What you need to know:
- The Court is part of institutions which were to be set up under Chapter 5 of the Revitalised Agreement on the Cessation of Conflict in South Sudan (R-JMEC), the 2018 peace deal that halted war.
South Sudan’s peace monitoring body has expressed concerns over delays in creating a hybrid court, slowing the country’s bid to look into past atrocities.
The Court is part of institutions which were to be set up under Chapter 5 of the Revitalised Agreement on the Cessation of Conflict in South Sudan (R-JMEC), the 2018 peace deal that halted war.
On Friday, the Revitalised Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) says that Court, to be composed of local and foreign judges, is key in checking past accountability.
“It is concerning that there has been no progress towards the establishment of the other two transitional justice mechanisms, the Hybrid Court for South Sudan and the Compensation and Reparations Authority,” said Charles Tai Gituai, the Interim Chairman of RJMEC.
He spoke on Thursday during the 23rd joint board meeting, where he appealed to the peace parties to put in place the needed mechanisms to have the court established.
“I therefore appeal to the revitalised unity government to consider taking steps towards the establishment of these two critical Transitional Justice institutions.”
According to the peace accord, South Sudan, with the African Union, 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.
The court was mooted as part of efforts to reconcile a country that had been divided along ethnic lines by nearly seven years of civil war.
But its creation has been a controversial subject, with authorities in Juba, led by President Salva Kiir, arguing it could open up old wounds.
In 2019, President Kiir hired an American lobby to improve its relations with the US government, delay and ultimately block the establishment of the hybrid court, among others. The US government had been vocal about justice and the need to punish perpetrators of the violence.
The country’s transitional government of power sharing is to end in February, according to the timelines in the peace deal. But South Sudan faces an uphill task to prepare for elections, prevent a relapse to violence and ensure an elected government is established.