By Denis Logonyi

The U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan, Michael J. Adler, Monday expressed worry over the continued violation of human rights in the country. He was speaking during commemoration of the International Human Rights Day in Juba.

The envoy said many women continue to experience both physical and sexual violence, noting that the ongoing subnational conflict is worsening the humanitarian crisis while hunger further perpetuates insecurity and gender-based violence.

“We are deeply troubled by the numerous reports of sexual violence in South Sudan and the lack of accountability that persists. I repeat, we are deeply troubled with the lack of accountability for SGBV,” he noted.

Mr. Adler added, “Worldwide, nearly 1/3 of women experience physical and sexual violence during their lifetime. We understand that figure stands more than 65 percent in South Sudan. That is, two out of every three women. That statistic is a point and must be unacceptable to all South Sudanese people; women, men, girls, boys, it must be unacceptable to everybody.”

He urged everyone to continue calling for the attention of the government to these abuses, including conflict-related sexual violence, domestic violence, and early and forced marriage.

Amb. Adler stated that addressing Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and conflict-related sexual violence is vital to promoting accountability and supporting sustainable peace.

He called on the government to hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable for their actions.

“We call on the transitional government to prioritize ending sexual and gender-based violence, ensuring accountability for perpetrators and ensuring justice for victims.This must be underscored by a national plan of actions and collective commitment against gender-based violence,” he stressed.

He expressed his government’s commitment to end SGBV and protect human rights in South Sudan.

Furthermore, Mr. Adler called on the transitional government to provide necessary resources to survivors of all forms of SGBV, adding that the act is a formidable barrier to women’s full participation in society.

“Men and boys must recognize that gender-based violence affects all of us, and they must champion the rights of their sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, daughters. Protecting human rights takes more than just words. It requires concrete actions involving human rights in the South Sudanese society,” said Mr. Adler.

This call comes at a time when United Nations Security Council has announced the addition of Unity State Governor Joseph Monytuil and two of his county commissioners to its sanctions list for alleged crimes against humanity.

“Unity State Governor, Monytuil appointed Biel and Hoth as county commissioners and was aware of the attacks but did not prevent, discourage, or institute any form of sanction against Biel and Hoth for their role in the serious crimes committed,” the statement issued by U.S Treasury Department stated.

The 2023 International Human Rights Day theme is “Combatting the culture of stigma against Survivors of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV).”