African Union Commission refuses to release report on South Sudan atrocities

The African Union Commission headquartered in Addis Ababa has refused to release a human rights report produced by a special panel of African investigators, in spite of directives from African heads of state to do so.

In late September, the African Union Peace and Security Council directed the Chairperson of the AU Commission to release the final report of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan (AUCISS), “for public information.”

The communique by the Council of African heads of state who met in New York last September disclosed that the AUCISS report contains evidence of murder, torture, looting, sexual violence and other acts of “inhuman brutality.”

The report consists of two parts, a majority opinion of the Commission members, and a “separate opinion,” expressed by a member of the panel who did not agree with the majority view. Both are to be released to the public, according to the communique.

Radio Tamazuj wrote to the AU Liaison Office in South Sudan with copy to the AU Commission on 22 October requesting that they immediately avail a copy of the report. AU officials declined to respond to the request.

Nkosazana Dlamina-Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, has so far not explained why she has not complied with the directive of the AU PSC to release the report.

Instead, in a press statement dated 21 October, the Commission disclosed that it would hold a “workshop to identify the practical steps to be taken by the AU in support of the [South Sudan Peace] Agreement,” without mentioning a date for release of the inquiry report.

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