Could South Sudanese Officials End Up At the ICC?

Could South Sudanese Officials End Up At the ICC?
Deputy Chief of Defense Forces Lt. Gen. Thoi Chany Reat, right, attends a ceremony for soldiers from the South Sudan People's Defence Forces at the airport in Juba, South Sudan, April 3, 2023 (AP photo by Samir Bol).

On April 4, after a report released by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan documented a range of terrible human rights violations taking place in the country—including killings, rape and child recruitment—the Human Rights Council renewed its mandate to continue monitoring the situation. But the Commission had asked the Council to do more than just extend its monitoring mandate. In fact, the report specifically cited a culture of impunity in South Sudan, named individual perpetrators and called for prosecutions.

Commission Chair Yasmin Sooka told the Council: “Over several years, our findings have consistently shown that impunity for serious crimes is a central driver of violence and misery faced by civilians in South Sudan. So we have taken the step of naming more of the individuals who warrant criminal investigation and prosecution for their role in gross human rights violations.”

As such, the report identifies Joseph Monytuil, governor of Unity State; Lieutenant General Thoi Chany Reat of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces; and Gordon Koang, the county commissioner of Koch, in relation to state-sanctioned killings of captured rebels and civilians.

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