photo John Prendergast, Enough Project
Today, the Enough Project released a statement calling on the UN Security Council to issue sanctions against human rights abusers in South Sudan. The statement references a report from the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan confirming disturbing war crimes and acts of torture. Calling Security Council sanctions "essential to combat the unchecked impunity that has come to define South Sudan's political environment," the statement stresses that sanctions against human rights abusers in South Sudan can "help forge an enabling environment for peace negotiations. But if a veto or an objection stalls the imposition of these sanctions, the Council will miss a critical opportunity to affect outcomes and become less relevant to the search for a solution to the South Sudanese people's suffering." "One survivor told UN investigators that she was gang-raped alongside her neighbor by government soldiers in front of her three-year old child," it said. "In other cases, raped women were burned alive in their homes. Earlier this month, UNICEF warned that 13,000 child soldiers have been forced to participate in a conflict not of their making as children are aggressively being recruited into armed groups of both sides on an alarming scale. The facts show that women and children are disproportionately shouldering the consequences of war, while their leaders remain immune to the impact of their intransigence. If imposed swiftly and enforced effectively, targeted sanctions can help challenge that asymmetry.