy of South Sudan undoubtedly will remain linked to Sudan for some time,
given the long lead time and great expense required to build another pipeline. In early 2012 South Sudan suspended
production of oil because of its dispute with Sudan over transshipment fees. This had a devastating impact on GDP,
which declined by at least 55% in 2012. South Sudan holds one of the richest agricultural areas in Africa with fertile
soils and abundant water supplies. Currently the region supports 10-20 million head of cattle. South Sudan does not
have large external debt or structural trade deficits and has received more than $4 billion in foreign aid since 2005,
largely from the UK, US, Norway, and Netherlands. Following independence, South Sudan's central bank issued a
new currency, the South Sudanese Pound, allowing a short grace period for turning in the old currency. Annual inflation
peaked at 79% in May 2012. Long term problems include alleviating poverty, maintaining macroeconomic stability,
improving tax collection and financial management, focusing resources on speeding growth, and improving the business
Source: CIA World Factbook (select South Sudan)
The post-conflict environment is important to understanding the Government of South Sudan's ability to function and
successfully implement its policies. One area in which the Government of South Sudan has had significant success in
building its own capacity is developing an integrated system for planning and budget preparation. This has been
achieved through the leadership of the Ministry of Finance, the strong technical leadership and support of that same
ministry and making these goals relevant to local capacity.The results have been that the government has been better
able to manage the financial aspects of its functions and projects, and increases in the expertise of its staff in crucial
skills, such as basic IT. The capital of South Sudan is located at Juba, which is also the state capital of Central
Equatoria and the county seat of the eponymous Juba County, as well as being the country's largest city. However, due
to Juba's poor infrastructure and massive urban growth, as well as its lack of centrality within South Sudan, the South
Sudanese Government adopted a resolution in February 2011 to study the creation of a new planned city to act as the
seat of the government. This proposed project is functionally similar to those which resulted in the construction of
Abuja, Nigeria; Brasília, Brazil; and Canberra, Australia; among other national capitals planned and built in the modern
era. It is unclear where the government will come up with funding for the project. In September 2011, a spokesman for
the government said the country's political leaders had accepted a proposal to build a new capital at Ramciel, a place in
Lakes state near the borders with Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, and Jonglei. Ramciel is considered to be the
geographical center of the country,and the late pro-independence leader John Garang allegedly had plans to relocate
the capital there before his death in 2005. The proposal was supported by the Lakes state government and at least one
Ramciel tribal chief. The design, planning, and construction of the city will likely take as many as five years, government
ministers said, and the move of national institutions to the new capital will be implemented in stages
Source: Wikipedia Politics of South Sudan
South Sudan-Sudan boundary represents 1 January 1956 alignment, final alignment pending negotiations and
demarcation; final sovereignty status of Abyei Area pending negotiations between South Sudan and Sudan; periodic
violent skirmishes with South Sudanese residents over water and grazing rights persist among related pastoral
populations along the border with the Central African Republic; the boundary that separates Kenya and South Sudan's
sovereignty is unclear in the "Ilemi Triangle," which Kenya has administered since colonial times
Refugees (country of origin): 193,832 (Sudan); 18,437 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 7,793 (Ethiopia) (2013)
IDPs: 190,000 newly displaced in 2012 (information is lacking on those displaced in earlier years by: fighting in Abyei
between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) in May 2011; clashes between
the SPLA and dissident militia groups in South Sudan; inter-ethnic conflicts over resources and cattle; attacks from the
Lord's Resistance Army; floods and drought)
|HUMAN RIGHTS STATEMENTS, ANALYSIS AND CRITIQUES
|2011 Human Rights Report: South Sudan
Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices
May 24. 2012
The Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices typically covers the period from January 1 through
December 31. However, the Republic of South Sudan (hereafter referred to as South Sudan) became an independent republic on
July 9, when it completed its secession from the Republic of Sudan (hereafter referred to as Sudan). The creation of the new
country followed a January referendum in which 98 percent of citizens of Southern origin voted in favor of independence.
