Final member joins A.U. probe into S. Sudan rights abuses
Thursday, April 03, 2014
ADDIS ABABA – A recently-established African Union (A.U.) commission of inquiry, tasked with investigating rights abuses committed during South Sudan's ongoing conflict, is now fully constituted following the swearing-in of Lady Justice Sophia Akuffo, president of the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights, according to an A.U. statement.
Akuffo was sworn in during the second meeting of the commission, which was established last month by A.U. Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
During the two-day meeting, which wrapped up Wednesday, the five-member panel headed by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo revised its plan for investigating rights breaches in war-torn South Sudan, the statement read.
The panel said its first visit to South Sudan was slated for this month. Following a planned meeting with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, the commission plans to engage with the troubled country's other key players, including sacked vice president Riek Machar whose forces are now in open rebellion against the central government in Juba.
"The commission also agreed on [holding] wide-ranging meetings and visits, including [some with] leaders, victims, refugees, detainees, internally displaced persons and members of civil society that the commission will engage with in the coming weeks," the statement read.
"In the same period, the commission has planned to meet with key leaders in the region, including Hailemariam Dessalegn, prime minister of Ethiopia; President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan; President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda; and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya," it added.
The commission plans to reconvene before the end of April, the statement noted.
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