By Godfrey Olukya 3-4-2014
The African Union (AU) Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan held it’s
second meeting yesterday and today in ethiopa’s capital Addis-Ababa .
The Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry, former President
Olusegun Obasanjo and other members of the Commission, namely
Professor Mahmood Mamdani, Bineta Diop, Professor Pacifique
Manirakiza and Lady Justice Sophia Akuffo were in attendance.
Following the swearing in of Lady Justice Sophia Akuffo, the President
of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Commission is
now fully constituted.
The second working meeting of the Commission dealt with a wide range
of issues towards the fulfillment of its mandate.
The Commission of Inquiry revised and firmed up its work plan,
agreeing on working methods and setting out the activities to be
conducted as part of its inquiry into the crisis in South Sudan. The
Commission also agreed on wide-ranging meetings and visits including
leaders, victims, refugees, detainees, IDPs, and members of civil
society that the Commission will engage with in the coming weeks.
With respect to the planned meetings, discussions and exchanges, the
Commission has firmed up its first round of travel to South Sudan
slated for before the end of April 2014. Following its planned meeting
with President Salva Kiir, the Commission will engage with other
actors in South Sudan, including former Vice President Riek Machar.
In the same period, the Commission has planned to meet with key
leaders in the region, including Prime Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime
Minister of Ethiopia, President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan, President
Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
The Commission also commenced its engagement with stakeholders and
gathering of information that will inform its work. The Commission
received expert information and report from several experts on matters
relating to governance, institutional reforms and strengthening, one
of the focal areas of the Commission’s mandate.
Those heard from were, former Director of Political Affairs of United
Nations Mission in Sudan in Juba, former Chief of Staff of the
Ethiopian Defence Forces; Chief of Staff of the African Union High
Level Implementation Panel on Sudan and South Sudan; a civil society
expert working in South Sudan and Gen former United Nations Force
Commander in Abyei.
As the Commission prepares for its forthcoming meetings and field
missions, it continues to receive information from the public in and
out of South Sudan by way of memoranda on various aspects of its
To keep the public informed, the Commission resolved to hold periodic
media briefings and to issue regular press releases. The Commission
also resolved to create a website for this purpose.The Commission of
Inquiry agreed to reconvene before the end of April 2014.