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AU commission of inquiry members visit S. Sudan

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April 22, 2014 (JUBA) – Members of the African Union Commission of Inquiry appointed to investigate cases of human right abuses committed during the violence in South Sudan have undertaken their first field visit to the young nation.

The visit, taking place from 21 April to 1 May, is part of AU efforts to end the conflict that broke out in the new nation in mid-December 2013, and ensure the emergence of an environment of sustainable peace that would enable a sustainable democratic culture.

The team, headed by former Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo, comprises of Mahmood Mamdani, Bineta Diop, Pacifique Manirakiza and Sophia Akuffo.

The commission, during its first mission, reportedly intends to meet with South Sudanese president Salva Kiir and other government officials, including the speaker and deputy speaker of parliament, defence minister, chief of staff, ministers of security, interior, gender, child and social welfare, as well as the commander of the presidential guard and special representative of the secretary-general and head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

“The commission will also meet with former vice-president Riek Machar and the opposition group. It will conduct wide-ranging meetings with stakeholders including: chairman of South Sudan Human Rights Commission, chairman of National Assembly Human Rights Committee, chairman of South Sudan Committee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation, Civil Society Alliance, Church leaders, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization among others,” the AU said in a statement.

Established on 6 March, the commission of inquiry was tasked with investigating human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan.

The commission is mandated to make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudan communities after collecting and review all available documentation pertaining to the human rights situation in South Sudan, including UN reports and those gathered by national and international specialists and non-governmental organisations.

“The Commission of Inquiry also shall interview victims, witnesses and sources, gather and review documentary, audio and visual information and other types of information that will aid the inquiry,” partly reads its terms of reference.

Its report to the AU Peace and Security Council is expected within three months.

The US-based Human Rights (HRW), said both warring parties are resposible for committing atrocities against civilians during nearly five months of violence in South Sudan.

(ST)

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  • 23 April 2014 20:55, by laatmachol apac

    African countries are laughing for the deterioration of our country except Uganda,even if the western world and those glutton for leadership in south sudan force Riak Machar into leadership we cannot accept because he is not the right man to lead this country due to his regular rebellion instead to win public opinion he prefer it by force which is not acceptable.western world is behind corruptand

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  • 23 April 2014 21:05, by laatmachol apac

    whatever rebel demand western world acknowledge and approve for them.Ex Nigerian was request by rebel fortunate he is the leading commission of inquire.Mr.Riak will never be president for This country because he is vision less guy.there are so many Nuer who are educated more than him but the know how the will win public opinion like Dr.Barnaba Marial could be one day be a president due to his styl

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  • 23 April 2014 22:25, by Wani khooto

    dear all
    let those nuer and their fool supporter tell us now whether what the did in Bentiu is democracy the preach all ways,useless dr machar u will never rule this country.now the war is not for dinka alone as the even kill some other tribes in bentiu.what a shame my GOD,SOUTH SUDANESE why are we allow only one idiot tribe to fail the nation.nuer must all leave.

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