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Partners call for women inclusion in transitional justice

The Deputy Country Representative of UN Women

By William MadouK Garang

The Deputy Country Representative of UN Women has called on the government to ensure that 35 percent women quota is reflected in yet-to-be-established transitional justice spelled out in chapter five of the peace agreement.

The Deputy Country Representative of UN Women, Dr. Paulina Chiwangu said the report would be validated as a result of the hard work and efforts of people who believe in gender equality and women empowerment.

In her opening speech, Dr. Chiwangu stressed that chapter five is a roadmap to sustainable peace by addressing crime and atrocities committed during the conflict through three complementing institutions that would be established soon.

“As we all know international normative and legal framework emphasizes the importance of linking gender-sensitive approaches to transitional justice,” Chiwangu said.

“…We are committed to supporting transitional justice process to include women at all stages and levels of decisions making and to holistically address the full range of human rights violations to transform gender inequality in South Sudan and everywhere in the world,” she added.

Meanwhile, Chief Justice of the Judiciary of South Sudan, Chan Reech Madut acknowledged women’s role during struggles and further urged South Sudanese to respect women’s rights as stipulated in the constitution and peace accord.

“If you go over our laws and constitution the rights of women are provided there. Why would we shy away from respecting what is in the law?

“That means it’s also provided in the agreement, to support this idea of equality we should respect it by all means, we have moral and legal obligation to respect whatever is provided in the agreement relating to gender equality,” Madut noted.

“Let us revisit our customs, our tribal custom, some of our tribal customs are immoral than they are unacceptable because they ignore women,” he added.

Chief Justice Madut also stressed that women were the valuable creator of God, adding that any man who looks down on women is not just a fool but a sick person who needs urgent medical attention.

In January 2021, the council of Ministers endorsed a plan by the Ministry of Justice to establish institutions for peace and reconciliation as predetermined in chapter five of the peace agreement.

They include Truth, Reconciliation and Healing, hybrid court, and Compensation and Reparation Commissions. 

The hybrid court, in particular, aims at holding war criminals accountable in the conflict which has killed nearly 400,000 people and forced 4 million South Sudanese to flee their homes.

The special court will investigate and prosecute individuals suspected of committing crimes since the conflict began in December 2013.

The Hybrid Court will also administer crimes related to genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious crimes, including gender-based crimes and sexual violence.

The one one-day workshop was organized by UN Women in partnership with IGAD, and Canada with key stakeholders to validate the findings of the study and finalize the recommendation to relevant transitional institutions to ensure 35%.

The event was graced by CES Deputy Governor, Sarah Nene, Chief Justice Chan Reech and other government official dignitaries and stakeholders, themed “Women inclusion in the transitional Justice marks the end of the conflict.”

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