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Archive for July 26th, 2014

African Civil Society Calls for Official Participation at US-Africa Leader Summit  

Posted by African Press International on July 26, 2014

  • The first ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit will take place August 4–6

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ With just weeks to go before the first ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which takes place August 4–6, a coalition of international NGOs and African civil society have called on President Barack Obama to provide official space for civil society participation and to address key issues of human rights and good governance.

An online petition ( addressed to President Obama was launched last week via the website A corresponding social media campaign called #WeAreAfrica was also launched on Twitter.

The website and #WeAreAfrica campaign are the results of a Civil Society Forum, which was convened in Washington, DC in late June. This meeting was organized by the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Open Society Foundations, Freedom House, Amnesty International USA, and Front Line Defenders. The Forum convened 18 prominent human rights activists ( from 12 different countries to develop specific policy recommendations ( for the United States government, African heads of state, and civil society to strengthen democratic governance and respect for human rights. Recommendations were developed in three key areas – the rule of law, transparency and corruption and discrimination against marginalized groups – and presented to high-level representatives from the White House, Department of State, and the United States Congress.

The fundamental message conveyed by African civil society at the time, and to this date, has been that these issues and recommendations should be addressed at the upcoming Summit and that civil society be present as equal stakeholders in the future of U.S.-Africa relations.



Front Line Defenders

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AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan

Posted by African Press International on July 26, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 24, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS), led by H.E. Chairperson, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, on Sunday, 20 July 2014 in continuation of the fact finding work which African Head of State and Government tasked the Commission to carry out as a means of reaching sustained peace and stability in South Sudan.

The visit is the third by the Commission to South Sudan and the second to be led by the Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan. During the first visit, the of Inquiry on South Sudan had the opportunity to meet with the President of the Republic of South Sudan, H.E. General Salva Kiir Mayaardit as well as a segment of the society; while during the same period, the Commission was able to meet the opposition leader, Dr Riak Machar in Nasir. As part of the Commission’s engagement, it also met with the Group of 11 politicians that were accused of planning a coup d’état. The Commission of Inquiry had the opportunity of visiting the affected states of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei, where it had the first hand experience of the events that took place in these states.

The Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan is again in Juba to continue its fact finding mission and had the opportunity of meeting again with H.E. General Salva Kiir Mayardit and other very senior Cabinet Ministers including senior members of the SPLA, Police and the Intelligence services. This exercise is intended to offer more in-depth attempt at understanding and establishing the facts as it pertains to the events of December 15 and beyond.

It is equally important to point out that current exercise will not be restricted to Juba, its environ and to government circle, but also include wide engagement with the other states of the Republic and segments of the society including the academia, political parties, media, youth and faith based organizations. In this regard, the Commission engaged and held useful discussions with the Ministers of Defence, Internal Affairs and Cabinet Affairs, where different dimensions of the current situation were explored in a frank and open manner. The Commission of Inquiry also had the opportunity of meeting with the Governor of Central Equatoria who also gave another dimension to the on-going situation.

The Commission met with the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces as well as the Commander of the Presidential Guards. The Commander of the Presidential Guards invited the Commission on a tour of the Unit’s cantonment which threw light into the on-going narrative of the current situation in the country. Other key individual that was met was the Director-General for National Intelligence and Security who also gave useful explanations as to the events that unfolded and are still unfolding in the country.

Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan met and consulted with the IGAD Mediators, Amb Mesfin Seyoum and General Simbeyou his team during which useful information was exchanged between the parallel processes.

The Commission also had useful discussions with the IGAD Verification and Monitoring Team.

The Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan will extend the scope of the current activities to the other States of the Republic that were not affected by current conflict in order to obtain first hand, their impression of the situation in the country and what in their opinion may be the way forward for the nation.

The civil society including women’s group, the private sector, academia and the media were also consulted here in Juba and this engagement will still continue in the other states of the Republic.

The Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan further intends to commence its investigative work to enable it ascertain or otherwise the facts already obtained in order to come to relevant conclusions for transmission to the Peace and Security Council.

The African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan seizes this opportunity to once again, express its appreciation to H.E. General Salva Kiir Mayardit, the cabinet and other government officials, including the good people of South Sudan who have all given their time to engage faithfully with the Commission.



African Union Commission (AUC)

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