Kiir’s remarks at the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing (CTRH) launch.
Excellencies Vice Presidents of the Republic;
Honorable Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and other national ministers present;
Honorable Presidential Advisors;
Members of the Diplomatic Community Accredited to the Republic of South Sudan;
Representatives of the International Organizations and our Development Partners;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good afternoon. I am pleased to join you today at the launch of this public consultation on the establishment of the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH).
Today, we mark another milestone in the implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement. As we embark on this process, we need to remember a few points.
First, this chapter on transitional justice has three pillars: The Truth, Reconciliation and Healing pillar whose consultation we are launching today; The Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS); and The Compensation and Reparation Authority (CRA).
The establishment of the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing does not negate the other pillars. In light of the challenges that we are currently facing, what we need the most is reconciliation before the next step on pursuing punitive justice.
We need community healing first. Rather than devoting our energies to deterring specific acts of violence through criminal prosecution, we need to use reconciliation and forgiveness to eradicate the culture of impunity.
We have examples where reconciliation and traditional justice has worked here in South Sudan. Wunlit is one such example where we united our people at a critical time in our struggle.
We can also draw examples from the African continent. In Rwanda, we have seen the success of the Gacaca Courts. South Africa is another great example of the use of Truth and Reconciliation to address issues of transitional justice.
Let us encourage the use of our indigenous processes. Second, the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and other institutions involved in this process need to always remember that the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing forms a critical part of the peace-building process in our country.
What does this mean? It means that the processes for the establishment and conduct of the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing must be: Fair; Transparent; Inclusive, and above all, be firmly based on the parameters set out in the agreement.
This is the only way the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation Healing will meet its objectives of: Receiving and documenting complaints, and Reviewing eyewitnesses accounts of what took place during the tragic events in our country.
My third point is that the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing must focus on serving the interest of the victims throughout its work.
The final truth that will come of this process must reflect what the victims went through. It is only after this that our country can achieve genuine reconciliation.
Today marks the beginning of the launch of the consultation process for the establishment of the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing.
I wish you all good luck and declare the launch of this very important process.
Salva Kiir Mayardit
President, Republic of South Sudan Juba, South Sudan