Exploring Linkages of Traditional and Formal Mechanism of Justice and Reconciliation in South Sudan

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South Sudan’s Initial transitional justice planning processes sought to engage communities on roles and viabilities of local justice in supporting transitional justice initiatives and mechanisms prescribed in the August 2015 Agreement. Nonetheless, the planning processes hit a snag, when the conflict reignited in July 2016. The working paper pursues the discussion about the role that local and indigenous reconciliation and justice processes can play in current transitional justice discourses and contends that existing practices and local knowledge of justice and reconciliation within South Sudanese communities is under researched and their role in contributing to reconciliation and justice is understated. In asserting that the transitional justice framework entrenched in the August 2015 agreement is blind to the local and indigenous justice and reconciliation mechanism, the paper highlights the complimentary role that local justice and reconciliation mechanism can play in shaping the transitional justice processes for South Sudan. The paper discusses a significant case study, the Wunlit peace processes between the Dinka and the Nuer in the 1990s which ended years of conflicts and the viabilities of longer term sustenance of reconciliation, justice and peacebuilding outcomes derived from local and indigenous processes. The paper notes that while it was often stated that, the Wunlit peace processes stood out as a significant form of indigenous and local justice and reconciliation mechanisms, it was not without shortfalls. Consequently, the paper analyses some of the gaps in the Wunlit reconciliation and peace processes and tries to extract linkages between the local, indigenous justice and reconciliation processes and the strong points of the provisions of Chapter V of the August 2015 peace agreement for longer term outcomes on transitional justice for South Sudan.

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Kuyang Logo Mulukwat

Kunyang Logo is a Member of the Faculty of Law of the University of Juba in South Sudan

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