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Rights body welcomes S. Sudan’s unity government

May 2, 2016 (JUBA) - The African Center for Transitional Justice (ACT-J) has welcomed the formation of Transitional Government of National Unity by the parties to the Agreement on the Resolution of the conflict in South Sudan.

President Salva kiir(C) FVP; Riek Machar (L), and VP, Marilyn, raise their hands after swearing in ceremony of Machar on April 26, 2016. (Photo Lomayat Moses)

In a statement issued on Saturday, ACT-J’s executive director, Peter Gai Manyuon, stressed the need for justice and accountability in the young nation.

“It is therefore, very crucial for the parties who caused the conflict to account for the crimes they have committed beginning from 2013 to 2016, in order for the peaceful co-existence of South Sudanese people in Country,” said Gai.

“The culprits who have killed innocent civilians should be brought to book and answers what lead to massacre, cannibalism, tortured, raped, killings of the civil population in the country,” he added.

South Sudan rebel leader, Riek Machar was last week sworn in as the country’s first vice president as part of a peace deal that ended 21 months of South Sudan conflict.

Tens of thousands of people were killed and over two million displaced during the conflict, which broke out in December 2013 following disputes in the country’s ruling party.

According to ACT-J, the warring party leaders must strive to identify the culprits who were responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and cases related to genocide, in order to achieve reconciliation, truth seeking, tranquillity, reforms and democratization processes in South Sudan.

The peace implementation without proper accountability and national reconciliation is meaningless, the entity said.

It said there is need to form a hybrid tribunal, which will boost efforts to uplift national justice systems in South Sudan.

“Otherwise if the parties who committed crimes against humanity are not question by the world, then peace and reconciliation initiatives might not go as many people wishes,” stressed the human rights body.

A non-political, non-governmental organization, formed by professional South Sudanese Journalists and Lawyers in 2014, ACT-J works to address issues of transitional justice mechanisms, advocacy on accountability, human rights monitoring and documentation, democracy, governance and peace-building in South Sudan.

(ST)