Statement by the United States to the PSC on the Prevention of the Ideology of Hate, Genocide, and Hate Crimes in Africa
April 3, 2019
Excellencies, Good morning. The United States is committed to the prevention of mass atrocities and genocide worldwide. The mass killing of civilians is an affront to our common humanity and a threat to our common security. It destabilizes countries and regions, displaces citizens, and creates grievances that extremists exploit. We applaud the AU for seeking to create an Africa where all citizens can live peacefully and be safe from hatred. We join you to declare never again. We must act. We affirm that governments have the responsibility to protect civilians from mass atrocities. The United States also believes local, regional, and international leaders have a critical role to play in denouncing hate crimes and genocidal acts to prevent atrocities. We know the risk of mass atrocities escalates when citizens are denied basic rights and freedoms, are unable to hold accountable the institutions of government, or face unrelenting poverty and conflict.
In transitional situations around the world, the call for justice is being echoed in peace agreements, in the mandates of peacekeeping missions, and in other concrete efforts to promote a sustainable transition out of the dark chapters of history. To advance our collective intent to create the conditions for peace, the United States believes that establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan is vital to hold accountable those individuals or entities that threaten the peace, security, and stability of South Sudan. Until there is a credible accountability mechanism, there is little hope of breaking South Sudan’s cycles of retributive violence. As described in the recently adopted AU Transitional Justice Policy, justice supports peace and political leaders should embrace transitional justice mechanisms that respond to the will of their citizens. We call on the leaders of South Sudan to fully support the establishment of the Hybrid Court as a clear and immediate step to demonstrate that the parties are committed to the September 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement. This is an opportunity to act.
Similarly, the Special Criminal Court in the Central African Republic is an essential mechanism to ensure justice and prevent a return to the cycle of mass atrocities. We welcome the proactive steps that national authorities have taken to operationalize the Court. The United States recognizes that sustaining this progress will require continued actions and support from the international community. PSC engagement on South Sudan and in the Central African Republic to prevent mass atrocities and demand accountability will send an important signal worldwide. The United States advocates for political resolution to conflict, including through support to AU efforts, as well as constructive engagement from friends and supporters to hold all actors accountable. We encourage all members of the African Union to be courageous and to oppose actively actions that encourage hate and fear of fellow citizens. We call on the African Union to remember its commitment to non-indifference to the plight of Africa’s citizens. Together, we must act.