Press Release: for immediate release; 30 January 2017
SSHURSA Condemns Minister Michael Makuei Lueth’s resistance to the Hybrid Court and urges African Union, United Nations and rest of the international Community for action
January 30, 2017 (SSNA) — The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy(SSHURSA) condemns in strongest terms possible the statements attributed to South Sudan’s Minister of Information and Broadcasting Michael Makuei Lueth in opposing the establishment of the Transitional Justice institutions especually the criminal justice part. These institutions have been provided for under Chapter V of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan(ARCISS) which the warring parties and other stakeholders had signed since August 2015.
According to a news report published on 29 January 2017 under the heading: ‘South Sudan government wants formation of hybrid court delayed’(https://radiotamazuj.org/en/article/south-sudan-government-wants-formation-hybrid-court-delayed), serious statements have been attributed to Minister Michael Makuei Lueth. He has not so far denied them. Minister Makuei opposes the establishment of the three Transitional Justice institutions: Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH; article 2), Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS; article 3) and Compensation and Reparation Authority(CRA; article 4). He specifically resists the formation of the HCSS and he stated: “Our position as government of South Sudan is that we need peace, it is after peace that you can come and question me and say, Michael you have been doing this and this, and now go to the hybrid court”
SSHURSA calls on Minister Makuei to stop mocking the victims of atrocities committed in South Sudan. Minister Makuei should be bluntly told that there is no peace without justice. The people of South Sudan have suffered for far too long without any criminal accountability while what gains significant dominance has been the abuse of their rights caused by violence resulting from the reckless statements and incitement such as those aired out by Minister Makuei. South Sudanese, who have been killed, maimed and continue to suffer irreparable damages especially women and girls willfully dehumanised and humiliated through organised sexual violence, they need justice and their dignity cannot hang on the political rhetorics of the state.
Besides, Minister Makuei has been issuing public statements that there is still peace in South Sudan even when that peace collapsed after the resumption of the organised violence on 8 July 2016 in Juba. Today, when it comes to the implementation of the part of the Peace Agreement which Minister Makuei has been saying being in existence, he is saying ‘there is no peace and peace should come first’. Such contradictions must be regarded as deliberate resistance to criminal accountability for the abuses of human rights that continue in South Sudan.
SSHURSA strongly condemns Minister Makuei’s resistance and calls on him to allow justice takes its cause. He should not feel guilty before due process of the law takes over if he thinks he is likely in any way to be held accountable over the abuses of human rights being committed in South Sudan.
SSHURSA strongly urges the African Union, the United Nations especially the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan and the rest of the international community as well as South Sudanese human rights and rule of law institutions and personnel, to push and ensure that the Transitional Justice institutions especially the Hybrid Court for South Sudan is urgently set up.
Peace without criminal accountability as Minister Makuei tries to make the public to believe, will encourage perpetual impunity and breeds more violence and human rights violations in South Sudan. Those who have been abusing human rights should be held accountable.
SSHURSA finally calls on warring parties to exercise maximum restraints and opt for comprehensively inclusive political dialogue to resuscitate the collapsed Peace Agreement and ensure that all provisions of the revived Agreement are implemented.
SSHURSA is a nongovernmental and nonpolitical human rights organisation founded on 5th June 2007. Its head office is in capital Juba and its coordination offices in other states of South Sudan. Its vision; a democratic, peaceful, human rights and rule of law abiding South Sudan. It areas of focus are in human rights education and monitoring, constitution, rule of law, transitional justice and peacebuilding among others. For more information on this press release or about SSHURSA, Contact us through e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com . Tel: +211955912237 or visit our website at: www.sshursa.org.