Atrocities can only be accounted for through international and regional body

Human Rights
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An official with the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan has said it is only an international and independent body that can help account for the atrocities committed in South Sudan in the current crisis.

An official with the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan has said it is only an international and independent body that can help account for the atrocities committed in South Sudan in the current crisis.

 

Speaking to South Sudanese in Nairobi at Amnesty International-building on Thursday, the Executive Secretary of African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan crisis Mr. Orabisi Dare says the commission was formed to inquire and find the facts so that justice can be done and can be seen to be done.

 

He said that the Commission had talked to people in the affected states of Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity. He added that the government had facilitated the Commission, with the president ordering ministers and other leaders in government to talk to the Commission and give all relevant information.

 

Mr. Dare assured those who were gathered that justice will prevail, but added that people must be patient with the process and investigations. He referred to the Kenyan and Rwandan cases, saying that for them to reach where they are today, the commissions formed took time to deliver on their mandate.

 

“We were just doing fact finding, that is why we moved all over the states of South Sudan, and the Commission is now compiling its report which will be presented to the African Union (AU) leadership in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for further decisions,” he said.

 

He said that they had managed to gather information regarding atrocities committed but the information was not enough to enable mounting prosecution. He said that there must be more thorough investigations to prove that crimes against humanity were committed.

 

He revealed that the dominant issue they found out is that the crimes that were committed in 1991 are still fresh in people’s mind, and these are among the core instigators of the current conflict, he said.

 

“There are still violations of human rights in South Sudan and such acts will be followed by international community. It is not a question whether South Sudan is a signatory to Rome Statute or not, it is the question of crimes against humanity committed, therefore whether ICC will come in or not will be known later, but all the perpetrators, whatever duration justice may take, they will be accounted for,” he said.

 

He stressed that the AU and the international community will never condone any crimes being perpetrated against innocent people. He said that they been consulting with South Sudanese in the Diaspora to forge the way forward, in order to achieve peace and unity among South Sudanese.

 

Many South Sudanese who were in the briefing expressed their doubts on the Commission’s work, wondering whether justice will take its course in the situation of South Sudan.

 

Gabriel Dak Booth, South Sudanese Students Association leader said the AU has been termed in most cases of African conflicts as an institution that is toothless.  

 

“Will perpetrators face justice under the AU really? he asked.

 

The South Sudan Law Society Executive Director, Mr. David Deng, narrated how justice in the South Sudan conflict was connected with the current negotiations in Addis Ababa. Deng said that justice always comes after stability and peace has been restored in any society. 

 

 

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