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South Sudan: Release of AU Inquiry Report a vital step for resolution of crisis

*Spokespeople available for interviews

Amnesty International alongside twenty four South Sudanese and international organizations have written a letter to the Africa Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) urging them to publish and the African Union Commission of Inquiry report on South Sudan (AUCISS) at its meeting scheduled for 24 July.

Almost a year after the AUCISS completed its investigations in August 2014, the report has still not been released. The organizations consider the publication of the report to be an important step to deterring further atrocities and to bring to justice perpetrators of crimes under international law and other serious violations of human rights in South Sudan.

“The armed conflict particularly in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states continues as we speak and both parties are committing human rights atrocities with absolute impunity. Publishing the AUCISS report could help end this cycle of impunity,” said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director.

Background:

The PSC Heads of State were scheduled to consider the AUCISS report on 29 January 2015, but instead decided to “defer consideration of the report to a later date.” The chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo was not given an opportunity to present the report’s content and the report was not distributed to the PSC members.

Negotiations between the Government of South Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO) being brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are set to resume on 24 July after a four month hiatus. The IGAD mediation has been extended to include the USA, UK and Norway, and five African countries (South Africa, Nigeria, Rwanda, Algeria and Chad).

Read the full letter here.