African Union Commission releases report on the conflict in South Sudan

By Editorial Board - 28 October 2015 at 8:13 pm
In this photo taken Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, an unidentified man with a gun stands watch over displaced people, who have taken shelter from fighting, in a rebel-held part of Leer county, in Unity State, South Sudan. Kok Island in Unity State has become a place of misery, with hundreds of war-weary people reaching there to seek shelter from the violence, just some of the more than 2 million displaced by South Sudan’s civil war, which continues despite a peace accord signed in August. (AP Photo/Jason Patinkin)

AP Photo/Jason Patinkin

The African Union Commission has finally released the long awaited report of the conflict in South Sudan.

The report details the atrocities committed by both sides of the conflict. It says that both the South Sudanese government and those rebels supporting Vice President Riek Machar have carried out human rights abuses some of which amount to war crimes.

The Voice of America wrote that the AU Commission’s report stated that the violations included killings and murder as well as cruel and inhumane punishment, torture, abductions, rape, gender-based violations and other degrading treatment.

However, whilst the report documented the many human rights violations committed they did report that currently there were no grounds for a declaration of the crime of genocide.

The Commission not only focused on Juba and its surroundings as a sight of investigation, they also inspected “Bor (Jonglei), Bentiu (Unity), Malakal (Upper Nile) rural areas surrounding these major towns, and Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya”.

It was also stated that South Sudan has not ratified any of the major human rights instruments. Therefore, whilst many human rights violations were committed during the conflict in the country none of the instruments are binding for South Sudan. On the other hand, the report did acknowledge that there are certain human rights norms and standards “which constitute customary international law are binding on states irrespective of treaty ratification”.

In the conclusion, the commission stated, “that the crisis in South Sudan is primarily attributable to the inability of relevant institutions to mediate and manage conflicts, which spilt out into the army, and subsequently the general population.”

Finally, the report gave recommendations on where the state can go next writing on areas ranging from security sector reforms to financial management and the judiciary.

Editorial Board

Editorial Board

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