Rights groups call on AU to establish hybrid court for South Sudan, question publication delay of atrocities report

Juba, September 24, 2015 (SSNA) — Local and international human rights organizations have written a joint letter to the African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma urging her to attend an African Union Peace and Security Council’s meeting scheduled to take place in New York on September 26, 2015.

In the document, the agencies suggest that Dr. Zuma should use the up-coming meeting as a chance to express her commitment to establish a Hybrid Court for South Sudan and also publish the atrocities report, adding that AUC must show its commitment to justice.

“We write as a group of South Sudanese and international non-governmental organizations to encourage you to take advantage of the African Union Peace and Security Council meeting on South Sudan scheduled for September 26, 2015 in New York to express your commitment to establish the Hybrid Court for South Sudan and to help ensure publication of the report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS) without delay,” the letter reads in parts.

“Publication of the [atrocities] report of the AUCISS report remains of great importance,” the letter continues.

The groups remind AUC’s Chairperson that the recently signed power-sharing deal calls for establishment of Hybrid Court for South Sudan and Truth, Reconciliation and Healing Commission and a Compensation and Reparations Authority.

“As you are aware, the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, signed by South Sudan’s government on August 26, 2015 and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-in Opposition on August 17, 2015, provides for a Hybrid Court for South Sudan to be established by the African Union Commission as well as a Truth, Reconciliation and Healing Commission and a Compensation and Reparations Authority,” the group added.

The rights organizations praise AU for taking steps in creating the commission. They further call for an impartial court and asserted that AU should establish a “credible, independent hybrid court” for South Sudan.

The organizations that wrote to AUC are Amnesty International (United Kingdom), Affirmative Action, Initiative for Women (Nigeria), Arab Coalition for Sudan (Egypt), Assistance Mission for Africa (South Sudan), Centre for Livelihood, Research and Poverty Reduction (South Sudan), Citizens for Peace and Justice (South Sudan), Civil Resource Development and Documentation Center (Nigeria), Club des Amis de Droit du Congo (DRC), Coalition for the International Criminal Court (Benin), Coalition of Eastern NGOs (Nigeria), Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (South Sudan), Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre (Switzerland), Dialogue and Research Initiative (South Sudan), East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (Uganda), End Impunity Organization (South Sudan), The Enough Project (USA), Fédération Internationale des Ligues des droits de l’Homme (France), Humanity United (USA), Human Rights Development Organization (South Sudan), Human Rights Watch (USA), International Justice Project (USA), International Centre for Policy and Conflict (Kenya), Jewish World Watch (USA), People4Sudan (Switzerland), South Sudan Action Network on Small Arms (South Sudan), South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (South Sudan), South Sudan Law Society (South Sudan), South Sudanese Network for Democracy and Elections (South Sudan), South Sudan Network for Democracy and Elections (South Sudan), Soweto Community-Based Organization (South Sudan), Standard Action Liaison Focus (South Sudan), The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (Uganda), Sudan Advocacy Action Forum (Sudan), Sudan Social Development Organization (United Kingdom), Support Peace Initiative Development Organization (South Sudan), United to End Genocide (USA), Voice for Change (South Sudan), and Zorga Organization for Rural Development (Sudan).

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