The South Sudan Judges and Justices Assembly have vowed to go on strike from April 24 over administrative issues and poor working conditions.
In a joint statement issued on Thursday evening, all the 274 judges and support staffs across South Sudan threatened to stop working from Monday unless the country’s Chief Justice Chan Rech Madut resigns and all their demands are met.
“The General Assembly had concluded that with administration of the honorable Chief Justice Madut. There will be no delivery of justice to the people of South Sudan. Bearing in mind our constitutional duties and responsibilities, the Assembly voted unanimously to enter into an open strike with effect from April 24,” the judges said.
Apart from resignation of the Chief Justice, the judges also demanded enactment of judicial laws, transport allowances, improvement of working conditions, and creation of court rooms to each judge across the country, among others.
Last year, judges across South Sudan staged a month-long strike citing the same complaint.
The strike was ended after the government agreed to meet the demands, but the judges said until now some of the promises remained unmet.
Justice Geri Raymondo Legge, a senior Judge at the Court of Appeal, said administrative challenges had caused massive backlog of court cases throughout the country, blaming the leadership of the Judiciary for ignoring their demands for judiciary reforms for the past two years.
Legge expressed fears that worsening economic crisis coupled with underpayment may force judges to engage in corrupt ways of getting income.
Justice Khalid Abdalla Mohamed, Chairperson of the Judges and Justices Committee, denied reports that the strike was prompted by delays in payment and increment of salaries.
There was no immediate comment from the Chief Justice. Enditem