International and national observers characterized the mostly orderly and peaceful balloting as consistent with international
standards and representative of the genuine preferences of voters. Under a power-sharing arrangement established by the 2005
Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), a simultaneous referendum on the status of the Abyei Area was also scheduled for
January, but it was not held. At year’s end the Abyei Area was jointly administered by Sudan and South Sudan, with its final
sovereignty status unresolved pending negotiations. The CPA also called for popular consultations in the Sudanese states of
Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile to determine whether constitutional, political, administrative, and economic preconditions for
peace were satisfactory or needed to be renegotiated with the government of Sudan. However, this process had not concluded by
the July 9 end of the CPA, was abandoned by Sudan, and resulted in armed conflict that triggered refugee flows into South Sudan.
President Salva Kiir, who was elected in free and fair elections in April 2010, headed the government of South Sudan. On July 9,
Independence Day, the president signed into law the transitional constitution, which provides for an executive branch headed by a
president, a bicameral national legislature, and an independent judiciary.
Prior to July 9, the territory that now comprises South Sudan was the sovereign territory of Sudan. Security forces operating in
South Sudan were composed of both the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF)--the armed forces of Sudan--and the Sudan People’s
Liberation Army (SPLA)--the armed forces of South Sudan--which were combined in 2007 to form the Joint Integrated Units
(JIUs) under the joint control of the governments of Sudan and South Sudan. After independence on July 9, the SPLA became the
national defense force of South Sudan and continued to be composed of various ethnic groups. Fighting between the JIUs and rebel
militia groups (RMGs) resulted in numerous killings and abductions of civilians, especially of children and women. Fighting
occurred along the border between Sudan and South Sudan, where disputes continued over claimed territories, in addition to RMG
and interethnic conflicts in Upper Nile, Jonglei, Unity, and Warrap states. The zones of conflict were primarily in Jonglei, Unity,
Warrap, Upper Nile, and Western Equatoria states. There were instances in which elements of the security forces acted
independently of civilian control.
The most serious human rights problems in the country included extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and other inhumane treatment
of civilians as a result of conflict between the SPLA and SAF, RMG attacks on SAF and SPLA security forces, government
counterattacks, clashes between security forces and civilians, interethnic and intercommunal conflict, and civilian clashes related to
cattle rustling. Conflict also resulted in approximately 250,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) during the year.
Other human rights abuses included politically motivated abductions by ethnic groups; harsh prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and
detention, including prolonged pretrial detention; and an inefficient and corrupt judiciary. The government restricted freedoms of
privacy, speech, press, assembly, and association. Displaced persons were abused and harassed. Official corruption was pervasive.
The government restricted the movement of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and NGO workers were attacked and
harassed. Violence and discrimination against women were widespread. Violence against children included child abuse, child
abduction, and harmful traditional practices such as “girl compensation.” Police recruited child soldiers prior to independence in
July, and RMGs recruited child soldiers throughout the year. Trafficking in persons; discrimination and violence against ethnic
minorities and homosexuals; governmental incitement of tribal violence; and child labor, including forced labor, were problems.
The government seldom took steps to punish officials who committed abuses, and impunity was a major problem.
The jointly administered Abyei Area was the site of violence, widespread displacement, and human rights violations during the year.
