Peace without accountability is a break from conflict and a preparation for another war

By Bijiek Jieknyal

July 13, 2018,

In South Sudan, we need peace but lasting peace will not come without accountability for the war crimes. Peace without justice is a break from the violence conflict and it is a preparation for another war.  South Sudan needs justice now and then peace, compromise, reconciliation, and healing later because peace without justice can easily be destroyed.

Peace without accountability has been violated several times in South Sudan. When President Kiir organized and ordered the national army to carry out genocide on Nuer civilians in the national capital, Juba, South Sudan was at peace. However, because there was no justice in place in South Sudan, the South Sudanese president ruined the peace that South Sudanese enjoyed for two years after independence just in one day.

Despite the fact that the nation was at peace, President Kiir ordered the national army to kill the entire people belong to Nuer ethnic group in the nation’ capital. Subsequently, this genocide carried out on Nuer ethnic group undermines peace in the entire country as Nuer fought their way back. Genocide is a crime under international law that is punishable with death penalty or life in prison.

Kiir must not be rewarded with presidency after he has indulged ethnic Nuer cleansing.  If the world could not reward President Adolf Hitler, Muammar Gaddafi, Slobodan Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, and Hosni Mubarak for carrying out genocides and massacres on their citizens, then why rewarding Salva Kiir with presidency after carrying out heavy genocide and unspoken massacres across South Sudan? Not only that he has committed untold crimes, Kiir has reduced himself from being the president of the Republic of South Sudan to Dinka tribal chief after dividing South Sudanese population into” us” and “them” “Dinka” and “Nuer” “Equatorians.”

Holding Kiir accountable for the atrocities he has committed against humanity can bring sustainable peace in South Sudan. In addition, enforcement of justice could discourage the future leaders from the urge for ethnocentrism. For South Sudan to be in peace again justice must be first served, then peace, reconciliation and things of that kind of nature come after.

Some people may argue that peace, reconciliation and healing should come first and then accountability latter. However, this is very wrong calculation and it is an encouragement for the continuation of war. When justice is first served, it served the country a lot from violence conflict and destructions.

When justice is served beforehand peace is achieve in little times once and for all. For instance, when the president of Ivory Coast lost election and refused to step aside, he was held accountable for the killings that had happen across the country. Sustainable peace was achieved after. In Liberia, justice was served beforehand then peace come afterward, in Sierra Leone, justice was served in advance, in Gambia justice was first served to prevent conflict, in former Yugoslavia, justice was first served, in Tunisia, Iraq, and Egypt justice was served early then peace, reconciliation and healing after.

If justice was first served in the aforementioned nations and then peace, reconciliation, healing afterward and it works well, then why not justice is served first in South Sudan to safe South Sudanese population from impunity killing?

Remember that justice delayed was justice denied. Speedy trial of government officials suspected of war crimes in timely manner could serve South Sudan from protracted conflict.  Trial of government war criminals in timely fashion is also a meant to expedite the new legal system that could compensate party suffered some injury. It is not fair for the injured party to have to sustain the injury with no or with little hope for conflict resolution.  Giving Salva Kiir a chance to bring peace beforehand and then set up hybrid court is a misleading conflict resolution. Whether there are people out there believe it or not there would be no accountability after peace in South Sudan at all.

 

Bijiek Jieknyal is concerns citizen can be reached at jbijiek1@vt.edu

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