WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 26, 2016) — Matt Wells, program officer for Center for Civilians in Con-flict (CIVIC) and lead researcher on South Sudan, will testify before the House Africa and Global Human Rights Subcommittee on April 27, 2016, at 2 p.m. to discuss the devastating impact the conflict has had on civilians in South Sudan and what roles the U.N. and the U.S. government can play in addressing the violence.

The hearing comes a day after opposition leader Riek Machar returned to Juba to join a unity government as South Sudan’s vice president—a move many hope will boost the peace process there. But while Machar’s return represents a notable step in the peace process, it is just that—a first step, and one that does not in itself greatly reduce the risk of violence. The U.S. needs to ramp up its engagement on other key issues that will allow people the peace of mind to begin rebuilding their lives, without fear that armed groups will continue subjecting them to horrific abuses.

Wells’ testimony will recommend that Washington support the implementation of the peace agreement’s transitional justice mechanisms, ensure meaningful security sector reform, and continue working to improve U.N. peacekeeping performance.

The hearing will be held on April 27 at 2 p.m. in Room 2200 in the Rayburn House Office Building (second floor).

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Notes to editors:

Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC)’s mission is to improve protection for civilians caught in conflicts around the world. We call on and advise international organizations, governments, militaries, and armed non-state actors to adopt and implement policies to prevent civilian harm. When civilians are harmed we advocate for the provision of amends and post-harm assistance. We bring the voices of civilians themselves to those making decisions affecting their lives.

For more information, contact Christopher Allbritton at +1 (917) 310-4785 or chris@civiliansinconflict.org.

 

Image courtesy of UN Photo/JC McIlwaine