The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) has called for investigations to be held into criminal acts against civilians in South Sudan during the outbreak of the latest round of fighting.
Calling for the perpetrators of rapes, violence and murders to be brought to justice, at the AU’s 616th meeting held on Thursday in Addis Ababa, the organisation in a communiqué further expressed its concern over the continued fighting which erupted on July 7 in Juba.
Commending East Africa’s Inter Governmental Authority for Development (Igad) for its continued leadership, the AU called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to extend its UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) with a revised mandate, including the deployment of a Regional Protection Force.
In relation to the establishment of this protection force, the AU urged the government of South Sudan to accept its deployment, an issue President Salva Kiir’s government has been opposed to.
The delegates further encouraged ousted First Vice President Dr Riek Machar, who has been in hiding claiming his life is in danger, to return to Juba in an endeavour to restart the peace process.
Concurrent to Machar’s return, however, there was a call for his replacement, General Taban Deng Gai, to step down.
Finally the delegates asked Igad to provide an update on the situation for the forthcoming meeting scheduled to take place on 18 August.
– African News Agency (ANA)