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UN experts call for establishment of Hybrid Court to try GBV perpetrators

Commissioners with the UN Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, Barney Afako (Left) and Andrew Clapham (Right) addressed the media during a press conference in Juba [Photo by courtesy]

Gender-based Violence (GBV) perpetrators in South Sudan should be sanctioned, revealed the UN Human Rights Commission in South Sudan on Monday.

 In statement issued in New York, the three-member commission called for the swift establishment of a Hybrid Court enshrined in the 2018 peace deal to try perpetrators of GBV.

Andrew Clapham, a commissioner, said survivors particularly those of repeated incidents of sexual violence informed them that criminal accountability is the only way to guarantee their safety and peace in the country.

“That’s why setting up the Hybrid Court is non-negotiable,” Clapham said.

The UN Commissioners recently spoke at the Global Survivors Forum in New York hosted by Nobel Peace Prize winners, Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad.

Under the 2018 revitalized peace deal, chapter five mandates for the setting up of the Hybrid Court to try war crimes committed during years of conflict since outbreak in December 2013.

“You cannot exclude large numbers of people who have suffered from having a say in the future justice system. Nor can you cherry pick between the different transitional justice bodies – they all have to work together to bring closure to the people of South Sudan,” Barney Afako, Commissioner of the human rights commission said.

Afako called for reparations to GBV survivors whose lives have been hurt. 

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently noted rise in conflict-related sexual violence cases by 218 percent despite decline in armed conflict in the country.

It disclosed that conflict-related sexual violence cases were reported between April and June.

The UN Human Rights Commission has on several occasions accused the transitional unity government of delaying and obstructing the process of establishing the Hybrid Court.

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