26th March, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– The International Youth for Africa (IYA) welcomes the expansion of South Sudan Human Rights Monitoring body by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
On Friday the UNHRC expanded the mandate of a three-member monitoring and advisory body on transitional justice and accountability issues in South Sudan and ordered to provide its findings also to the African Union hybrid court.
The IYA urges Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan to speed-up the establishment of Hybrid Court for South Sudan in order to investigate and prosecute individuals bearing the responsibility for violations of international and South Sudan laws.
IYA strongly believes that no concrete peace will be achieved in South Sudan unless the African Union and United Nations Human Rights Council establish a credible and independent Hybrid Court to hold South Sudan kleptocrats and war criminals responsible for perpetuating blood bath to maintain status quo.
According to Chapter V of South Sudan Peace Agreement establishment of three key institutions – the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH), the Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS) and the Compensation and Reparations Authority (CRA) – to help combat impunity and address the root causes of the conflict are basic fundamental for ARCISS to hold. More than 17 months have elapsed since the signing of the Agreement and there has been, at least until recently, only limited or no progress in the establishment of these institutions.
As human rights body, IYA calls on the UN Security Council to impose an immediate arms embargo on South Sudan. This will help reduce unlawful attacks on civilians and flow of firearms. It will also send a strong message that the international community will not enable fighters, who have shown a complete disregard for the laws of war, easy access to weapons and ammunition so they can rearm and commit further abuses.
IYA’s areas of focus include the transitional justice, advocacy, gender-based violence, human rights, youth empowerment and refugee empowerment. In some cases of mass violence, human rights violations are conducted behind a veil of secrecy; in other cases, especially in post-conflict societies with enduring ethnic divisions, people tend to hold radically different interpretations of the violent past; in still other cases, victims yearn for an acknowledgment of their suffering. Establishing an accurate historical record of the violent past and thereby countering denial is considered an important peace building goal.
Human rights constitute the overarching frame of reference for transitional justice. Fundamentally, transitional justice is about confronting past human rights violations and preventing further abuse. It therefore holds both a retrospective and prospective dimension. “Trials should not be viewed only as expressions of a societal desire for retribution, they also play a vital expressive function in publicly reaffirming essential norms and values that when violated should give rise to sanctions. Trials can also help to re-establish trust between citizens and the state by demonstrating to those whose rights have been violated that state institutions will seek to protect rather than violate their rights. This may help to restore the dignity of victims and reduce their sense of anger, marginalisation and grievance.
Ter Manyang Gatwech, founder and Executive Director of IYA
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