South Sudan’s stalled peace accountability court raises concerns.
South Sudan’s peace monitoring organization has raised concern over delays in establishing a hybrid court, impeding the country’s efforts to investigate previous crimes.
The Court is one of the organizations supposed to be established under Chapter 5 of the Revitalized Agreement on the Cessation of Conflict in South Sudan (R-JMEC). This 2018 peace agreement ended the conflict.
On Friday, the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) said that the Court, comprised of local and international judges, is critical in reviewing previous responsibilities.
“It is disturbing that little progress has been made toward the formation of the other two transitional justice organs, the Hybrid Court for South Sudan and the Compensation and Reparations Authority,” stated RJMEC Interim Chairman Charles Tai Gituai.
Also read: The United Nations claims 440 people have been killed in South Sudan violence.
He addressed at the 23rd joint board meeting on Thursday, urging the peace parties to put the necessary instruments to create the Court.
“As a result, I urge the rejuvenated unity government to consider establishing these two crucial Transitional Justice institutions.”
According to the peace agreement, South Sudan, in collaboration with the African Union, would establish a hybrid court to investigate and punish persons accused of committing crimes since the war started in December 2013.
The Court was proposed as part of an attempt to bring a nation split along ethnic lines by almost seven years of civil conflict back together.
However, its establishment has been a contentious issue, with officials in Juba, headed by President Salva Kiir, warning that it may reopen old scars.
President Kiir recruited an American lobbyist in 2019 to enhance ties with the US administration, delay, and eventually stop the construction of the hybrid court, among other things. The US administration has been outspoken about justice and the need to punish those responsible for the bloodshed.
According to the timetables in the peace agreement, the country’s transitional administration of power sharing would conclude in February. However, South Sudan confronts a difficult job in preparing for elections, preventing a return to conflict, and establishing an elected administration.
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