14 May 2018, Juba — The country-wide consultations on the establishment of the Commission on Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH), as part of the 2015 peace agreement, started today as members of a technical committee formed by the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs leave Juba for 13 major towns across the country to hear and document public views on issues relating to the legislation for the creation of the Commission.
The establishment of a Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing falls under Chapter V of the Peace Agreement which deals with issues of transitional justice, accountability, reconciliation, and healing.
The launch of the consultations was preceded by a training workshop organized by the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs with funding from the government of Netherlands and technical support from UNDP’s Access to Justice and Rule of Law project. The training for 22 members [2 women] of the technical committee was conducted by experts from the New York based International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ).
“We are launching the second phase of our work by consulting the masses. We have sensitized them [masses] earlier and this time we are going to collect their views on what we have sensitized them about through a questionnaire. In fact, we are very late in undertaking this process, but we are very appreciative to our partners in UNDP and UNMISS for their continued support” said the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice Hon James Mayen Oka in a statement to the press.
Senior ICTJ expert, Ruben Carranza, said members of the technical committee have been provided with advanced skills to carry out their assignment in a competent manner. He said during the training the members were exposed to comparative experiences drawn from Colombia, East Timor and South Africa, among others. The closing ceremony of the 2-day training was attended by among others, Mr Eugene Nindorera, the Director UNMISS Human Rights Divisision. In his closing remarks, he counselled the members of the Technical Committee to work hard to live to the expectations of the people of South Sudan. He pointed out that the process has the support of the UN family.
The national consultations will be in two phases; the first phase from 14 to 18 May and the second phase from 25 May to 1 June 2018 in the target locations of Bor, Torit, Yambio, Rumbek, Wau, Malakal, Leer, Renk, Bentiu, Aweil, Mundri, Yei and Kuajok. The questionnaire, with technical support from UNDP and ICTJ, is composed of 21 questions to be anonymously answered by randomly selected respondents about their views for design and setting up of the Commission.
The Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS), concluded on 17th august 2015 in Addis Ababa, mandates the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to conduct national consultations in collaboration with other stakeholders and civil society, to inform the design of the legislation of the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing.
Views collected during the consultations will form the basis for drafting the CTRH legislation that will be approved by the Transitional Government of National Unity.
The Technical Committee for the formation of CTRH, with support from UNDP and other development partners will continue to carry out its mandate by ensuring as much as possible an inclusive process that will lead to a truth, reconciliation and healing mechanism tailored to the needs and circumstances of the people of South Sudan.
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