Statement by U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Michael J. Adler on Human Rights Day

December 10, 2022

On Human Rights Day, we mark the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948.  On this occasion, we call on South Sudan’s leaders to act with urgency to end human rights violations and to hold perpetrators accountable.

Commitment to human rights is a foundational element in the U.S. relationship with South Sudan.  It has been the driving force behind U.S. support for the people of this country from its very beginning, which dates back decades before South Sudan’s independence in 2011.  This commitment remains as strong as ever today.

In that light, the United States is gravely concerned by credible reports of continued human rights violations and the impunity enjoyed by those perpetrating such acts.  Many of these violations occur within the context of subnational violence, such as in the ongoing conflict in Upper Nile State.  It is clear that political actors in Juba bear responsibility for much of the violence in Upper Nile State and must act to end it.

We also remain deeply concerned about sexual and gender-based violence and extrajudicial killings.  Other significant violations pertain to limitations on internationally recognized rights, such as freedom of expression, that are essential elements for a stable, thriving society and open civic space.

Those who work to advance human rights in South Sudan are helping to build a better future for the South Sudanese people.  They do so with our support and respect.