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South Sudan armed opposition welcomes publication of AU report

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October 30, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – The armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) under the leadership of former vice president, Riek Machar, said they applauded the publication of the recently released African Union (AU) report on atrocities committed in South Sudan from 15 December 2013 in the national capital, Juba, and other towns.

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Chairperson of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan crimes Olusegun Obasanjo (Photo: premiumtimesng)

“Of course, our leadership has welcomed the publication of the AU report on the atrocities committed from 15 December 2013. You are aware that SPLM (IO) for a long period of time has been calling on the AU to release the report,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Friday.

He said it was clear in the report that the massacre of thousands of members of the Nuer ethnic group was a “state policy” which was well coordinated and sponsored by president Salva Kiir’s government.

“In the AU report two crucial matters are very clear. One, that the massacre was a state policy perpetuated, coordinated and sponsored by the government’s top leadership using its inner circles in the army, police, national security and Dinka ethnic militia group. Two, there was no coup attempt as alleged, and therefore the concocted narrative about the coup was simply a pretext so as to carry out the massacre by the regime of President Salva Kiir targeting an ethnic group,” Dak said.

The AU report insisted on the systematic nature of the attacks targeting the Nuer ethnic group and described it as a “State policy”. Also it says that there was “no evidence pointing to a coup attempt” which sparked the massacre.

Dak said it was unfortunate that the African Union report shied away from declaring the mass killings in December 2013 a genocide targeting the Nuer ethnic group, arguing that a genocide is “the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political, or cultural group” saying this was the perpetuated act in Juba against the Nuer ethnic group.

He however stressed that the AU should now push through the mechanisms recommended in the report and in the peace agreement signed in August to establish a hybrid court to try those responsible for the mass murder of members of an ethnic group.

Meanwhile, in its report the AU commission said there were reasonable grounds to believe that no crimes of genocide were committed during the mid-December 2013 conflict despite the seeming ethnic nature and dimension the South Sudanese war.

"Despite the seeming ethnic nature of the conflict in South Sudan, the Commission during its consultations with various groups and individuals did not have any reasonable grounds to believe that the crime of genocide was committed during the conflict that broke out on December 15, 2013," says the report.

It however concluded that some of the serious violations of human rights could amount to crimes against humanity were committed during the conflict and that further investigations be done to identify those responsible.

The report also said the two warring factions involved in the South Sudanese conflict committed war crimes in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal towns.

Dak also applauded the recommendations of the AU report including on the political and institutional reforms in the country, saying this has also corresponded with the reform agenda provided for in the peace agreement signed between the rival parties in the country.

He said the opposition leadership called on the AU and the wider international community to support and facilitate the implementation of the recommendations in the report.

(ST)

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  • 31 October 2015 07:50, by Paul Ongee

    Who is a PhD holder staged a failed coup in 1991 and later orchestrated Bor massacre the same year? Who is a PhD holder surrendered to Khartoum and signed KPA 1997? Who is a PhD holder desperately wants to lead but not to be led? Who is a PhD holder abandoned his followers to be saved by Paulino Matip in Khartoum and returned to a real PhD holder in Nairobi in 2002 to be forgiven? It’s Riek Machar

    repondre message

  • 31 October 2015 10:28, by Mr Point

    Ongee, your comment is not relevant to the article. You should consider this:
    1. There was no coup attempt
    2. There was systematic murder of Nuer
    3. Sponsored at the highest level
    4. Which must be dealt with before South Sudan can have peace and good government.

    repondre message

    • 31 October 2015 14:50, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      And said, there was no genocide. Now, you come home!

      repondre message

      • 31 October 2015 19:55, by padiit gaga

        Now its good for them with power sharing that is why this killer will not kill again while he will be taken to Icc court by Au for crime or genocide he committed, God is great let him go to hell soon.

        repondre message

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