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South Sudan war victims one step closer to justice

South Sudan war victims

There are still fears that people responsible for committing war crimes will attempt to derail the agreement. Justice could be on the horizon for South Sudan’s victims of war crimes following the office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union (AU) signing a draft for the formation of the long-awaited Hybrid Court.

The establishment of the Hybrid Court would mean a semblance of justice for all those raped, killed, maimed and otherwise abused following the outbreak of the country’s civil war in 2013.

The East African reports that there appears to be goodwill within the AU Commission and the Peace and Security Council to form the court in order to bring to book war criminals and to ease the implementation of the revitalised September 2016 peace agreement.

The Troika, the UK, US and Norway, who funded the bulk of the peace process, have stated that one of the preconditions for releasing funds for the implementation of the peace agreement is the Hybrid Court’s establishment.

However, despite this positive step, there are still fears that powerful forces responsible for committing war crimes and crimes against humanity will attempt to derail the implementation of the agreement.

A spokesperson for President Salva Kiir’s government, Michael Makuei, asserted that Western powers, instead of trying to help resolve the continuing stand-off between his Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the opposition SPLM-IO were actually working on a long-term plan for regime change.

“They want to use the Hybrid Court against the leadership of South Sudan. The agreement gives it the right to indict anyone and they are trying to selectively target South Sudan politicians through the court,” said Makuei.

The recommendation for the establishment of the court followed the AU’s 2014 Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan which was led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Source: The Citizen