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RADIO TAMAZUJ - 13 Nov 2015

Explaining S Sudan's peace deal (24): Will officials be immune from prosecution?

Focus on the Agreement is a series of reports broadcast on Radio Tamazuj to explain the contents of the peace deal signed in August 2015 between South Sudan's warring parties.

In our previous episode we explained that the African Union will create a special court for trying war criminals who committed crimes in South Sudan. Today we continue to discuss the role of this court.

According to Chapter 5, Article 3.5 of the peace agreement, the court will be able to try any South Sudanese citizen suspected of committing a crime, regardless of his position.

“No one shall be exempted from criminal responsibility on account of their official capacity as a government official, an elected official or claiming the defence of superior orders,” says the agreement.

The prosecutor of the court may use the report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry in his investigations. He may also use other documents, reports or witnesses.

The court will carry out its work regardless of any declarations of immunity, grants of pardons or grants of amnesties. These will not protect war criminals from the court, according to the peace agreement.

The hybrid court will continue working for at least three years, until the end of the transitional period. It will be able to try crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious crimes including sexual violence.

Read also our previous 'Explaining S Sudan's peace deal' (23): What is the hybrid court?