Timing of transitional justice mechanisms and the implications for the South Sudan peace process

by Ibrahim Sakawa Magara

25 May 2021
Journal of the British Academy
Digital Object Identifier
Number of pages
25 (pp. 9-33)

Abstract: The South Sudan peace agreement provides for transitional justice mechanisms aimed at fostering justice and reconciliation. They include the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH) and the Hybrid Court for South Sudan (HCSS). Drawing on qualitative data obtained from interviews, document reviews, and archival research conducted between October 2019 and June 2020 in Addis Ababa, Kampala, and Nairobi, this study delves into the current transitional justice discourses in South Sudan with a particular focus on truth-telling and accountability. The study finds that key contestations relate to when to initiate and implement transitional justice mechanisms, warning that, if not carefully timed, those mechanisms may have a negative impact on the peace process.

Keywords: South Sudan, peace, justice, reconciliation, transitional justice, truth-telling, accountability.

Article posted to Journal of the British Academy, volume 9, supplementary issue 2 (Transitional Justice Discourse in Post-Conflict Societies in Africa).

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