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‘South Sudan must form hybrid court to try war crimes’

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South Sudan must take steps to quickly form a hybrid court to try people who committed atrocities during the country’s six-year crisis, an official said Monday. 

The government “should support efforts to fast-track the establishment of the Hybrid Court of South Sudan” and should also work on “transitional justice mechanisms, particularly in light of their ability to deal with human rights violations, including women’s rights violations,” Charles Tai Gituai, interim chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), said in a report.

The hybrid court’s formation is agreed on in the country’s peace agreement which is currently undergoing implementation, bringing opposition groups in one government to run for three years.

Gituai urged the government to engage the UN, African Union and African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) with a view to identifying areas of support and collaboration.

He also warned that the intercommunal violence ongoing in parts of the country is a “major risk factor” to the successful implementation of the peace agreement.

He decried many other issues having effects on the peace agreement’s implementation including COVID-19 disruptions, the lack of resources for redeployment of joint forces, growing incidents of defections of the forces within the parties, persistent attacks by National Salvation Front (NAS) militants in the Equatoria region and limited efforts at tackling the transitional period tasks.

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