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UN rights commission calls for formation of hybrid court

Author: Keko Martins | Published: Saturday, February 17, 2024

Judge's gavel in courtroom - (Photo: Courtesy).

The UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan calls on the government to end impunity by implementing the transitional justice system, which outlines formation of a hybrid court to try war criminals.

Yasmin Sooka, the Commission’s chairperson said the key chapters in the agreement including the security arrangement, permanent constitution making and the formation of a transitional justice system, are all pending.

The human rights lawyer said the absence of hybrid court has led to the rise of impunity in the country.

Speaking to reporters in Juba on Friday, Ms. Sooka said there’s a dire need to address the prevailing impunity to ensure non recurrence of violence and conflicts in the country.

“The government has begun to deal with the Commission on Truth, Healing and Reconciliation as well as the Compensation and Reparation Authority with the bills already before the legislature,” she assessed.

“But to be frank, nothing has been done regarding the establishing of the hybrid court which is also a key pillar in building accountability.”

“Impunity is rising in South Sudan and requires that it be addressed, if we are to ensure no recurrence of the violence and conflicts as we have seen in south Sudan’s past history.”

The Hybrid Court for South Sudan has the mandate to investigate and prosecute individuals bearing the responsibility for the serious crimes committed since 15 December 2013 in South Sudan.

These include the deliberate killing of civilians, rape and other sexual violence, forced recruitment of children, forced displacements, among other crimes.

The decision to establish the Hybrid Court was taken through the 2015 peace agreement signed by parties to the conflict and reiterated through the revitalized peace agreement (R-ARCSS) in September 2018.

At present, there is no other justice avenue available for South Sudanese victims of the conflict, apart from the pending Hybrid Court.

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