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Sudan Tribune

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South Sudanese rebels call on AU to publish leaked report

March 7, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – Opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) under the leadership of the former vice-president, Riek Machar, has reiterated call on the African Union (AU) to officially make public the leaked report on crimes committed by the warring parties in South Sudan.

A commission of inquiry chaired by former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, wrapped up since October 2014 an investigation into gross human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed from 15 December 2013 when the nearly 15-month long war broke out between two factions of the ruling SPLM party.

Even when the report has been ready for the last 5 months, AU however decided not to release the document in fear that it would disrupt the peace process in Addis Ababa which is being mediated by the East African regional bloc of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

South Sudanese government under the leadership of president Salva Kiir also expressed refusal to release the document and approached IGAD leaders to convince AU to sit on it.

In recent days the document appeared to have been leaked with Reuters quoting some of the contents in the document.

The report recommends to bar president Kiir, former vice president Machar and all other senior government officials who served in the cabinet before 23 July dissolution from taking part in the transitional government which is being negotiated to end the war.

The report also reveals a plan by AU to appoint a three-person panel to lead South Sudan’s government for five years of transition and take charge of its all resources including the oil revenues that would be managed under the African Development Bank.

It also recommends deployment of neutral African troops under the overall command of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), without participation of regional forces that have “interests” in South Sudan.

The chief spokesperson in the office of the rebel leader, Machar, when contacted for reaction to the leaked report said SPLM-IO leadership wanted the AU to officially publish the document in order to formally respond to its outcome.

“We don’t discuss leakages. We want the AU to officially publish the document. This is when our leadership will formally discuss and respond to the outcome of the report,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

He said it was important for the African body to release the report and present it to the two warring parties sooner than later.

Direct peace negotiations between Kiir and Machar which IGAD duped as the last round collapsed on Friday and suspended indefinitely as the regional leaders said they would further consult with other regional and international players and look for other mechanisms to bring peace in the troubled region.

Fighting has resumed this week in northern Upper Nile with the two warring parties trading accusations over which side reignited the fight.

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday passed a sanctions regime document and warned of punitive measures should the two parties fail to sign a final peace agreement by past 5 March deadline.

(ST)