UNMISS organizes workshop on transitional justice with government officials and civil society representatives in Aweil

Can chapter five of the revitalized 2018 peace accord be implemented? Can the Hybrid Court for South Sudan be established? And what is transitional justice, the crucial topic covered in chapter five?

These were some of the key questions debated in Aweil when the United Nations Mission in South Sudan invited 56 people, including twelve women, for a discussion on some of arguably the most sensitive and still outstanding issues of the implementation. work of peace revitalized. OK.

“These are key bodies embodied in transitional justice. For example, the Compensation and Reparations Authority is part of the peace agreement for us to correct the wrongdoings of the past. It is a process that should pave the way for our country to start a new chapter, one of lasting peace and accountability,” said Isaac Deng, a lawyer present at the event.

In addition to the Compensation and Reparations Authority, Mr. Deng referred to the creation of two other vital entities enshrined in the peace agreement: a functional Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing and a Hybrid Court for Sudan. from South.

The latter should be composed of national and international legal professionals responsible for investigating violations of international law and, above all, prosecuting those suspected of such crimes. Together with the other two, these institutions and their work will form what is often called transitional justice.

“It is an essential part of the peace agreement. In recognition of this, the peacekeeping mission is working to support the mechanisms and processes that will lead to the creation of these entities,” said human rights expert Alfred Zulu, noting that this training on the provisions of Chapter Five was the first of its kind. stand in the state.

Besides government officials at different levels, traditional leaders and civil society organizations also participated in the workshop. Together, they discussed ways to create structures in their state to facilitate the realization of the stipulated transitional justice mechanisms. They agreed that the State Legislature should pass legislation to make this possible, but also to ensure the provision of social services to those who need them most to avoid conflict and inform people at the local level of the content of chapter five and the rest of the peace agreement.

As those present delved into what was needed for transitional justice to happen, a fundamental right of every citizen became clear: the right to come together and speak out about the need for truth and accountability.

“Freedom of expression is vital, because hiding or preventing facts from coming to light, for example by interfering with the work of journalists, has a truly negative impact on our society,” said Deng William Tong, chairman of the Commission. human rights in northern Bahrain. State of El-Ghazal.

Ataklti Hailu, head of the field office of the peacekeeping mission in Aweil, was on the same wavelength.

“Telling the truth means it should not be perverted. Avoiding uncomfortable facts and hiding information that does not benefit you is not in the best interest of the nation. Without the truth, there can be no healing, which is an important step towards peace and social harmony,” he said.

Focusing on the establishment of a Compensation and Redress Authority, Ambassador for Peace Margaret Aliai summarized the next step to be taken.

“After this training, I know that a committee of seven members will be formed, of which at least three members will be women. Once established, this committee will receive applications from people who have lost property or anything else for which they believe they should be compensated,” she said.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

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