Annual Report: South Sudan 2013

Report
May 23, 2013

Annual Report: South Sudan 2013

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Republic of South Sudan

Head of state and government Salva Kiir Mayardit

South Sudan celebrated its first year of independence on 9 July. Post-independence agreements between South Sudan and Sudan on the sharing of oil, security arrangements, border demarcation, and the status of the disputed Abyei area, continued to be negotiated at the end of the year. The Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA, South Sudan's armed forces) and the South Sudan Police Service (SSPS) continued to commit human rights violations with relative impunity. A large influx of refugees and returnees from Sudan continued, in addition to internal displacement.

Background

On 9 January, the President issued a decree appointing members to the National Constitutional Review Commission, mandated to draft a permanent Constitution. It began work in August following the signing into law of the National Elections Act on 6 July.

Implementation of post-independence agreements between South Sudan and Sudan remained outstanding at the end of the year. In February, South Sudan shut down its oil production due to disagreements with Sudan in relation to oil transit fees, resulting in a 98% loss of revenue to South Sudan. The AU Peace and Security Council adopted a road map on 24 April with implementation timelines to resolve outstanding issues. On 2 May the UN Security Council endorsed the roadmap through the adoption of resolution 2046, which called for both countries to reach an overall settlement on disputes within three months. Due to the continued shutdown of oil production, the National Legislative Assembly passed an austerity budget in July aimed at reducing expenditure by 34% for the fiscal year 2012/13. On 27 September, South Sudan and Sudan signed a number of economic, trade and security-related agreements in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The agreements allowed for the resumption of oil exports, the establishment of a demilitarized border zone and a cessation of all hostilities. An agreement was reached on the “four freedoms” principles which grant South Sudanese and Sudanese nationals the freedom to reside, move, acquire and dispose of property, and to undertake economic activity in both countries. Further negotiations to resolve the dispute over Abyei and to agree on the precise border between South Sudan and Sudan were required.

In March and April, the government launched a multi-pronged approach to address insecurity due to inter-communal violence which occurred in 2011 and early 2012 in Jonglei State. This included a state-wide civilian disarmament campaign, Operation Restore Peace, launched in March for an undefined period. In Pibor County, civilian disarmament was stalled in September due to attacks by a militia group led by David Yau Yau, who defected from the SPLA for a second time in April 2012.

An Investigation Committee into the Jonglei State Crisis, mandated to investigate those responsible for the inter-communal violence, was also established by the President in March. However, at the end of the year, committee members had not been sworn in and funding had not been provided to enable the committee to operate. In April, the Jonglei Peace Process was re-launched.

In March, the government signed an agreement with Peter Kuol Chol, leader of the armed opposition group the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army, thus commencing a process to integrate 1,800 of the group's members into the SPLA.

In June, the President signed into force a Refugee Provisional Order, and in July South Sudan acceded to the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols. However, South Sudan did not become a party to other key international human rights treaties, although the country is considered, under international law, to be bound by those treaties to which Sudan was a party at the time of South Sudan's independence. Critical gaps in national legislation undermined the protection of human rights, including the absence of an adequate legal framework to regulate the National Security Service.

In November, one of the human rights officers with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) was ordered to leave the country, in breach of South Sudan's legal obligations under the UN Charter.