By Deng Machol
Juba – The Kingdom of the Netherlands has Wednesday donated 14.14 million US dollars to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to enhance and help support access to justice, security and strengthen Human Rights in East Africa’s youngest nation.
The four-year cooperation agreement aims to support the revitalized peace agreement on issues of the constitution making reform and to build the capacity of South Sudan justice and security organs to strengthen the rule of law.
It will also brings reforms in the security and justice systems as stipulated in Chapter one and Chapter four of the fragile 2018 Peace agreement.
According to the UNDP, the project will be implemented in eight states, namely: Upper Nile, Unity State, Eastern Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Lakes State, Jonglei, Central Equatoria, Western and Northern Bahr-El-Gazal.
It is the second deal after a 2014 cooperation agreement involving $12.355,430, which was also signed by UNDP and the Kingdom of Netherlands to support the same course.
Dr. Samuel Doe, the UNDP Resident Representative in South Sudan has said the new project will help in the implementation of the crumbly revitalized peace agreement.
“This will allow us to work with the government of South Sudan in achieving the Revitalized Agreement for Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan,” said Dr. Doe. Specifically, on Chapter one and Chapter five that focuses on transitional justice and Judicial reforms and the security sectors,” he added.
Doe further said that the funding will also be used to build infrastructure including courts, police stations and provide equipment in the country.
“We are committed to work in partnership with UNDP to achieve justice to our people as we all know justice is the wider factor contributing to justice and rule of law in any county. If justice is not there, meaning there is no rule of law,” said Joseph Marko, Director Administration and Finance who represented the Ministry of Justice during the signing ceremony.
Meanwhile, Amb. Jan Huesken, the Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands and Head of Cooperation has appealed to South Sudanese to resolve their differences through the justice system, but not to fight.
Ambassador also stressed the importance of access to justice and rule of law which he said was fundamental to any developing society like South Sudan
He said the Kingdom of Netherlands will unlock its doors to support development programs that South Sudan needs to achieve its potential.
“In the end what we do is to allow people to farm, not to fight in violence but through the rule of law,” said Amb. Huesken. “Everyone has the equal access to justice to seek redress when they are aggrieved of any wrongdoing sense.”
With the funding, UNDP is also expected to work with South Sudan civil society, youth and women groups to implement the program to promote rule of law in the society.
However, limited access to justice is one of the major challenges and factors of conflict and violence in a decade’s nation.