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Rights bodies criticize South Sudan leadership over anti-justice Op-ed

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June 10, 2016 (JUBA) – A group of national and international civil society and human rights organizations have criticized the South Sudan’s top leadership for authoring an opinion paper seeking to avoid justice and accountability mechanisms in the country.

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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir prepares to give his speech during the India Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi, India, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015 (Photo AP/Bernat Armangue)

The group of six organizations under the umbrella of the Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG), said although they have realized that the two leaders, President Salva Kiir and First Vice President, Riek Machar, did not co-author the controversial article, it yet gave concerns as to why one of them did it.

“Although its authorship remains hotly contested, the recent opinion article in the New York Times, entitled, “South Sudan Needs Truth, Not Trials,” brings into doubt the commitment of the top leadership in the TGONU to turn over a new leaf and build a state that is accountable to its people,” partly reads the joint statement from TJWG extended to Sudan Tribune on Friday.

The group called on the top leaders to withdraw the opinion for the interest of the people.

“Group (TJWG), urge President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar to withdraw their stated opposition to the Hybrid Court and publicly renew their commitment to abide by the terms of the peace agreement. South Sudan can no longer afford to lose its citizens and tolerate impunity. Reconciliation and healing are important for the nation but to move South Sudan forward on a path to peace, justice must be done and people must account for the lives of the tens of thousands of innocent South Sudanese who died in this war,” they said.

The signatory organizations to the joint statement include Assistance Mission for Africa (AMA); Dialogue and Research Initiative (DRI); Human Rights Development Organization (HURIDO); South Sudan Law Society (SSLS); South Sudan Women Empowerment Network (SSWEN); Foundation for Democratic and Accountable Governance (FODAG); and Solidarity Ministry Africa for Reconciliation and Development (SMARD).

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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