South Sudan Transitional Justice Working Group launches 5-year plan

Justice, Peace & Reconciliation
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[Juba, South Sudan, TCT] The Transitional Justice Working Group (TJWG) – a coalition of civil society organisations engaged in transitional justice initiatives – launched their five-year strategic plan for justice, reconciliaton and healing in Juba, South Sudan yesterday.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Senior Programme Advisor Lealem Berhanu Dinku applauded the TJWG for coming this far and noted that

“the path on which you have embarked is not for the faint-hearted. It is an undertaking that requires much thought and long-term thinking, in a setting that is characterised by dynamic and frequent changes.”

Dinku pledges UNDP’s support for the TJWG, refering it as a competent group with a shared interest and vision to work together for reconciliation, truth, justice and peace in South Sudan.

He urged the representatives of the donor community, United Nations agencies and government institutions in the audience to do the same.

Filberto Mayuot Mareng, Prosecutor General who spoke on behalf of the ministry of Justice said that the

“role of civil society is crucial under the peace agreement. They are representatives of victims and transitional justice must become the property of South Sudanese society.”

Esther Ikere, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare in her keynote speech said

“in seeking transitional justice and accountability, we need to re-establish the rule of law. Reconciliation is meaningless without accountability. It is a long journey, but we need ownership, commitment and dedication'' She added

''We need to take responsibility as South Sudanese. We have to create spaces for victims of sexual violence to come out and speak. This is why the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing is important.” Ikere emphasised.

She highlighted the fact that civil society has a duty to explain transitional justice to the people at the grassroots level, especially having regard to the South Sudanese context. She further noted that civil society is positioned to provide easy understanding of the peace agreement to the people, thereby ensuring national ownership.

After the keynote speech, Under Secretary Esther Ikere, officially launched the strategic plan.

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