9 September 2017

South Sudan: Judges to Resume Work After Four-Month Strike

Photo: Leadership
Court gavel

Juba — South Sudanese judges have ended their four-month strike after President SalvaKiir pledged to solve their issues.

The judicial officers said they will resume work on Monday to clear a massive backlog of cases.

"Majority of judges decided that they should go back to work without any condition. We decided to resume on Monday September 11th," said MrBolLul, the Judges and Justices Union chairperson.

The judges had boycotted work early May demanding a pay rise and the removal of Chief Justice Chan ReecMadut, whom they accuse of failing to improve working conditions at the Judiciary.

MrLul said President Kiir agreed to meet their demands including reinstating 14 judges he had fired in July for their industrial action.

"We decided to resume work during a general assembly of all judges. We agreed to put national interests and the ordinary citizens above all because they have been suffering a lot," he said.

The prison service authorities have also been complaining that there were too many people locked up waiting for their cases to be heard.

South Sudan vice president James WaniIgga had earlier announced that the government was evaluating the judges' demands.

The war-ravaged country of about 12 million has less than 300 judges piling pressure on the courts and creating a backlog of cases.

South Sudan descended into civil conflict in December 2013.

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