A new United Nations Human Rights Report has found that millions of South Sudanese civilians have been deliberately deprived of access to basic services and many deliberately starved while politicians divert national revenues.
The Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan’s finding, published just ahead of the deadline for the formation of a transitional unity government at the weekend, also finds that corruption and political competition have fueled human rights abuses and represent a major driver of ethnic conflict.
The report’s release comes just as the rivals to the South Sudanese government agreed to the formation of a long-awaited transitional government of national unity with opposition leader Riek Machar agreeing to join as First Vice President under the Presidency of Salva Kiir.
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The move comes after a compromise was reached earlier over the number of states in the country down from 32 to just 10 with an additional three administrative areas but other critical issues particularly the integration of forces remain outstanding.
The Human Rights Report noted that civilians were deliberately starved, systematically surveilled and silenced, arbitrarily arrested and detained and denied meaningful access to justice while corruption had made several officials extremely wealthy while roughly half the country’s population – around six million civilians – went hungry.
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