Attacks by RMGs, including those led by Peter Gatdet Yak, David Yau Yau, George Athor, and Gatluak Gai, resulted in deaths,
injuries, property destruction, and civilian displacement in Jonglei, Unity, Warrap, and Upper Nile states. (During the year Yak and
Yau Yau joined the government, and Athor and Gai were killed.) The South Sudan Liberation Army (SSLA) perpetrated numerous
human rights abuses, including killings and politically motivated kidnappings and disappearances. The Lord’s Resistance Army
(LRA) and SSLA abducted women and children and recruited child soldiers. LRA attacks also resulted in deaths, injuries, and the
displacement of approximately 7,400 persons in Western Equatoria. RMGs obstructed the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
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OHCHR in South Sudan (2012-2013)
After a five-and-a-half years interim period under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which marked the end of
nearly two decades of civil war with northern Sudan, South Sudan emerged as an independent nation on 9 July 2011. In spite of
the success of the referendum, complicated post-CPA negotiations have continued between the Sudan and South Sudan,
particularly with respect to border demarcating and the management of petroleum resources. The two countries are also embroiled
in a protracted dispute over Abyei, a contested region straddling the borders of the two countries. Since the referendum, an
outbreak of fighting in Abyei and in the two Sudanese border states of South Kordofan and Blue Nile has sent streams of refugees
into South Sudan, raising tension between the two countries.
The Transitional Constitution of the new Republic of South Sudan constitution made far-reaching provisions in its bill of rights,
which guaranteed civil, political, economic and social rights to citizens of the Republic. Notable is also the inclusion of a minimum
of 30 per cent women’s representation in the national cabinet, in a move designed to compensate for past injustices that women
Despite progress made by the new Government of South Sudan to create a society where respect for human rights and democratic
principles is ensured, challenges remain after a legacy of prolonged civil war and severe under-development. An inadequate legal
framework, with many international human rights instruments yet to be ratified, makes it difficult for State agents to be held
accountable and impunity is endemic. The Government has demonstrated a lack of tolerance for political opposition and the press,
frequently restricting the freedoms of expression and the press and subjecting those who hold contrary political views to
harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention.
The human rights situation in the country further suffered from activities of rebel militia groups (RMGs), as well as inter-ethnic
clashes, for example in Jonglei State. The latter has resulted in numerous deaths and the abduction of a large number of women and
children. The arrival of returnees and refugees from the Sudan, drought, and overburdened resources has further deepened the
In a climate of extreme poverty and underdevelopment, economic and social rights have remained largely unfulfilled, with low
levels for the realization of the rights to food, health, access to clean and safe water and sanitation, education and adequate housing.
South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, while indicators worryingly suggest that HIV is on the
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South Sudanese Authorities Must Release Detained Journalists
Jan 7 2013 - 5:23pm
Freedom House condemns the arrest and calls for the immediate release of Louis Pasquale, director-general of the state
broadcasting service in Western Bahr el Ghazal state of South Sudan, and director of state television, Ashab Khamis.
Government officials claimed they detained the journalists for “administrative issues” after their stations failed to broadcast a speech
given by President Salva Kiir. Pasquale and Khamis are being held without charge at the Meir al Bahr prison in Wau, South Sudan.
Three other journalists working with the state broadcaster were arrested last week, but were later released by authorities.
“We are worried by increasing reports of harassment and detention of journalists over the past few months, which suggests
backsliding in the level of official respect for media freedom,” said Karin Karlekar, project director of the Freedom of the Press
survey at Freedom House.
South Sudan was evaluated for the first time in the 2012 edition of Freedom House’s annual survey Freedom of the Press,
receiving a rating of Partly Free. The arrest of Pasquale, Khamis and several other journalists comes after continued unrest in a
country plagued by violence since its secession from Sudan in 2011. Persecution of journalists, particularly those covering the
December 2012 violence in Wau, is on the rise as the government resorts to censorship in an attempt to prevent coverage of ethnic
clashes occurring in the country.
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12 March 2013
World powers urged to support a robust Arms Trade Treaty
Arms supplied by the world’s major powers are among those contributing to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and
blighting the livelihoods of millions of people every year, Amnesty International said in a new briefing published just days before
final negotiations on a global Arms Trade Treaty open at the United Nations.
Between them, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA – are
responsible for over half of the almost US$100 billion total annual global trade in conventional weapons.
