Addis Ababa – SPLA-IO Senior staff completed two days workshop with technical support from the United Nations through the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict and United Nations Integrated Mission in South Sudan.
The leadership of the SPLM/A-IO has delegated 13 senior staff representing various military departments for a workshop which was organized by United Nations in Addis Ababa on February 4-5, 2016. One of the main objectives of the workshop was to address alleged human rights abuses that might have been committed by both sides of the conflict in South Sudan.
This is second time that senior SPLA staff has been brought to Ethiopia so that issues of human rights concerns in the country are openly discussed. At the end of the workshop, it was resolved that two of the eight Divisions of the SPLA-IO will appoint 100 Focal Points each as a starting point. In collaboration with United Nations, there are going to be ongoing trainings on how issues of human rights violations by soldiers will be documented and will hold those accused, those who were/are accused of committing human rights abuses if proven guilty by competent court.
The workshop was so significant in that it is done in line with unilateral communiqué signed by Dr. Riek Machar Teny, the chairman and commander in chief of the SPLM/A-IO on 18 December 2014 and join communiqué by Salva Kiir Mayardit of the SPLM/A-IG on 11 October 2014 respectively on Conflict Related Sexual Violent .
The two principals have appointed High Level Focal Points who would directly liaise with Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations. These are 1) Awan Gual Riak, the current Minister in the office of the president and 2) Madame Angelina Teny, the chairperson of Defense and Security committee on the Opposition side. The Director General of the Military Justice of the SPLA, Major General William Kuol Chuol among others have presented brief and precise Military Justice programmes which are already in place in areas controlled by IO.
In less than a Month, an Implementation Task Force office will be inaugurated at Pagak, South Sudan whose members are official appointees of the two principals based on their expertise on different areas and will be working in conjunction with UN agencies for a quick and timely documentation of human rights abuses in South Sudan. On behave of the SPLA-IO senior staff; I would like to register our sincere thank you to the UN and particularly the facilitators of the workshop. We have learned a lot and would assure you that we will do everything in our powers to pass on the knowledge as trained.