South Sudanese rebels protest against non-invitation by the African Union; accuse AUPSC of “dishonesty and lack of transparency”

Addis Ababa, July 24, 2015 (SSNA) — South Sudan’s armed opposition, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), on Friday released a strongly worded statement saying the African Union Peace and Security Commission (AUPSC) which was tasked to by the AU to discuss the possibility of releasing AU’s Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan atrocities failed to invite its leadership into the meeting.

Rebel Spokesman James Gatdet Dak protests against AUPSC’s decision.

“The Office of the Chairman and Commander-in-Chief of SPLM/SPLA has protested against failure by the African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) to invite the Movement to attend an important meeting on report of the AU’s Commission of Inquiry on the atrocities committed in South Sudan from December 15, 2013,” Gatdet said in a statement obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA).

Gatdet recalls the meeting which he said was held on the 15th of July between the SPLM/A-IO Chairman Dr. Riek Machar and the Chairperson of the AU Commission Dr. Dlamini Zuma, saying Dr. Machar and Dr. Zuma both agreed in that meeting that the parties to the conflict should be allowed to attend.

“Our Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, in a meeting with the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Dlamini Zuma, on July 15, 2015, in Addis Ababa, discussed the importance that the two parties to the conflict should attend the PSC meeting at the level of AU foreign ministers,” he recalled.

Gatdet also accused AU of “dishonesty and lack of transparency.”

“This is a serious act of dishonesty and lack of transparency on the part of the PSC. We therefore ask the PSC to equally serve the SPLM/SPLA with the copy of the report and to attend any further discussions on the matter,” he asserted. 

In the document, the rebel Spokesman further revealed that the meeting on South Sudan atrocities took place today (July 24, 2015) and that South Sudanese government was invited and served with a copy of the report, and the SPLM/A-IO was not invited.

The atrocities report was initially set to be made public in February this year. However, the report was abruptly suspended by the AU citing undisclosed reasons.

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