Home | News    Sunday 26 July 2015

Africa Union’s PSC to study report on atrocities committed in South Sudan

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July 25, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) - The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), has resolved to establish an ad hoc sub-committee to study the report on crimes committed by warring parties in South Sudan and to further recommend measures to be taken against those accused of carrying out the crimes from 15 December 2013 when the 19-month long war erupted.

A general view of a meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council (Photo courtesy of the African Union)

At its 526th meeting held at ministerial level on 24 July, in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, AU’s foreign ministers received the report from the Commission of Inquiry, which contents have yet remained confidential.

One party to the conflict, South Sudan’s government under the leadership of president Salva Kiir, was invited to the meeting and served with the copy but its peace partner and rival in the war, the armed opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) led by former vice president, Riek Machar, was not invited or served with the copy of the report, prompting serious criticism against how AU was handling the long awaited report.

An ad hoc sub-committee composed of Algeria, Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda to yet further study the recommendations in the report and submit it to the AU’s heads of state.

In a communique extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday, the AU’s PSC revealed that a summit of heads of state and government was scheduled to convene by the end of August to consider recommendations of the ad hoc sub-committee.

“Agrees, following submission to Council of the report of the AUCISS and of the Separate Opinion, on the following steps to expedite the in-depth consideration of the recommendations contained therein and their subsequent implementation,” partly reads the report.

“Meeting of Council, at the level of the Heads of State and Government, by the end of August 2015, to consider the recommendations of the Ad hoc sub-Committee and take the required decisions,” it added.

It was not clear what findings on atrocities or recommendations were contained in the report, as previously leaked contents implicated some South Sudanese officials to have been found responsible for much of the war crimes and crimes against humanity.

However, South Sudan’s minister of foreign affairs, Barnaba Marial Benjamin, who attended the AU’s PSC meeting in Addis Ababa on Friday and received copy of the final report cheerfully downplayed the report in his comment to the media, saying it did not mention any thing about the genocide in Juba nor mentioned names of individuals involved in the crimes.

AU CONDEMNS WARRING PARTIES

The AU communique reiterated what it said was “deep concern at the situation prevailing in South Sudan”, marked by continued fighting and attacks against civilian populations and other serious human rights abuses, as well as by a dire humanitarian crisis, including forced displacement, acute food insecurity, access restrictions and other impediments to humanitarian assistance.

“Council, once again, condemns in the strongest terms all the violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of 23 January 2014 committed by the parties, as well as the attacks and other egregious acts of violence and abuses of human rights. Council also condemns the attacks against civilians and other acts of violence and harassment targeting the humanitarian agencies, including their personnel and assets,” it reads.

It further reiterated “Africa’s deep disappointment at the continued unwillingness and lack of political will” of the leaders of the warring parties to make the compromises necessary to reach an agreement that would end the conflict in their country and the untold suffering they are “deliberately” inflicting on their own people.

The Peace and Security Council expressed shock and outrage at the level of violence and cruelty meted out by the South Sudanese protagonists on the civilian population and the disregard of the South Sudanese leaders to the suffering of their own people.

“Demands that the armed belligerents immediately and fully respect the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and end, once for all, all acts of violence, and agrees, should this become necessary, to deploy an African force to bring the ongoing tragedy in South Sudan to a definite end,” it further said.

It said the AU also supported the steps taken towards the implementation of the Arusha agreement of 21 January 2015, and welcomed the efforts of the Tanzanian ruling party, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), and the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, aimed at reuniting the SPLM and the subsequent return to South Sudan of the former political detainees.

The statement further expressed its conviction that the achievement of lasting peace and reconciliation in South Sudan required a holistic approach addressing in a “mutually-supportive way the inter-related issues of accountability, reconciliation, healing and institutional reforms, based on ownership by the South Sudanese stakeholders and robust African and international support.”

It decried what it side was outsider’s “one-size-fits-all” approach and expressed need to promote what it said was African solution to African challenges.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 29 October 2018 19:32, by jamesdavidson

    This is a great thing for them to do! I fully support their desire to study and do research! I hope that https://leicesterwea.com/ will be a great help for them in their study process. Let’s hope that they will achieve what they want in the near future.



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