The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 526th meeting held at ministerial level, on 24 July 2015, perused the Report of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS).
The council reiterated AU’s deep concern at the situation prevailing in South Sudan, marked by continued fighting and attacks against civilian populations and other serious human rights abuses, as well as by a dire humanitarian crisis, including forced displacement, acute food insecurity, access restrictions and other impediments to humanitarian assistance.
Council also condemned the attacks against civilians and other acts of violence and harassment targeting the humanitarian agencies, including their personnel and assets;
It was disappointed at the continued unwillingness and lack of political will of the leaders of the warring parties; President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar, to make the compromises necessary to reach an agreement that would end the conflict in their country and the untold suffering they are deliberately inflicting on their own people.
Council also expressed shock and outrage at the level of violence and cruelty meted out by the South Sudanese protagonists on the civilian population and the disregard of the South Sudanese leaders to the suffering of their own people.
It demanded that the armed belligerents immediately and fully respect the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and all acts of violence.
“ …and agrees, should this become necessary, to deploy an African force to bring the ongoing tragedy in South Sudan to a definite end.”
The council resolved to establish an Ad hoc sub-Committee, comprising of Algeria, Chad, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda, to consider the report of the AUCISS and the Separate Opinion and make recommendations on the way forward.
Leaders want Sudan sanctions lifted
Meanwhile, African leaders issued a joint statement from a conference in Mauritania on Monday calling for the lifting of sanctions against Sudan.
Among them was Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir who arrived in Nouakchott on Sunday for “Great Green Wall” ecological initiative.
The leaders said for the sake of solidarity between the peoples of the member countries, Sudan sanctions ought to be lifted.
Bashir faces an international arrest warrant issued against him in 2009 over charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
According to United Nations, Darfur conflict which began in 2003 left 300,000 people killed and about 2.5 million displaced.
Bashir was nearly arrested at the AU summit in South Africa recently.
However, Mauritania which never signed the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, allowed him to visit without fear of arrest.
Sudan is part of countries Sahel (from Mauritania in the west to Eritrea in the east) and the plan to build a “Great Green Wall” of vegetation to stop the advance of the Sahara desert.
The green wall will be around 15 kilometres (nine miles) deep and span more than 7,000 kilometres from Senegal to Djibouti.