A mobile court session in Mayom County, South Sudan. - Photo:Peter Bateman/UNMISS
A mobile court session in Mayom County, South Sudan. Peter Bateman/UNMISS

Norwegian Support Enhances Mobile Court Success in South Sudan

The recent deployment of a mobile court in Mayom County, Unity State, South Sudan, was an important milestone in the effort to address impunity by extending formal justice to remote areas.

Handling 33 cases, securing 24 convictions, and releasing 22 prisoners over four weeks, this initiative aimed at integrating formal legal systems into underserved regions. The project is supported by the Norwegian Embassy, as part of Norway’s efforts to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of the South Sudanese justice system.

Through the Advancing Accountability for SGBV-CRSV Crimes in South Sudan project, Norway’s assistance has addressed critical accountability issues such as Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) and Conflict-Related Sexual Violence (CRSV). The support from Norway through the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) enabled the mobile court to adjudicate several SGBV and CRSV cases.

Gatlek Puot Roah, Sub-Chief of Wangkai payam, testified to the significant impact of the project. His daughter— a rape victim, received justice through the mobile court, resulting in a 10-year prison sentence and compensation for the perpetrator.

"These types of cases are rarely addressed in the customary court. I did not think I would see justice until the mobile courts came," Gatlek remarked, highlighting how the presence of formal justice acts as a deterrent against such crimes.

SGBV remains a concerning issue with South Sudan’s history of conflicts, civil unrest and political instability creating a prevalence of such violence. Inadequacies in the legal system and lack of accountability have contributed to complacency and impunity in dealing with SGBV and CRSV crimes.

The increased support reflects Norway’s effort to promote justice, human rights and gender equality as well as ensuring peace and security of women through Norway’s new Women, Peace and Security National Action Plan—where South Sudan is a priority country.

Original story here: Expansion of mobile courts supported by UNMISS, partners continues with successful deployment in Mayom