US disappoints over South Sudan presidency rejection of hybrid court

US State Department’s Deputy Spokesman, Mark Toner. Photo credit: Images
US State Department’s Deputy Spokesman, Mark Toner. Photo credit: Images

Juba/Washington, DC, June 9, 2016 (SSNA) — The United States says it is disappointed by South Sudan leaders’ suggested decision to abandon hybrid court which was initially set-up by the African Union (AU) with support from the international community to prosecute those who committed war crimes in a more than two-year old civil war, adding that it rejects any attempt to scrap the proposed court.

The announced came just days after a joint letter allegedly written by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar appeared in the New York Times.

US State Department’s deputy spokesman, Mark Toner, says the American government is disappointed and upset at Kiir and Machar’s call to scrap the court.

“We’re disappointed; we firmly support the African Union’s efforts to establish this hybrid court. And we expect the parties to fulfill their responsibilities,” Toner said.

The troika countries, namely Norway, the United States (US), and United Kingdom (UK) were instrumental in the formation of the court.

Machar and Kiir’s letter has been met with fierce criticism from South Sudanese as well as international rights organizations with the Human Rights Watch (HRW) accusing the two leaders of “self-serving.”

“Their proposal to scrap trials is a self-serving attempt to evade justice,” HRW international justice associate director Elise Keppler said.

In their opinion piece published on Tuesday, Kiir and Machar argued that South Sudan only needs reconciliation not trials, adding that they intend to create a “national truth and reconciliation commission” which will be based on Northern Ireland and South African previous models.

Reactions from South Sudanese around the world indicate that Kiir and Machar’s case against hybrid court is not popular and could backfire.

Meanwhile the office of VP Machar has issues a statement, saying the letter was a fraud and accused unnamed individuals of fabrication.

The South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) has learned that South Sudan’s presidency is telling the public conflicting accounts over who wrote article.

Machar’s office is distancing itself from the letter while Kiir’s supporters insist that the joint letter was in fact written by President kiir and First VP Machar. It is not clear which side is telling the truth.

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10 Comments. Leave new

  • I for one am with US givernment on this. Although I should not be surprise that South Sudan government opted for reconciliation rather than prosecuting the war criminals as punishment is not something practice by the culture of these two people in the top leadership.The country that do not punished law breakers will allow the same criminals to continue breaking the law and enable new ones to join in the law breaking. the way this is going, US government should embrace themselves for further war being wage by this people and should start preparing for more sanctions to be impose on government.

    • Yes, Mr Okot. It is good to take a firm position by condemning any attempt by the transitional government to evade justice. The people took their turn by fighting a war that the leaders imposed on them and which they foolishly accepted without counting the cost. Now it is the turn of these leaders to account for the crimes that have been committed in the course of that outrage. Every citizen of good will should stand against any decision that tries to tradeoff justice for anything cheaper as a means to avoid humiliation and personal suffering. Persecuting war criminals is the only way to guarantee peace in the future.
      However, Mr Okot, there is something that you and the folks of your like have got to change in your thought system, that is the way you perceive that the problem of South Sudan is the two communities that you have mentioned in your comment (popularly the president’s community being the outstanding culprit). You even went so far by attacking cultures from which the two top leaders come that they are cultures which do not practice the punishment of crime. Your prejudice is distinctively a depiction of an Equatorian thought pattern that you are the ‘good guys’ because you don’t fight. Does not being able to fight mean being good? The violent nature of the Nuer and Dinka tribes that you see today is simply a misguided dynamic and it will just take transforming that negative and destructive aspect of it into a positive and constructive dynamic and you will see discoveries and inventions. Compare that with the complacency that characterizes your culture which makes you neither hot nor cold, but a lukewarm people. Think of being complacent in terms of the liberation which led to our country’s independence.
      Don’t think that those who will be prosecuted for war crimes will come only from those two communities that you are demonizing. They will also include those who have been instigating the killing of individuals along the highways based on their ethnicity. Don’t be surprised that your uncle will be one of them.

    • Comment *okot you have hit the nail on head. These guys are just players leaving grass to suffer. God will see them.

  • I think the former rebels leader Riek Machar always back and forth in every issue look how times had had not show up during all dates he had missed. The designated Vp, Machar don’t get it that, he will be Top personto be indicated for war crimes and crime against humanity for two wars crimes he had been supported.

  • I mean the former rebels leader Riek Machar is always cut and run when there is a issues like this conflict. Look how many times he had missed deadline to come to Juba? He always seem to supporting the findings who done wrong while the Nasir faction war crimes is waiting him and plus 2013 . Dinkas Bor massacre and he repeated in Bor town for the second time. With all these caused by him thus, there is no way for him to escape justice otherwise, both are same boat.

  • if the article was not written by two parties then president kiir need to disciplines his scretariates.

  • This Ateny Wek and Buay Malek 100% are confusing the world community leader even citizen in south sudan by lide on media for uncceptable letter before this if kiir group still not be patient on peace soon another crisis will be.

  • You Dinka alway say Dr.Machar cut and run a way all the year you are counting is not his willing to do its wrong leadership style that all million of dinka in today world because Garang call him inorder to call in 1991 near to Bor, in 2005 he disagree for unification for Arab North Dr.Machar need Self Determination which is Dinka Bor Dr.John Garang De Bior don,t poor knowledge and wrong perception of General Salva Kiir his acception 8 year project subject of Ethic Cleansing mean that to kill Dr.Machar and all Nuer in juba due power 15 December 2013 Kiir Action response by Machar very clear.

  • I am a South Sudanese I am not happy over the way things are right now in my Country. What would we tell our future leader, when will Sudan practice long will this nation remain in war and the practice of Bad Traditional customs. For us we are tired and we want Sundan to be peaceful.

  • Good morning all South Sudanese in all over the what happened in South Sudan is not easy now why it is not easy? Because it is non stop two of our leaders they don’t want to sign up the peace agreement.and why they don’t want to do that because they don’t mind about the populations whom we lost during the war since,2013 up to 2016. Now where is the feeling of the national and human dignity here? This is what we want when we separated from North Sudan to come and killing ourselves? now two of our leaders who is going to take responsibility of the orphans children whom miss their patients? And who is going to effort them the schools and hospitals South Sudan? neither Sale like nor Dr Machar is going to do that. But the shame is if they fail to make anything for South Sudanese people and they go back to North Sudan to be ruled by al Bishear this will be a very big failure for South Sudanese people and they will be slaves forever North Sudanese people.


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