Action Needed: “Horrendous” Atrocities in South Sudan

Obama Administration Must Act Immediately to Establish an Arms Embargo and Hold Government Officials Accountable for Atrocities Documented in UN Report

Following the release of a report by the UN Human Rights Council documenting horrific atrocities in South Sudan, United to End Genocide, a U.S. based human rights advocacy group, called for an emergency session of the UN Security Council and the U.S. to take a leading role to immediately act on the recommendations of the Report: increased sanctions, implementation of an arms embargo and holding the perpetrators’ responsible in a court of law.

Former U.S. Congressman Tom Andrews, President of United to End Genocide commented,

“Since war broke out two years ago, South Sudan’s government and rebel leaders have made a mockery of international efforts to broker peace, missed crucial deadlines to set up a transitional government and as today’s UN report clearly indicates, are directly responsible for unspeakable atrocities against civilians.

We can no longer ignore the horror in South Sudan. Thousands of women have been victims of mass rapes by government soldiers who are engaged in what the report calls a ‘scorched earth policy’ that deliberately targets innocent civilians for killing and rape.

While these atrocities have been unfolding, the United States, the African Union and the UN have been sitting largely on the sidelines issuing warnings, threatening increased sanctions and an arms embargo.

Today’s report makes the consequences of inaction clear: tens of thousands of innocent civilians have been brutally slaughtered, over a thousand women and girls have been raped as a weapon of war, over 500,000 people have been driven from their homes and the threat of famine looms over the entire nation.

The time for pleading and begging South Sudan’s government to implement a peace deal is over. This catastrophe requires the immediate attention and action by the UN Security Council.

The Obama administration needs to make a clear and forceful call for an emergency session and immediate action by the UN Security Council. Those who are responsible for this horror must be held accountable. And, there must be an immediate and robust arms embargo to stop the killing machine of the South Sudanese government from the systematic brutalization and massacre of innocent people.”

Andrews is available for interviews.