UN diplomat urges government to expedite establishment of Hybrid Court

UN human rights commissioner Yasmin Sooko (File/supplied/Nyamilepedia)

September 18th 2018 (Nyamilepedia)  – A UN diplomat urged on Monday the South Sudan government and the African Union to speed up the establishment of the hybrid court stipulated for in the R-ARCISS.

The head of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights urged the African Union and the government to agree on a timeline for the execution of the court.

“The Commission in particular urged the African Union and the Government of South Sudan to agree on a timeline to fast-track the long-awaited Hybrid Court for South Sudan, the Commission on Truth, Healing and Reconciliation and the Compensation and Reparations Authority, all set out in Chapter V of the Peace Agreement to render justice and facilitate national reconciliation,” Yasmin Sooko, the head of the UN rights commission said.

The Commission on Human Rights decried the ongoing attacks on humanitarian staff, that has put the country under the spotlight, more particularly the death of a UN soldier killed in a deadly ambush while serving under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

“South Sudan is considered to be one of the most dangerous places in the world for humanitarian workers, with more than 13 aid workers killed this year alone. In April, 10 aid workers were abducted and a UN peacekeeper killed in an ambush targeting a humanitarian convoy. In Wau, between June and late August, access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance was denied for security reasons,” she said.

The office of the United Nations acknowledged with regret that, the Government of South Sudan under President Salva Kiir Mayardit has not scraped the death penalty imposed on political detainees, that have been convicted of crimes, despite calls from both South Sudan civil society organizations and the international community to release them.

“Finally, the Commission deplored that the Government of South Sudan has not abolished the death penalty or put in place a moratorium on executions despite calls from civil society and the international community to do so, with three executions taking place in May alone this year. A further 40 death-row prisoners have been transferred from state and county prisons to Wau and Juba central prisons, which are the only prisons equipped with execution chambers. The Commission said it feared that the next few months could see many more executions among the 345 death-row prisoners detained across the country,” she said.