SOUTH SUDAN: CABINET UPHOLDS DEATH PENALTY
|South Sudan President Salva Kiir
January 23, 2023:
The Government of South Sudan has said it will not abolish the death penalty and insists it is a deterrent to prevent serious crimes, Africa-Press reported on 22 January 2023. (Source: Africa-Press, 22/01/2023)
Addressing the media shortly after the cabinet meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said the cabinet listened to a presentation by the Minister of Justice regarding the Universal Periodic Review Working Group of the United Nations fortieth session to examine South Sudan’s human rights record.
He said the cabinet approved all the points of the review except the request for South Sudan to abandon the death penalty, saying it does not conform to the laws of the country.
“Even America (USA) which was the first country to abandon hanging is back to hanging now so hanging is a deterrent action,” Makuei said. “We cannot at this time change it until we reach a certain stage where people can understand and that is the time it will be put aside, but as of now, these are deterrent actions and this is the only thing that can make people not commit offenses.”
He stressed that abolishing the death penalty would encourage South Sudanese to commit heinous crimes.
“In South Sudan, even now when people know that there is a death sentence, somebody will just say I will kill you now and pay your blood compensation,” Minister Makuei charged. “So, if you abolish the death sentence, it will be worse because going to prison for maximum years or life imprisonment in South Sudan means serving 20 years and a year in prison is 9 months. So, it is a very short period where you can kill somebody and serve your sentence and come out, yet you have already killed a person.”
“This is why we are against scrapping the death sentence at present,” he added.