UN rights Commission welcomes transitional justice in South Sudan

Refugees prepare coffee for breakfast in displaced persons camp in Juba, South Sudan Refugees prepare coffee for breakfast in displaced persons camp in Juba, South Sudan Photo by Vlad_karavaev on iStock

01 February 2021

UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan welcomed the commitment to transitional justice mechanisms aiming at addressing violations and assisting victims.

On Friday, 29 January 2021, the government of South Sudan gave the green light for establishing the African Union Hybrid Court and other transitional justice mechanisms which will be responsible for the prosecution of human rights violations committed during the South Sudanese civil war. The announcement comes after almost three years of political stalemate and will fulfil the government’s obligations under the 2018 Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

The South Sudanese Cabinet has requested the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to adopt the draft statute in order to establish the Hybrid Court and three transitional justice mechanisms as stated under the 2018 Agreement. This development comes as a great achievement for justice and accountability against the heinous crimes committed by both the government and opposition forces since the beginning of the conflict in 2013. Because of the new Unity government’s failure to adhere to the established timelines, the perpetrators of the crimes, which include sexual violence and ethnic cleansing, have been left unpunished for years.

In a statement issued on Monday, 1 February 2021, Yasmin Sooka, the Chair of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, welcomed this long-awaited development and expressed her support to the South Sudan government. Similarly, Commissioner Barney Afako suggested that the Government should take all immediate steps to uphold its obligations under the 2018 Agreement in order to avoid any further delays and to provide reparations for harms and losses suffered by victims of the conflict. Furthermore, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki, also expressed his support to the Government and people in their quest for peace and security.


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Author: Christina Michael; Editor: Andrew Goodell

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