STATEMENT – JIENG COUNCIL OF ELDERS (JCE) is on record for its vehement rejection of the entire AGREEMENT ON CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN SOUTH SUDAN (ACRSS) 2015 and it’s lastly imposed revitalized version R-ACRSS of 2018. In its recent Press Release entitled: “BREAKING THE SILENCE: THE WAY FORWARD” dated 19 February 2021, JCE categorically stated that, quote:
“In our Press Statement on 26th January 2021, we stated that the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ACRSS) is far worse than the 2015 ACRSS. Firstly, the Agreement is overly focused on power sharing among the parties and less about peace among the people of South Sudan. This Agreement simply lacks credibility when it comes to building peace at the local level as it has no single clause addressing real grass roots issues such as communal violence and cattle raiding as well as mundane gun criminality. In fact, the Agreement has fractured the country more, starting from the National, states, Counties and Payams levels to the level of communities” unquote.
Now, although the implementation is hardly moving forward, due to lack of commitment and good will on the part of the Groups signatory to the Agreement, foreign pressure is again imposing the establishment of “Hybrid Court”. This Hybrid Court should under no circumstances be accepted to be constituted by all political and military activists. Before the implementation of the “Security Arrangements”, particularly the formation of the national Army and subsequent removal of the floating armaments in the hands of unauthorised militias and civil population that use them with impunity for criminal purposes, like cattle raiding, revenge killing etc.
There are paramount peace building prerequisites that must be enacted or accomplished before accountability and judgment are pronounced. For instance, compensation, Peace and Healing process should precede any accountability and punitive action in order not to prejudice cordial coexistence amongst the communities.
The premature establishment of the Hybrid Court is certainly and obviously a reasonable ground for those political and military leaders who are already sanctioned and/or indicted or are about to face charges for having committed crimes against humanity but still in full control of their armed militia forces to refrain from engaging in the implementation process. How can a sane person who is fully aware of numerous murderous offences he has committed freely relinquish or surrender power and to voluntarily walk into the prison jail? Many leaders: whether in the government or in the opposition have been sanctioned; charged of corruption; assets freeze; travel ban, money laundering, etc. It’s therefore advisable to delay the process of constituting the Hybrid Çourt.
Joshua Dau Diu Co-Chairman, JCE – Juba 24th June 2021