News / Africa

AU Commission Hopeful on Resolving South Sudan’s Crisis

Opposition negotiators Hussein Mar Nyuot (L), and Mabior de Garang (C) at peace talks for South Sudan in Addis Ababa.
Opposition negotiators Hussein Mar Nyuot (L), and Mabior de Garang (C) at peace talks for South Sudan in Addis Ababa.
Peter Clottey
A prominent member of the African Union’s (AU) Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan has expressed confidence that the group will come up with recommendations to resolve the crisis in the world’s newest nation following meetings with President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar.

The AU commission, led by Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo is mandated to investigate and come up with solutions to assure justice, accountability, reconciliation and ensure the crisis never happens again.

A leading member of the AU commission, Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo, who is also president of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, says the group wants to ascertain the underlying causes of the conflict, which has left at least ten thousand people dead and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes.

“We have already done one exploratory visit to South Sudan so we can observe firsthand what the situation is. We met with the president and even with the former vice president,” said Akuffo.

The commission, Akuffo says, met with the Council of Churches, African diplomats, international agencies and also visited an internally displaced camp, to gauge the current situation on the ground.

“This is just to begin to understand that underlying causes of all these because situations like these don’t just arise by themselves, there is always causation,” said Akuffo.

The AU has openly expressed support to the mediation efforts by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) a regional bloc mediating the peace talks between representatives of the government in Juba and rebels allied to former vice president Machar.

But, some critics say the African Union has been too slow to help end the conflict in spite of the crisis that has devastated the country.  Akuffo rejects the criticism and says the AU has been engaged in the process to find peace in South Sudan.

“The African Union [officials has] been fervently supporting the work of IGAD, and it is just unfortunate that sometimes when you are seeking peace through mediation sometimes things might blow up,” said Akuffo.

She declined to give details about the commission’s meetings with both Mr. Kiir and Machar.

“Both expressed themselves willing to cooperate with the commission, and were willing to give us their side of what the root causes of the problem are as they see it,” said Akuffo.

She also says the AU’s commission of inquiry on South Sudan will come with a measure that will ensure that the country does not revert to a nationwide violence again.

“I think the prospects are really bright,” said Akuffo. “We will be able to come up with very fruitful and useful and effective outcomes that not only will stop the current crisis, but will help the people to begin to resolve those underlying problems.”
Clottey interview with Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo, AU group on South Sudan
Clottey interview with Justice Sophia A. B. Akuffo, AU group on South Sudani
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Countries Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs