Search for A New Beginning: Discussion Paper

19 Mar 2016
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Perceptions of Truth, Justice, Reconciliation and Healing in South Sudan

Direct participatory democracy gave way to representative politics as the expansion of empires and high population growth distanced the body politic from the centre of governance. Consequently, political participation, a basic right and concurrent responsibility of citizenship, has had to find various ways to thrive. While electoral processes and referenda have become the widely used methods for securing national consensus in the national polity, national consultations equally represent direct methods of aggregating the views of citizens in relation to national issues of vital importance. Thus, as the December 2013 crisis placed South Sudan at the axis of the debate on transitional justice, UNDP South Sudan in collaboration with the South Sudan Law Society (SSLS), conducted a perception survey to measure the views of South Sudanese on issues of truth, justice, reconciliation and healing.2 The survey was launched on 28 October 2015. This was timely in that a peace agreement - Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS), was signed two months earlier, and the report by the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan was released the day before. The survey represents a significant step in the national consultative process on transitional justice. This paper discusses the findings of the survey and their implications for the transitional justice agenda in South Sudan.