ICRC documents 5,300 missing persons in South Sudan

Nourane Nouas, ICRC Protection Coordinator in SOuth Sudan

The International Community of the Red Cross -ICRC said it has documented over five thousand three hundred people are still missing in South Sudan.  It is asking government to take appropriate action for all the missing persons, and held anyone who might be responsible for disappearance accountable.

ICRC says the state has responsibility to prevent disappearance, ascertain the fate and whereabouts of missing persons.

The ICRC has been working in Sudan since 1986, including in what is now South Sudan.

“We have documented cases of missing persons before South Sudan’s independence in 2011 and afterwards in relation to conflict, other situations of violence, natural disasters, and migration,” ICRC said.

The International Day of the Disappeared is observed on 30th August yearly.

Nourane Nouas is the ICRC Protection Coordinator. She said many being reunited with the families shared the stories of suffering and distress. Others still search for missing family members, which the organization is working to track their whereabouts.

“The majority of the time, they share the suffering of the separation, and that absence has caused them mental disorders. They have lost economic capacity,”

Nouas further stated there is a need for practical solutions to end issues of disappearance in South Sudan.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it supports the authority in enacting legislation for South Sudan to implement international obligations towards the missing persons and their families.

Minister of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare, Ayaa Benjamin warille criticize people’s acts on behalf of the government to commit force disappearance that sometimes could result in the death of an individual being abducted.

Ayaa narrated her personal story saying her husband Aggrey Ezbon Adri was kidnapped in January 2017 alongside South Sudanese lawyer Dong Samuel Luak that left the families in pain.

The men’s disappearance between South Sudan and Kenya, but both governments have consistently denied responsibility.

Minister Ayaa said such unlawful should stop, and justice must prevail to pay back the painful situation families of missing one undergone through.

“I was living in Nairobi, my husband when out for exercises and today I have not heard from him. As a family, we went through pain, and I don’t’ even have a word to describe what we went through for three good years unit the UN panel of experts officially inform us in 2020 that my beloved husband is no more.” Ayala said.

International law prohibited the forced disappearance, which violated the fundamental human rights of the individual.

In February this year, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Peter Mayen Majongdit has established a technical working group on Missing Persons in South Sudan.

The Committee expects to carry out an in-depth research exercise into missing persons in the country.

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