South Sudan’s Long Crisis of Justice: Merging Notions of Lack of Socio-economic Justice and Criminal Accountability
in: S. Nouwen, L. James and S. Srinivasan, Making and Breaking Peace in Sudan and South Sudan: The "Comprehensive" Peace Agreement and Beyond, British Academy, Forthcoming
37 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2018
Date Written: May 2018
This chapter focuses on the link between the lack of socio-economic justice since the CPA and the needs to hold individuals to account for war crimes. Taking a broader view of justice and accountability is necessary—broader than in the CPA where justice amounted to broad promises of a better future, and broader than in the ARCISS where justice was more focused on individual accountability. Our respondents articulated a different justice need even during, or maybe because of, violence and atrocities. They argued that it was lack of commitment of individual leaders to the socio-economic justice principles of the CPA that had stalled South Sudan’s possibility of establishing socio-economic justice, and with that, a wider peace that was more than the absence of violence and fighting. Their need for justice is rooted in an understanding of accountability that is not limited to individual accountability for crimes, but additionally evokes the spirit of the CPA and its rhetorical commitment to socio-economic justice and equality as a measure against which their leaders need to be held to account also in formal procedures. It is a request of sorts to hold leaders to account for their lack of collective social and economic responsibility in a system that cannot do such things through elections. The concrete nature of individual accountability and the fuzzy nature of socio-economic justice mean that often these two are imagined as distinctly different.
Keywords: South Sudan, justice needs, CPA, socio-economic justice, trial justice, lack of development, justice debate, individual accountability, culpable negligence
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