Since 2013, South Sudan has suffered a devastating civil war that has been marked by systematic violations of the rights of civilians. Individuals have been targeted, often on the basis of their ethnicity, for killings, looting and sexual violence. A valiant group of South Sudanese activists are seeking to document these crimes, with a view to raising awareness, advocating and ensure that, in time, the perpetrators are held accountable. Without documentation, there can be no accountability.
Since the outbreak of civil war in South Sudan in December 2013, the conflict has been marked by serious violations of international human rights law, including targeted killings, sexual violence and looting. There has been widespread recognition that accountability for these crimes will be necessary if the country is to rebuild, but progress towards accountability in practice has been slow. In the meantime, evidence is being lost by the day as memories fade and crime scenes are contaminated.
PEJ is already supporting a courageous group of activists to document these crimes. These investigators have already received training, but they need sustained support. They need both material support, salaries and budgets for travel and communication and mentoring. Investigators need consistent feedback and mentoring to develop their skills. They also need assistance with the analysis of the information received, with drafting of advocacy materials, and their distribution.
In the long term, Project Expedite Justice's work both build the capacity of South Sudanese investigators and support more effective action to address the crimes suffered by the population. Without documentation, there can be no justice. In the long term, our documentation will help to ensure that victims' experiences are recorded and recognized and that evidence can be used to achieve justice and break down the criminal networks that support these devastating attacks.