UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday raised the possibility of a "special tribunal" to try those responsible for abuses in South Sudan.
In remarks to the Security Council, Ban cited a report by the UN mission in South Sudan which has said "there are reasonable grounds to believe crimes against humanity have been committed."
So "a special or hybrid tribunal, with international involvement, must be considered," Ban argued.
"There must be justice and accountability," the UN chief stressed.
Special tribunals in the past have taken on genocide in Rwanda, Cambodia and the former Yugoslavia.
For now, Ban said "fighting must end immediately. People need to be able go back to their land to plant and tend to their crops in peace."
UN secretary general Ban ki Moon has himself been in Juba recently. PHOTO/AFP
South Sudanese nationals sing and wave a South Sudan flag at the Juba international airport, as they wait for the South Sudanese President to return from the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. PHOTO/AFP
Fighting between South Sudanese rebels and government troops raged Monday, just days after a fresh ceasefire deal, dashing hopes of a swift end to five months of civil war.
Both sides accused each other of attacking the other for a second day since the ceasefire officially came into force, with each claiming they are defending their positions.
"I am troubled by accusations by both sides of breaches of the ceasefire already and I urge maximum restraint by all parties," Ban stressed at UN headquarters.
The UN chief called for a 30-day cooling-off period.
"There is a real risk of famine if this planting season is missed. So this is why we are calling for 30 days of tranquility by both sides," he added.
The war erupted on December 15 with President Salva Kiir accusing rebel leader Riek Machar of attempting a coup. Machar then fled to the bush to launch a rebellion, insisting that the president had attempted to carry out a bloody purge of his rivals.
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UN chief raises idea of special tribunal on S. Sudan