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South Sudan's long crisis of justice: merging notions of socio-economic justice and criminal accountability

Schomerus, Mareike and Rigterink, Anouk S. (2020) 'South Sudan's long crisis of justice: merging notions of socio-economic justice and criminal accountability.', in Making and breaking peace in Sudan and South Sudan. .


South Sudan’s peace agreements offer two versions of justice: The Comprehensive Peace Agreement includes justice as a description of a better future with more equality. The Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan focuses on justice as individual criminal accountability for war crimes. However, the South Sudanese demand for justice combines and goes beyond these two conceptions of justice. Using structured and openended interviews conducted in January 2014, the chapter argues that justice is used to describe holistic accountability. This means accountability is understood not as individual accountability for crimes, but additionally as holding leaders formally to account for failing to deliver socio-economic justice and equality, as evoked by the spirit of the CPA. It is a request of sorts to bring leaders to justice for their lack of collective social and economic responsibility in a system where elections do not function as a way to hold leaders to account.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Publisher statement:Making and breaking peace in Sudan and South Sudan edited by Sarah M.H. Nouwen, Laura M. James and Sharath Srinivasan, 2020, reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press;
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:01 February 2021
Date of first online publication:24 December 2020
Date first made open access:24 December 2022

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