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JUBA - 29 Jan 2017

South Sudan government wants formation of hybrid court delayed

South Sudan's government said ample time should be given for the current Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) to bring about peace first in the country, at the expense of justice for victims of the atrocities committed during conflict.

This comes after the independent Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan invited the justice minister to attend a meeting in Addis Ababa in late January to discuss issues pertaining to implementation of the transitional justice and establishment of a hybrid court in South Sudan.

Speaking to reporters after the cabinet meeting on Friday, Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Information , said the unity government wants to make peace first before any plan for the establishment of the hybrid court in South Sudan.

"There seems to be more concern about the transitional justice and the establishment of the hybrid court other than thinking of bringing peace first to South Sudan, and thereafter make people accountable," said Makuei.

"Our position as government of South Sudan is that we need peace, it is after peace that you can come and question me and say, Michael you have been doing this and this, and now go to the hybrid court, "he added.

Makuei, who is also the government spokesman,  pointed out that the implementation of the transitional justice at this time will never bring peace and stability in South Sudan."If I am indicted today and I resisted, if I refused, who will come and collect me?" he asked.

Article 1 of Chapter 5 of the peace agreement says that the transitional government will establish three new institutions to help bring justice to South Sudan. These institutions are the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing, the independent hybrid court for South Sudan, and the Compensation and Reparation Authority.

File photo: Minister Michael Makuei speaking during a press conference in Juba (Radio Tamazuj)