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Hence, what would have been an otherwise healthy politico-ideological contest among the political leaders was used as a pretext and a window of opportunity to settle old scores between the Dinka Bor and the Nuer communities.
Therefore, any plausible solution to these problems must address each and every one of these issues since they are intertwined in such a way that no one solution can fit them all. Machar reported apology to the Dinka Bor community, won’t mitigate the situations at all since other aggrieved communities, with the same kind of grievances, would demand others to apologize or even to compensate them.
Restorative Justice, on the other hand, is a “way of dealing with wrongs done to people by others within their community, whereby offenders are confronted with their personal responsibility in causing harm to someone and subsequent necessity to make some kind of restitution to the victim.” The goal, as was done and achieved in post-Apartheid South Africa, is the breaking of barriers built during animositic periods between and among various then warring camps or tribes and the ushering in of the beginning of genuine forgiveness and true reconciliation that would spell the end of the cycle of racial or ethnic hatred and violence in the country.
Compensatory Justice demands that “those who have been wrongfully harmed deserved compensation for that harm, and that the amount of compensation again be proportionate to the degree of harm suffered.” It is in the principle of just compensation that major focus is placed on the victims of wrongdoings and what they deserve as measure by their losses.
Thus, one could rightly claim that any pursuit of a retributive, restorative and compensatory justice, especially the one being conducted at The Hague for the case of post-election violence in Kenya or in Arusha, Tanzania, for the case of Rwandan genocide, would lead to more conflicts and violence in the new republic of South Sudan.
South Sudan is still highly polarized along tribal lines just as it was during the war for independence.
Yet with the deeply entrenched and highly tribalized political system still pervasive in South Sudan, however, any authentic call for justice to take its natural course of action would inevitably threaten the fragile political stability and limited peace currently prevailing in the nascent nation.
Yet, the realization of any genuine social justice is only feasible with deeper understanding of the complexities and adequate resolution of the conflict beforehand.We may not be entirely under the same political and socio-economic circumstances as the rest of the African countries but the prudence to learn from their blunders and to emulate their successes is an imperative stride to prioritize as we deal with our own messes.There are many highly contestable approaches that can be applied to help tackle the problems of war time atrocities committed by various players and participants of the war.And with impunity, the vicious cycle of violence would go on forever as currently the case with the recent massacre of civilian in Fangak by George Athor’s forces.But can South Sudan Afford successful persecution of her top leadership?