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African Union extends mandate of inquiry commission on South Sudan

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July 10, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – The African Union leaders decided to extend the mandate of the commission of inquiry on South Sudan for three months to enable it to fully achieve its mission.

In a report to the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU held in Malabo from 26 to 27 June 2014, the five member commission demanded the extension of its tenure citing the need to conduct more consultations with different sectors of South Sudanese society inside and outside the country.

“Following the presentation of its Interim Report to the Assembly of Heads of States and Government, the mandate of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS) was extended for 3 months (July –September 2014),” said a statement released on Thursday.

The inquiry commission was established last March by the AU Peace and Security Council to investigate the violations of human rights and humanitarian law committed during the armed conflict that erupted on 15 December 2013.

Also it has to make recommendations relating to healing, reconciliation, accountability, and institutional reforms.

In its interim report, the commission said its members during their visit to South Sudan encountered “some mass graves as well as many individuals who allege having suffered or witnessed commission of crimes, including sexual and gender based violence”.

However, the report emphasized that investigations are still ongoing on and the commission is not yet in a position to say whether some of these atrocities amount to international crimes.

(ST)

To read the full text of the AUCISS interim report please go to

http://summits.au.int/en/sites/default/files/Assembly%20AU%2019%20(XXIII)%20_E.pdf

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