HRW (2009). There is No Protection. Insecurity and Human Rights in Southern Sudan
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Nearly four years after the government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that brought an end to 21 years of civil war, the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) has made limited progress in addressing impunity and establishing the rule of law. Soldiers and other security forces that commit human rights violations and other crimes against civilians are rarely brought to account. The nascent justice system suffers from systemic weaknesses leading to arbitrary detentions, prolonged pre-trial detentions, and very poor prison conditions. The GoSS, created under the terms of the CPA in 2005, is responsible for administering a severely under-developed area nearly twice the size of France that has been shattered by civil war. Given the sheer scale of its state-building and reconstruction challenges, the GoSS has made significant progress, including by absorbing dozens of formerly hostile militia into the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA). But the fledgling government, dominated by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has not managed to protect civilians from crimes committed by its security forces, and public disquiet over these abuses is growing. Southern Sudan’s security landscape remains extremely fragile. In addition to threats emanating from national political tensions or attacks by the Ugandan rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), many southerners’ security and livelihoods are affected by localized communal fighting, often linked to competition over land, livestock, or other resources. Large numbers of weapons remain in civilian hands, turning many disputes violent and deadly. Soldiers and renegade soldiers from the SPLA also contribute to insecurity with infighting or by crimes against civilians for personal gain.