South Sudan under pressure at UN Rights Council

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Internally displaced people fleeing violence in Unity State, South Sudan. Photo: UNICEF/Sebastian Rich

Greater international scrutiny on rights abuses in South Sudan, Syria, DPRK, Iran and Myanmar has been given the green light at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

Amid a flurry of resolutions, the 47-member assembly agreed to creating a high-level human rights probe into South Sudan and to extending the term of an existing UN panel of experts investigating abuses in Syria.

The UN forum also extended the mandates to investigate countries including DPRK, Iran, Myanmar, Libya and Mali as it approaches the end of its 31st session.

Here's Daniel Johnson.

Of 40 resolutions on the agenda at the Human Rights Council, its unanimous agreement on the creation of a Commission on Human Rights into South Sudan is no small thing.

For seasoned watchers of the UN forum, it signifies a higher level of international pressure on the country, which announced its independence in 2011 and has been split by internal violence ever since.

The development comes after the Human Rights Council heard evidence of dreadful crimes in South Sudan, including 1,300 rapes in Unity state alone.

Government forces and affiliated groups are to blame for the most part, according to a UN report.

Syria was also in the spotlight, with the adoption of a late-night resolution that underscored the importance of the current round of UN-led peace talks, and the need for justice for victims of human rights violations.

The Human Rights Council also agreed unanimously to continue investigating abuses in DPRK, with the added support of two independent experts, whose task is to explore possible crimes against humanity.

Resolutions were also passed to pursue investigations into Libya, Mali, Myanmar and Iran.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1’01″




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