Open letter to AU PSC re Publication of the AU Commission of Inquiry Report
Published: 23 Jul 2015
Members of the AU Peace and Security Council
African Union Headquarters
P.O. Box 3243
Old Airport Area W21K19
Cc: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson, AU Commission
Ambassador Smaïl Chergui, Commissioner, Peace and Security
H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairperson, AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan
RE: PUBLICATION OF THE AU COMMISSION OF INQUIRY REPORT
We the undersigned organisations write to urge you, members of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC), to make public the report of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS) after the PSC meeting scheduled for 24 July 2015.
South Sudan’s conflict has been characterised by serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law by both parties to the conflict, many of which amount to war crimes, and possibly crimes against humanity. Most recently, the UN Mission in South Sudan and human rights groups have reported on gruesome abuses in the recent government offensive in Unity State, including burning people alive, hangings, rape and abductions, and widespread burning and pillaging of villages and small towns. The resulting human suffering is staggering and at least 100,000 people have been displaced since May.
The continued crimes primarily result from the failure of the warring parties to take any meaningful action to prevent abuses or hold forces responsible to account. However the international community, including the AU, has also failed to take bold steps to address the atrocities that have been committed.
The decision of the AUPSC to shelve the AUCISS report in January 2015 so as not to disrupt the peace process stoked disillusionment in South Sudanese about the possibility for accountability and raised questions about the AU’s commitment to taking serious steps towards supporting justice for the crimes committed.