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JUBA - 6 Apr 2022

Kiir launches public consultations to pave way for reconciliation

South Sudan has launched public consultations for the establishment of the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH) as stipulated in the 2018 peace deal.

The body will spearhead efforts to address the legacy of the conflict and promote peace, reconciliation, and healing following years of civil wars since 2013.

Chapter 5 of the peace agreement calls for the establishment of the Commission for Truth and Reconciliation, a Hybrid Court and a Compensation and Reparation Commission.

According to the agreement, the public consultations are expected to take a period not less than one month prior to the establishment of the reconciliation commission. The consultations will ensure that the experiences of women, men, girls and boys are sufficiently documented and the findings of such consultations incorporated in the resultant legislation. 

Speaking during the launch of public consultations in Juba on Tuesday, President Salva Kiir Mayardit said South Sudanese need reconciliation more than pursuing justice.

“We need community healing first rather than devoting our energies to deterring specific acts of violence through criminal prosecution. We need to use reconciliation and forgiveness to eradicate the culture of impunity,” he said.

Meanwhile, First Vice President, Riek Machar said the commission for truth and healing is the most important step in the quest for justice in the country.

 “The Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing is recognized as a critical part of the peacebuilding process as it spearheads efforts to address the legacy of conflicts, promote peace, national healing and reconciliation. It is expected to inquire into all aspects of human rights violations or abuses, breaches of the rule of law and the excessive use of force committed against all persons,” he said.

According to Machar, the newly signed agreement on security arrangements would create a conducive environment for the task force to visit all areas in South Sudan without hindrances.

On Sunday, the parties to the peace agreement signed an agreement on the formation of a unified armed forces command. The deal was reached in Juba following mediation by neighbouring Sudan.