The African Union (AU) is expected to discuss and possibly release this month the long awaited report on serious war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by warring parties in South Sudan’s conflict since 15 December 2013, opposition’s spokesperson revealed.
AU’s Commission of Inquiry has compiled a comprehensive report on the gross crimes committed by individuals in the war since last year but the report has not been released and published due to concerns by AU member states, including South Sudan that it would negatively impact on the peace process.
The fighting which erupted on 15 December and pitted president Salva Kiir’s loyalist forces against supporters of his former deputy Riek Machar has so far left tens of thousands of people killed, according to estimates by the United Nations.
Thousands of members of the Nuer ethnic group, from which Machar hails, were allegedly massacred in the national capital, Juba, by president Kiir’s presidential guards and Dinka ethnic militia group from the president’s tribe in the first week of the violence.
The delayed report by the AU on the atrocities would have officially confirmed what transpired in the violence, name those responsible for the crimes and recommend measures to be taken to punish the perpetrators.
In a press statement issued on Wednesday, Machar’s press secretary, James Gatdet Dak, said AU would discuss the report this month. He said the AU commission’s chairperson revealed this on Wednesday in a meeting with the armed opposition leader, Riek Machar.
“In a meeting today, Wednesday, in Addis Ababa between our Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, and Chairperson of the AU Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, it is confirmed that the report will be discussed on July 24 at the level of AU’s foreign ministers,” Dak said in the press release extended to Sudan Tribune.
He said the leadership of the opposition commended the AU’s decision to tackle the matter so as to release the report, adding “it is overdue.”
Many countries including members of the United Nations Security Council have called upon the AU to release and make public the report.
Dak also said Machar’s meeting with Zuma shared notes on the expected resumption of the peace negotiations next August between the warring parties under the IGAD-Plus new mediation mechanism
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