Over the past few months, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) together with other partners have been conducting customary law, ascertainment, review and documentation workshops in Lainya, Morobo, Yei and Kajo-Keji counties of Central Eqatouria state as part of activities under the “Locally-Driven Solutions for Addressing Social Cohesion and Promoting Early Recovery in the Country’s Former Breadbasket” project launched in November 2021.
After completion of the four counties, it emerged that for the Customary Law Bill to prepared for Tabling in the State Assembly, all the six Counties of CES would have to review and document their customary laws. IOM carried out field assessments of the traditional justice systems in Terekeka that identified the need to ascertain, review and document the Mundari customary laws and traditional practices and train traditional chiefs.
The seven-day workshop brought together traditional leaders, local government representatives, the justice and rule of law sector, women, youth, intellectuals and community leaders and representatives, as well as the local administration to ascertain, review and document the various customary laws among the Mundari community with aims to strengthen the traditional justice systems for peace, social cohesion, and recovery in Terekeka county.
“Congratulations to Terekeka community leaders for attending this important milestone of reviewing our customary laws. The knowledge we have acquired during these past days should help make our community a more peaceful place so that we can attract more these kinds of trainings to come to us”, Said Hon. James Lino Malou, Commissioner of Terekeka County on closing day.
During the workshop, participants identified customary laws and traditional practices that are harmful and contrary to the Bill of Rights enshrined in the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, and suggested ways to eradicate such customs and practices.
Some of the laws ascertained, reviewed, and documented included land tenure and ownership of property, traditional mechanisms for dispute and conflict prevention, mitigation, management, and resolution.
IOM plans to conduct the workshop in all six counties of CES after which a Customary Law Bill will be tabled in the State Assembly for enaction into customary laws of the State.
The Locally-Driven Solutions for Addressing Social Cohesion and Promoting Early Recovery in the Country’s Former Breadbasket project is funded by the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund to support reconciliation, stabilization, and resilience in Yei, Lainya, Morobo, and Kajo Keji counties in South Sudan’s Central Equatoria State.