Thursday, April 17, 2014

South Sudan: Concept note on the establishment of the Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan

Source: African Union


The Republic of South Sudan gained its independence on 9 July 2011 just over two years ago, pursuant to a referendum, which was the culmination of the comprehensive peace agreement that ended decades of civil war and violent conflict with The Sudan. The independence of South Sudan made it the 54th member state of the African Union (AU), which played a pivotal role in ending its conflict with The Sudan and its emergence as an independent state. It is against this background of a fledging new state and the enormous investment of the AU in ensuring a sustainable democratic South Sudan that the recent conflict among the various parties in the new state is extremely disconcerting to the AU. It became imperative for the AU to leave no stone unturned in ensuring an end to the conflict and the emergence of an environment of sustainable peace that would enable a sustainable democratic culture to emerge in the new state. To this end, the 411th Meeting of the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union at the level of Heads of State and Government held in Banjul, The Gambia on 30 December 2013 considered the situation in South Sudan and adopted Communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM.1 (CDXI) which, inter alia:

“Requests the Chairperson of the Commission, in consultation with the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and other relevant AU structures, to urgently establish a Commission to investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan and make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities. Council requests that the above‐mentioned Commission submit its report to Council within a maximum period of three months.”

In the implementation of the above Decision, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) in consultation with the relevant AU Organs and Structures has taken various steps, including issuing statements and visiting South Sudan where she held consultations with the different parties involved in the present conflict. In furtherance of implementing the said PSC decision, the Chairperson of the AUC hereby establishes a Commission of Inquiry to be known and called “The African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan” (South Sudan Commission of Inquiry).