S. Sudanese researcher welcomes approval of Hybrid Court for S. Sudan

Judges sit in the courtroom during a trial at a court in the capital Juba, South Sudan, May 30, 2017 |Photo: File
Judges sit in the courtroom during a trial at a court in the capital Juba, South Sudan, May 30, 2017 |Photo: File

A renown researcher at Human Rights Watch, Nyagoah Tut Pur, has strongly welcome the decision by South Sudan’s leaders to approve the AU Hybrid Court for South Sudan.

“After years of relative silence, South Sudan’s government has finally given approval to establish accountability mechanisms to address the country’s conflict, including a war crimes court in partnership with the African Union (AU),” she said.

“This could represent an important step to bring justice closer to victims and survivors who have suffered brutal crimes with impunity for far too long. However, swift and concrete action is needed to operationalize these mechanisms.”

Last week, the South Sudanese government gave a green light to the long-awaited establishment of the AU Hybrid Court for South Sudan, a step seen as a milestone towards bringing war criminals to justice.

Since the outbreak of the conflict in 2013, Tut has documented human rights violations and possible war crimes on both sides of the conflict, and has been a firsthand witness to some of the horrific abuses committed by the security forces.

“As a South Sudanese who has witnessed and investigated abuses since South Sudan’s war first broke out in December 2013, I cannot exaggerate how critical accountability is to repairing the country’s social fabric and to the healing of victims.”

“All parties to the conflict have committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity. Reckoning with South Sudan’s history through fair, credible trials, along with truth telling and reparations, will serve justice to victims and chart the way for future generations.”