Government of South Sudan: Official report of the Investigation Committee on the Terrain Hotel incident of 11 July 2016
Note verbale dated 4 November 2016 from the Permanent Mission of South Sudan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Sudan to the United Nations presents its compliments to the President of the Security Council and has the honour to forward the official report of the Investigation Committee on the Terrain Hotel incident of 11 July 2016 (see annex).
The Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Sudan kindly seeks your assistance in having the present note verbale and its annex circulated among the members of the Security Council as a document of the Council.
Annex to the note verbale dated 4 November 2016 from the Permanent Mission of South Sudan to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council
Official report of the Investigation Committee on the Terrain Hotel incident of 11 July 2016
The nature of offences committed at Terrain Hotel against foreign aid workers and other foreign and local residents on 11 July 2016 are a reminder of the terrible consequences of the July fighting. What occurred at Terrain, particularly to the victims of rape, was inexcusable and deserves condemnation. I personally would not have been able to understand the feelings and distress caused to these victims if it were not for my appointment to lead this investigation. Through this investigation I and my colleagues were made to understand the physical and mental pain caused to the victims of this unfortunate incident. The Committee was also aware of the untold suffering caused to other victims of the fighting that occurred from 8 to 11 July 2016. While investigating these serious allegations, the Committee was mindful of its mandate to establish the facts of what took place at Terrain in the afternoon and evening hours of 11 July 2016. The Committee was able to gather enough information regarding the incident, and this enabled it to determine the circumstances and the nature of the offences committed at Terrain by the perpetrators. The Committee’s work was facilitated by the commitment of His Excellency General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic, who personally directed the Committee to ensure that the investigation was comprehensive, transparent and independent. The President was also throughout clear that the perpetrators of the Terrain incident must take responsibility for their individual and collective acts. The Committee also had challenges associated with the investigation. One of the challenges that confronted the investigation was how to obtain statements from foreigners who were witnesses or victims of the Terrain incident. Many of the foreigners who were victims of the incident had either departed the country, were not traceable or were not willing to speak to the Committee. It was a painstaking exercise for my investigators to trace the victims of rape, given their reluctance to testify because of the confidentiality and stigma associated with the victims of these kind of offences. Having concluded this investigation, it is the Committee’s hope that this report would provide most if not all of the answers pertaining to the Terrain incident. We are, however, mindful that this report is not an end in itself, but a good reference for pursuing further criminal investigation and prosecution against suspects. It is our strong conviction that the findings and recommendations contained in this report would lead to accountability by those linked to the Terrain incident. There is no doubt that the victims of the Terrain incident would only find consolation or comfort if those who perpetrated these terrible crimes were held to account. It was a great honour for me and other members of my Committee to undertake this noble and challenging task. This Committee has tried its level best within the limited period and resources to determine the facts pertaining to the Terrain incident. It is my hope that the findings and recommendations contained in this report would be given the attention they deserve by the leadership and all the relevant institutions.