NewsEast & Horn AfricaSouth Sudan: AU investigators find evidence of forced cannibalism and torture against president

Mon,16Jul2018

Posted on Thursday, 29 October 2015 12:14

South Sudan: AU investigators find evidence of forced cannibalism and torture against president

South Sudan's president Salva Kiir. Photo©ReutersThe African Union (AU) has released a damning report on South Sudan's leader, Salva Kiir, following a two-year long investigation into the causes of the on-going civil war and atrocities perpetrated.

According to reports, a commission of enquiry found evidence of killings, torture, mutilations and rape, mostly against civilians, as well as episodes of forced cannibalism.

From all the information available to the commission, the evidence does not point to a coup

Regarding the cause of the war, the AU Commission did not believe President Salva Kiir's account of an attempted coup against him, which sparked the conflict.

"From all the information available to the commission, the evidence does not point to a coup," the AU report reads.

AU's commission of enquiry also concluded that the subsequent killings of Nuer soldiers and civilians in Juba were "committed pursuant to or in furtherance of a state policy" as part of "an organised military operation".

Conversely, militia, drawn largely from the president's ethnic group, created before the crisis, partly carried out, the massacres in Juba.

The AU report also accused government and Riek Machar's rebel forces in South Sudan of carrying out extreme violence.

The AU commission, chaired by Nigeria's ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, documented details of brutal killings, abductions of women and sexual violence among other abuses, mostly committed against civilians who were not taking part in the fighting.

Tens of thousands of people have died and another two million people have had to flee their homes since the civil war began nearly two years ago.

Experts say the fact that the AU body rejects Kiir's coup claim, and holds his forces responsible for organised killings in the very first days of the war, will shape how the rest of the world and future generations apportion blame for the conflict.

Despite the fact that mass graves have been discovered, and despite the seeming ethnic nature of the conflict, the AU commission said it found no reasonable evidence to prove that genocide had been committed.



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