The same five states will be pivotal to finalizing an effective Arms Trade Treaty with strong human rights protections at the
conference taking place at the UN from 18-28 March.
All this week in the run-up to that historic meeting, Amnesty International activists and supporters are holding a “Global Week of
Action” to call on world leaders to adopt an effective Arms Trade Treaty with strong human rights protections.
“It’s clear that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are responsible for the lion’s share of arms deals across
borders – and so collectively they must shoulder the greatest burden in bringing the poorly regulated global arms trade in check,”
said Helen Hughes, researcher on arms transfers at Amnesty International.
“Our research brings to light how China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA have all engaged in arms deals that fuelled atrocities,
and we now urge them to help adopt an effective Arms Trade Treaty that makes such irresponsible transactions a thing of the past.”
In the UK, there is increasing evidence of foreign brokers using front companies to assist in the supply of weapons and munitions
to countries where they are likely to be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of human rights.
This includes an international clandestine supply chain that resulted in several large consignments of Ukrainian tanks, small arms,
artillery and light weapons being delivered to South Sudan via Kenya in late 2007 and early 2008.
Amnesty International observed the Ukrainian battle tanks – which are completely unsuitable for urban fighting – being used in
civilian populated areas in South Sudan’s Mayom County in January 2012.
“While it won’t be a panacea for all of the world’s misuse of arms, if we get a strong Arms Trade Treaty it will be an important
step towards achieving much more security and human rights protection for billions of people who today live in fear,” said Wood.
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Exchanging Daughters for Livestock: Child Marriage In South Sudan
March 10, 2013
JUBA — “You will marry this old man whether you like it or not,” Aguet’s uncles told her. Aguet, from South Sudan, was forced
at age 15 to marry a 75-year-old man. Her family received 80 cows as dowry in exchange. “I resisted the marriage,” she told
Human Rights Watch. But her uncles beat her and the marriage went ahead. Aguet dropped out of school and went to live with her
husband, who now also beats her.
A new Human Rights Watch report—This Old Man Can Feed Us, You Will Marry Him, takes a hard look at child marriage in South
Sudan. About 48 percent of girls there between the ages of 15 and 19 are married; some marry as young as 12. Families in South
Sudan often arrange marriages without the girls’ consent, with many viewing it as in the girls’ best interest. Families profit from
marrying off girls because the groom’s family typically pays dowries of cows, cash, and other gifts to the bride’s kin. South
Sudanese girls who try to resist, as Aguet did, may face violent attacks by their own families. A government official told Human
Rights Watch about a family that murdered a girl who resisted an arranged marriage.
Globally, the numbers of girls subjected to child marriage is staggering. The United Nations estimates that, in 2010, more than 67
million women ages 20 to 24 had married before age 18. Between 2000 and 2011, approximately 34 percent of women now aged
20 to 24 in developing regions were married or in unions before their 18th birthday. Over the next decade, more than 14 million
girls under 18 are projected to marry every year.
In South Sudan, Human Rights Watch researchers interviewed 87 girls and women forced to marry as children, and others
including government officials, traditional leaders, health care providers and educators. We found that child marriage contributed to
domestic violence and marital rape, school dropouts, and reproductive health problems.
Girls and women who married as children told Human Rights Watch how their husbands and in-laws abused them for not being
good at chores, for not conceiving, or for asking for financial support. Some said their husbands raped them. “I had refused to
have sex with him,” one child bride told us. “But he forced me. My brothers-in-law used to lock me up in the house … so that I
can have sex with him.”
Child marriage frequently ends a girl’s education forever. School attendance for girls in South Sudan is already low: government
statistics for 2011 show that only 39 percent of primary school students and 30 percent of secondary students were female.
Akech, for example, said she loved school and dreamed of becoming a nurse. But at age 14 her uncle forced her marry a man she
described as old, gray-haired, and married to another woman. Akech begged her uncle to let her stay in school, but he refused.
