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World leaders call for hybrid court in South Sudan

The United States government and the Secretary General of the United Nations have voiced support for creating a hybrid court for South Sudan despite calls from within the Juba government to drop justice measures.


US state department deputy spokesperson John Kirby said his government remains committed to the full implementation of the peace agreement which includes establishment of a hybrid court to try suspected perpetrators of atrocities during South Sudan’s civil war.

"We firmly support the subsequent efforts of the African Union to establish the Hybrid Court. So do the people of South Sudan, who overwhelmingly support accountability for crimes committed during the conflict and oppose amnesty," Kirby said.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said that although South Sudan faces a difficult humanitarian situation as well as very serious political instability,"accountability process should also take place in due course or at the same time."

The two statements in support of justice in South Sudan follow publication of an op-ed in the New York Times bylined by Salva Kiir and Riek Machar which called for the international community, particularly the US, to reconsider support for a hybrid court to try perpeptrators of crimes. The African Union is tasked with setting up the court during South Sudan’s 30-month transitional period before elections.

Since the op-ed’s publication, Machar’s side has disowned the statement.

On Saturday, the New York Times updated the op-ed with an editor’s note pointing out that Machar disavowed its contents, saying he had not been consulted about the essay, which was submitted by representatives of South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir.

The newspaper previously admitted they did not verify with Machar and Kiir if they approved the letter written in their name.

Kiir’s spokesperson Ateny Wek Ateny has given conflicting statements to the media as to whether Machar’s side approved the statement or not.

Jimirasire

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