Cabinet approves establishment of hybrid court

The government has finally approved the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, the minister of information and government spokesperson has said.

This is after the cabinet yesterday approved a plan by the justice ministry to start setting up institutions for peace and reconciliation spelled out in chapter five of the peace deal.

Addressing the media after the Council of Ministers meeting Friday, the government spokesperson Michael Makuei says the minister of Justice has been authorized by the cabinet to establish Hybrid Court.

“Chapter Five talks about peace and reconciliation, it talks about the establishment of the hybrid court, it talks about the reparation and compensation commission,” Makuei said.

“The minister of Justice was asking for authorization and the cabinet approved the presentation and authorized him to start the process of the establishment of all these institutions per provisions of the agreement.”

Hon. Makuei was speaking to reporters after the Friday cabinet meeting.

The revitalized peace agreement stipulates that there shall be a hybrid court in South Sudan, aimed at holding war criminals accountable in the conflict which has killed nearly 400,000 people and forced 4 million South Sudanese to flee their homes.

As per the peace accord, the African Union in collaboration with the government of South Sudan is to set up a hybrid court for South Sudan to investigate and prosecute individuals suspected of committing crimes since the conflict began in December 2013.

However, since the formation of the unity government, less or little has been mentioned in regards to Chapter 5 of the peace pact that stipulates the establishment of the court.

In July last year, the South Sudan Civil Society Forum had urged the African Union to engage the recently formed coalition government in expediting the establishment processes of the hybrid court.

The alliance of civil organizations appealed to AU Commission to take immediate unilateral actions to enable the court.