KAMPALA, March 17– The African Union (AU) has appointed Ugandan academic Professor Mahmood Mamdani on a five-member commission of inquiry to probe atrocities committed in the ongoing armed conflict in South Sudan.

Mamdani, who is head of Makerere University’s Institute of Social Research (MISR), will be joining a team headed by former Nigerian president Olusegun Matthew Obasanjo to “investigate human rights violations and other abuses during the conflict by all parties”.

South Sudan’s government has been at war with rebels since Dec 15, las tyear when a clash between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those supporting sacked vice-president Riek Machar snowballed into full-scale fighting across the world’s newest nation.

The commission of inquiry was sworn in on Wednesday last week by the AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“Whoever is responsible must not get away with impunity,” said Obasanjo, who is expected to submit the team’s recommendations to the AU within three months.

“Africa must not condone impunity of Africans treating Africans as if they are not human beings. I want to assure you we will leave no stone unturned.”

Other members of the team include Sophia A.B. Akuffo, who is Judge of the Supreme Court of Ghana, and Bineta Diop, a special envoy for women, peace and security at the AU Commission. Prof. Pacifique Manirakiza, a Burundian professor of law at the University of Ottawa in Canada, is also a member of the probe team.


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