South Sudanese demonstrate in Juba against the recruitment of children to join warring parties in the country on December 9, 2017. PHOTO | AFP

ACTIVISTS in South Sudan have petitioned African Union Peace and Security Council to establish hybrid court in the country to try leaders accused of committing crimes since the conflict began in 2013.

The South Sudan Civil Society Forum, a coalition of organisations, in a joint letter addressed to AU Peace and Security Council, has appealed to the council to use the session slated for July 21 to revive the stalled implementation of peace agreement.

The activists also want the African Union Commission to engage the recently formed coalition government in expediting the same. It also urged the AU to take unilateral action to enable the court’s creation immediately.

“Delays in establishing the hybrid court for South Sudan threatens the future of the peace deal and protection of civilians and prevent survivors and families of victims from seeking justice for themselves and their loved ones,” reads the letter.

“The efforts to establish the court would signal the AU’s commitment to implementing its 2020 theme, ‘Silencing the Guns.’’’

Chapter 5 of the Revitalised Peace Agreement stipulates that there shall be a hybrid court in South Sudan, as a key part of the peace deal, aimed at holding war criminals accountable in the conflict that has killed nearly 400,000 people and forced four million to flee their homes.

(Source: The East African)

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