Human Rights Watch called on South Sudan’s leaders to ensure that there must not be an amnesty for war crimes and crimes against humanity as a peace agreement was signed in the country between the warring sides last week.
“Amnesty for atrocities not only conflicts with South Sudan’s international obligations, but experience shows it is no way to build a lasting peace,” said Elise Keppler, associate international justice director at Human Rights Watch.
“While South Sudan’s leaders may aim to provide assurances to opponents, they should make clear that the amnesty does not cover grave crimes by all parties since the conflict began.”
HRW’s statement comes after South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir offered a “general amnesty” to heads of armed groups involved in the conflict, with both sides being accused of committing human rights abuses.
“The lack of accountability for serious crimes is a cause of South Sudan’s crisis, not a solution,” Keppler said. “Survivors of atrocities in South Sudan are strongly demanding justice. Their leaders should take urgent steps to make the hybrid court a reality as efforts to end the conflict continue.”
See more from HRW here.