Juba, April 17, 2013 (SSNA) — The South Sudan Human Rights Society For Advocacy (SSHURSA) calls upon the President of South Sudan H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit to reverse his decision of cancelling the National Reconciliation process that the Government of South Sudan has been facilitating through the South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission. SSHURSA was shocked on April 15, 2013 by the Republican decree which threw off the National Reconciliation process.
In view of SSHURSA on this matter, this is a contradiction within the national executive arm of Government of South Sudan in general and at the presidency in particular whereas, at best, it’s an attack on the South Sudan’s highest law.
Article 35(1) of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan (TCSS) 2011 provides guiding objectives and principles for the Government at National and State levels and it states;
“All levels of government and their organs, institutions and citizens shall be guided by the objectives and principles contained in this Constitution”.
Article 36 of the TCSS 2011 provides for the political objectives and; one of which is “National Reconciliation”. Specifically;Article 36(2) (b) states;
“All levels of government shall initiate a comprehensive process of national reconciliation and healing that shall promote national harmony, unity and peaceful co-existence among the people of South Sudan”
The fact that the government initiated the reconciliation process this year 2013 through the Peace and Reconciliation Commission was indeed a good start and an implementation of a Constitutional provision. The Republican decree cancelling the reconciliation process issued by the head of the same government that decided to implement the Constitution is not only great embarrassment to the nation but a contradiction to the supreme law, the Constitution which the President himself assented into law on July 9, 2011.
When the process of the National Reconciliation started this year by the Government, SSHURSA hailed the decision as a very important and a courageous move, though tedious and long but a better journey towards a peaceful society. It is a process whose end-results may usher in the respect of rule of law, human rights and promote hopeful and united spirits within reconciled hearts and minds of the majority long war and violence-traumatized South Sudanese population.
SSHURSA therefore, strongly appeals to His Excellency; President Salva Kiir Mayardit to reinstate the reconciliation process. SSHURSA also appeals to the President that if he is not happy with the Peace and Reconciliaton Commision, Vice President and the Advisor to the President overseeing the process, then he is at liberty to change the institution and the personalities running it. Cancelling the process altogether, is a direct interference of the provisions of the Constitution by the President and a clear contradiction within the government national policies.
South Sudan needs reconciliation along side with strong justice systems. The President would underscore to implement the Constitution by reinstating the reconciliation process. This process of national healing must not be narrowed down to personalities but seen as for the national interest which should start now. It’s a long, painful and tedious journey to healing the wounded hearts and minds of South Sudanese people but it is at least better option since the justice systems have failed to bring order and peace and end impunity in South Sudan from the year 2005 hitherto. SSHURSA fully supports the non-politicised reconciliation process.