ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 22, 2014 The African Union (AU) Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan to undertake its first field mission to South Sudan from April 21st April to 1st May 2014 . This mission comes as part of AU efforts to end the conflict that broke out in South Sudan in mid-December 2013, and ensure the emergence of an environment of sustainable peace that would enable a sustainable democratic culture to emerge in the country.

Headed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the mission will include the Commission members namely; Professor Mahmood Mamdani, Ms. Bineta Diop, Professor Pacifique Manirakiza and Lady Justice Sophia Akuffo and AUC technical support team.

In its first mission, Commission intends to meet with President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit, and other officials of the government including; Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Defense Minister, Chief of Staff, Ministers of Security, Interior, Gender, Child & Social Welfare, and Commander of Presidential Guard and Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of 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 & Reconciliation, Civil Society Alliance, Church leaders, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization among others.

The Commission was established by H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, AUC Chairperson on 6th March 2014, in pursuant to decision of the 411th Meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council at the level of Heads of State and Government held in Banjul, The Gambia. On 30 December 2013, the Commission was tasked with accountability investigation of the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan with the aim of guarantee healing for sustainable peace and security in South Sudan

The Commission will submit its report within a maximum period of three (3) months to the AU Peace and Security Council.

It held its first and second meetings in Addis Ababa on 6th March and 2nd April 2014 respectively.

SOURCE: African Union Commission (AUC)

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