Planned establishment of Hybrid Court in South Sudan in limbo as US prepares to divert its funding

US President Joseph R. Biden. Photo: AFP/File

Nairobi/Juba, July 22, 2021 (SSNA) — The United States is secretly finalizing a plan to reallocate the money it has committed to the creation of a hybrid court in the war-ravaged South Sudan, a senior African Union official with full knowledge of the situation and who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter told the South Sudan News Agency in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Thursday.

The official reveals that the U.S administration is frustrated over the way the process of the court formation is handled and accuses South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar of being part of a campaign designed to deny what Washington described as “denial of justice for the victims of South Sudan civil war.”

“They [U.S] believe that President Kiir and Vice President Dr. Machar including some elements of the AU are conspiring against the establishment of Hybrid Court,” the official says, adding, “Some of us in the AU already knew the American government is not happy and wants to take away the money it committed for the court years ago.”

“I think the United States has a point because South Sudan’s leaders are not serious about the formation of the court,” the official asserts.

The official says there are other mechanisms that the African Union is utilizing to make sure the Hybrid Court is formed as stipulated in the revitalized peace agreement.

The South Sudan News Agency understands that the United States donated at least $5 million in 2015 for the creation of the court.

The civil war in South Sudan has killed at least 400,000 people.

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