“Girls are born so that people can eat. All I want is to get my dowry,” he said. An education official told us, “Parents sell their girls.
They don’t value education; they value cows.”
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Media urged to sensitise public on child labour
JUBA, 7 April 2013
The media in South Sudan have been urged to be at the forefront in educating members of the public on the dangers of child labour
not just to children but the country as a whole.
The Undersecretary for Labour in the national Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, Madam
Hellen Achiro Lotara, said the Ministry would work with the media and other stakeholders to sensitise the public on the worst
forms of child labour.
Madam Hellen said street children were a by-product of the war of independence which lasted for over two decades and that the
elimination of child labour was the duty of all and not just the government.
The Undersecretary said that the streets of Juba and other state capitals were littered with many children of school-going age,
adding that the children were vulnerable to various forms of exploitation including prostitution.
She was speaking when she officially closed a two-day stakeholders’ consultative workshop on the proposed list of hazardous
work for children at a Juba hotel. The workshop which was funded by the International Labour Organisation drew participants
from Western Equatoria, Jonglei, Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei states.
The Undersecretary disclosed that similar consultative workshops would be held for stakeholders in the remaining six states.
The workshop identified motorbike riding as one of the hazardous tasks that should not be undertaken by children aged 17 years
and below. The high number of motorbike accidents was partly attributed to riders some as young as 12-13 years who lacked
sufficient knowledge of traffic rules.
Other hazardous tasks for children were in the commercial farming sector where children operate heavy machinery and handle
chemicals in green house farming.
Participants also noted small scale industries as another sector notorious for the worst forms of child labour and singled out alcohol
brewing as posing a danger to children’s general health and moral development.
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South Sudan: Human Rights Deterioration and Possible Consequences
BY: Jwothab Othow
The purpose of this paper is to examine and identify the major human rights violations and their consequences that have occurred in
South Sudan within the last 8 years since 2005. As citizens of South Sudan, we are deeply concerned about the deterioration in the
rule of law in the country since the attainment of independence has raised questions on the fundamental principles of human rights.
It has become common knowledge that the framework for establishing the rule of law in South Sudan has fallen short of the
expectations of citizens and the international community.
The alleged extensive killings, disappearances, media harassment, detentions and torture were carried out by the government of
South Sudan’s security forces. As we all know that human rights violation is an unlawful deprivation of individual rights considered
inherent to all humans. Perpetrators of human rights violations within the security forces used numerous tactics of repression, with
both physical and psychological consequences.
The government of South Sudan must be held accountable for human rights violations against it citizens and it is crucial as a
deterrent, in order to ensure that these violations are not repeated. Therefore, by international law South Sudan is obligated to
effectively investigate suspected breaches of human rights and prosecute those responsible. For example, we have witnessed what
happened recently in Wau town whereby SPLA soldiers were killing peaceful protesters. Nine civilians were reportedly killed and
several wounded. South Sudan must be held responsible for the protection of their citizens and therefore what is happening in Wau
is not acceptable and the government of South Sudan must be held responsible for failing to protect its citizens.
On December 4, 2012, Isaiah Abraham was killed in his home in Juba by unknown gunmen. On December 17, 2012, Lawrance
Korbandy who is the chairperson of the South Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC) called for the resignation of security
ministers due to the killing of innocent civilians across the country, and in the capital, Juba, in particular; and to allow investigations
into the death of Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol to take place fairly. Gen. Oyai Deng Ajak who is the National Security Minister
expresses his concern that, “I will not accept to work for an institution which kills people.”
One of the most difficult things for civilized people to comprehend is that these wicked barbaric acts of cruelty were not the
actions of psychopaths, but soldiers. Their “enemy” was not an invading army from foreign borders, nor were they fighting for
freedom against a repressive racist regime; the vast majority of the “enemy” was their fellow South Sudanese. This is a clear
human rights violation of the fundamental right of freedom of expression and assembly.
