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Gov’t to establish a commission for truth, reconciliation and healing

By Bida Elly David

President Salva Kiir Mayardit has said the government will soon establish a commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH) to uncover what happened during the civil war and use it as a source for building peace and reconciliation.

The President,in a New Year address, pointed out that the establishment of the commission,which falls under Chapter Four (V) of the 2018 peace accord,will carry out national consultations in collaboration with other stakeholders and civil society.

“We will be embarking on the process of establishing the commission for truth, reconciliation and healing(CTRH) by the end of January 2022. It is important to initiate this process so that our people can know truth about what took place during the war and use it as basis for peace building, reconciliation and social stability,”he said

The president furthermore called upon all South Sudanese to embrace the roadmap set forth by the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs regarding the establishment process of the commission.

“I therefore call upon all South Sudanese to embrace the roadmap set forth by the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs regarding the process for the establishment of the Commission,”the president pleaded.

However, the mandate for the establishment of the commission has been welcomed by civil society organisation terming it to be a fundamental step to plant peace amidst citizens.

Mr. Edmund Yakani, Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said in his statement that, it has been a long awaited task of the peace agreement under chapter 5 to be established.

  ‘’ it was an essential process for regaining the public trust and confidence for successful political transition from violence to peace, Genuine political will for allowing the country to engage in restrictive truth-telling, reconciliation and healing is paramount. The social fabric in South Sudan is seriously broken by the 2013 armed violence, so without proper engagement on truth-telling, healing and reconciliation the path way for the country to recovery and transition from violence to peace successful will not be possible’’ Edmund reiterated.

Furthermore, he appreciated the positive step President took urging the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to identify relevant international partners who will assist with the establishment of the Compensation and Reparation Authority (CRA) including the establishment of the National Human Rights Advisory Council that will engage with the Africa Union on the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan.

He said that effective Transitional Justice engagement is key for building better future for South Sudan and regaining peace and stability. Mr. Yakani stressed

‘’We appreciate the positive step taken by the President urging the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to identify relevant international partners who will assist with the establishment of the Compensation and Reparation Authority (CRA) including the establishment of the National Human Rights Advisory Council that will engage with the Africa Union on the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan. Effective Transitional Justice engagement is key for building better future for South Sudan and regaining peace and stability’’. Mr. Yakani stressed

CEPO strongly urged the president to declare observation of restricted freedom of expression and access to information including demonstration of political commitment.

‘’ Without restricted civic space for activists, media and other stakeholders, it will be harder for genuine engagement on successful transitional justice process across the country.  We are calling for establishment of inclusive National Human Rights Advisory Council’’. He pointed

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