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JUBA - 28 Jan 2016

UNMISS: human rights research will help in later prosecutions

The spokesperson of the UN Mission in South Sudan says that documentation of human rights abuses will help “bring to justice” people who have perpetrated war crimes once peace has been achieved.

Her statement comes after a joint report by UNMISS and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), which documented atrocities committed during the last year of war, including reports of killings, mass rape and sexual slavery.

At a press briefing yesterday, UNMISS Spokesperson Ariane Quentier was asked by a journalist whether the recently released UN rights report would discourage the two parties to the conflict from going ahead with the peace process.

She responded, in part, “We are at the beginning of the implementation of the peace process; when we talk about peace, we talk about accountability and justice – there will not be peace without justice and there will not be justice without accountability.”

“This is one of the many reports on human rights (and we are not the only ones releasing such reports), the documentation of cases will help bring perpetrators of crimes (crimes that have been documented) to justice once peace has been achieved,” Quentier said.

She continued: “So in that sense, there is no wrong time to issue a report on human rights abuses and violations. We believe that it is important to have regular updates and compilations on human rights violations and abuses committed by the parties, as much as we encourage anything that will bring peace to the country, of course.”