Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Is the South Sudan rape trial a publicity stunt?

Roger Alfred Yoron Modi writes here about an ongoing rape court-martial in South Sudan. Excerpt:
A trial of thirteen South Sudanese soldiers accused of raping foreign aid workers and killing a local colleague is ongoing in Juba. The events being examined occurred in July 2016 at the Terrain Hotel following a three-day battle in the capital. 
The fact that these government troops are being tried may appear to be a positive development amidst the country’s devastating conflict, lack of accountability, and dire humanitarian situation. It will be for the victims if justice is served. 
However, in terms of tackling impunity in South Sudan more broadly, the trial is sadly little more than a publicity stunt – and one that could even forestall wider justice in the country. 
The incidents at Terrain Hotel are a drop in the ocean when it comes to the extensive crimes committed since the start of the war. Moreover, the fact that the case is being heard in a military court further undermines the establishment of the Hybrid Court, the body supposed to investigate and prosecute such crimes in the interests of all South Sudanese.

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