[JURIST] Lawmakers in South Sudan [JURIST backgrounder] on Wednesday passed a controversial bill that gives security forces the right to arrest suspected criminals without a warrant. The bill was passed into law in its fourth reading after a three-hour debate. The leader of the minority Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-Democratic Change (SPLM-DC) [Sudan Tribune profile] party Onyoti Adigo walked out during the debate to show opposition to the bill. Adigo had called for the session to be adjourned for at least 72 hours to give the members more time to read the amendments attached to the bill. However, that was request was rejected. All six members of the SPLM-DC party followed Adigo in his protest, followed by 116 other members representing the Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria states. Those in favor of the law insist that the security bill protests the national interest. Earlier this week the US urged [JURIST report] South Sudan to participate in a consultation process before passing the controversial security bill to help ensure the development of a non-oppressive government.
South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, has been embroiled in a civil war since December 2013 after President Salva Kiir [BBC profile] accused his ex-vice-president, Riek Machar, of plotting to overthrow him. Last month in a briefing before the UN Security Council, Assistant Secretary-General for UN Peacekeeping Operations Edmond Mulet [UN News Centre report] discussed the ongoing humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, describing it as a “man-made crisis” [JURIST report], putting South Sudan on the “brink of a humanitarian catastrophe and a protracted internal conflict.” In May the UN Mission in South Sudan [official website] released a report indicating that both sides in the South Sudan conflict are committing gross human rights violations [JURIST report].