The Politics of Transitional Justice and Peacemaking in a Non-transition Context

The Case of South Sudan

Authored by: Kuyang Harriet Logo

Routledge Handbook of African Peacebuilding

Print publication date:  May  2022
Online publication date:  May  2022

Print ISBN: 9780367181949
eBook ISBN: 9780429060038
Adobe ISBN:


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The chapter deliberates on the South Sudan conflict and analyses obstacles encountered by stakeholders within the Intergovernmental Authority in Development (IGAD) PLUS in embedding transitional justice in both the 2015 and the 2018 agreements as the most desirable peacebuilding approach. The chapter argues that the actions of the political leadership in frustrating criminal accountability demands were linked to the fact that no form of political and democratic transition occurred in South Sudan. Also, that while transitional justice transformed and became implemented in contexts of conflict and those where no form of transition occurred, it barely met the expected goals of delivering justice and peace. On the contrary, the political elites implicated in wrongdoing remained the very ones tasked with making decisions on mechanisms that would hold them accountable, and so they played political games to frustrate the establishment of the court. The chapter concludes that in a context of non-transition, one where no form of political and criminal change has taken place, IGAD PLUS could implement other acceptable mechanisms of transitional justice, such as truth telling and reparations, while keeping prosecutions on the agenda and for a better time, while at the same time undertaking an empirical assessment of the context.

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