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South Sudan Human Rights Association Calls for Resignation of Security Ministers Over Death of Political Commentator
10 December 2012
Juba — South Sudan Human Rights Advocacy Association (SSHURA) on Monday called for the "immediate resignation" of
security ministers, charging both the interior and a national security ministers in the office of the president of failing to prevent the
assassination of leading opinion writer, Isaiah Diing Abraham Chan Awuol, and organised killings in the capital Juba.
Awoul, one of South Sudan's the leading political commentators, was gunned down in his house in Gudele, west of Juba city
centre by unknown assailant(s) on Tuesday. His death has generated widespread condemnations and led the information and
broadcasting minister, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, to tell press on Friday that the Interior Minister had briefed the National Council of
Ministers, saying that they have begun investigations into the murder and they "suspect 70% to be assassination."
Awuol's body was laid to rest on Sunday in his ancestral village in Kongor payam [district] of Twic East county, Jonglei state.
Special representative of the secretary general of UN in South Sudan, Hilde F. Johnson, on Monday expressed her disappointment
at the killing of Awuol, stressing that his death reminds the South Sudanese people of the "dark days" of the liberation struggle
She made the remarks at Nyakuron Culture Centre in Juba at an occasion commemorating international human rights day, during
which she pledged the continued support of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to promoting the respect of human rights.
Johnson also called on the government to ensure human rights are included in the National Constitution and to allow wider
participation from the citizens and political parties in the drafting of governing laws.
Presidential advisor on legal affairs and constitutional development, Telar Ring Deng, who spoke on behalf of president Salva Kiir at
the occasion said human rights will be introduced as a subject in schools by 2014. The introduction, he said, will be one of the
commitments of the government to ensure that human rights and other civil rights, including free speech, are respected in South
The chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, Lawrence Korbandy, pointed out that there are a number of challenges facing
the commission and emphasised the need to secure the right to education and the right to freedom of expression. He called on the
government to increase the budget of the commission, arguing that a lack of funds prevented the commission from deploying
human rights monitors to Jonglei at the start of disarmament process.
The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) said it is calling once again upon the authorities in Juba to carry
out impartial, speedy, fair and well-intended investigations to ascertain who murdered Awuol.
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Salva Kiir Mayardit
President of South Sudan since 9 July 2011
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Current situation: South Sudan is a source and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected
to forced labor and sex trafficking. South Sudanese women and girls, particularly those from rural areas or those who
are internally displaced, are vulnerable to forced labor as domestic servants in homes in Yei and Juba, and possibly
throughout the country; most are believed to be working without contracts or government-enforced labor protections.
Some of these women and girls are sexually abused by male occupants of the household or forced to engage in
commercial sex acts. South Sudanese girls, some as young as 10 years old, engage in prostitution within the country –
including in restaurants, hotels, and brothels – at times with the assistance of third parties, including law enforcement
officials; the majority of victims are exploited in urban centers such as Juba, Torit, and Wau. Juba has reportedly seen a
significant rise in child prostitution in recent years, as well as in numbers of street children and child laborers – two
groups which are highly vulnerable to labor and sexual exploitation. Children working in construction, market vending,
shoe shining, rock breaking, brick making, delivery cart pulling, and begging may be victims of forced labor. South
Sudan is a destination country for Ugandan, Kenyan, Ethiopian, and Congolese women and girls subjected to sex
trafficking. Many migrate willingly, with the promise of legitimate work, and are subsequently forced or coerced into the
sex trade. Some girls in prostitution, particularly in Juba, may be controlled by a third party. Ugandan children may be
subjected to domestic servitude and forced labor in construction in South Sudan.
Tier rating: Tier 2 - The Government of South Sudan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the
elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to take some
steps to eliminate the use of child soldiers in its armed forces, including through the signing of a new joint action plan
with the UN. Despite these efforts, it did not demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts to address other forms of