August 20, 2013 (JUBA) – Legal and military experts from the African Union (AU) are in Juba, the South Sudan capital to investigate the May killing of a paramount chief in Abyei.
- The late leader of the Dinka Ngok tribe, Kuol Deng Kuol (L), shakes hands with Misseriya chief Al-Amer Mokhtar Papo after signing a peace agreement in the town of Kadugli, north of Abeyi on 13 January 2011 (Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty
Koul Deng Kuol, the chief of the Dinka Ngok tribe was killed by a group of Messeriya, raising fears of possible outbreak of violence between the two communities in the disputed region.
The team, which arrived in Juba Tuesday, is headed by ex-Mauritian prime minister Anil Gayan, who was appointed by the AU Commission. Also on the team is the United Nations representative, Joseph Owonibi; a retired senior officer from the Nigerian army.
Juba and Khartoum are also represented in the team, whose investigation will last four weeks.
During its 374th meeting, the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC), agreed to implement its 9 May communiqué, in which governments of Sudan and South Sudan, the AU and UN agreed to conduct a joint investigation into the Abyei incident.
The committee, officials told Sudan Tribune, will also assess and determine whether the incident constituted a violation of relevant agreements and provide recommendations, including on actions and measures to be taken by all parties involved.
Another team, which had earlier been formed, paid a series of visits to the Sudanese capital on 17 August, and interacted with representatives and elders from the Ngok Dinka as well as their Messeriya counterparts.
It also held discussion with heads of the Sudanese national intelligence and security service officials, interior minister and the director general of police.
Justice Deng Biong, a member of the Juba investigation committee said the team was able to meet all relevant Sudanese officials and heads of key institutions during their Khartoum visit.
“We met [the] minister of interior and the director General of Police. We met the minister of foreign affairs, heads of national intelligence and security service as well as director of military intelligence. We met all the people we wanted to meet except the chief negotiator on the Sudanese side”, Biong told Sudan Tribune Tuesday.
The team, he disclosed, will stay in Juba for three days during which they will interact with the relevant officials, prior to their 22 August visit to Abyei for further investigation.