US calls for ‘accountability’ in South Sudan’s Atrocities Investigations

New York, March 17, 2015 (SSNA) — The United States’ Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, said on Tuesday that release of report of African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan before a peace deal is crucial.

Power branded AU’s peace first and report later strategy as “flawed and self-defeating notion.” The US top diplomat to the UN also said those who committed crimes should answer for their actions and that any future peace deal should not be mixed with the issue of accountability.

“This notion that accountability can wait because peace has to come first is just an inherently flawed and self-defeating notion. This is a scale of atrocities and sexual and gender based violence and child soldier recruitment and mass graves that warrants, by any objective measure, accountability,” Power told reporters.

The AU Commission of Inquiry report was originally set to be released in late January or February.

On January 29, the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) decided to postpone the release date stressing the report could jeopardize the ongoing peace talks between South Sudan’s warring factions.

An African Union diplomatic source told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) that Uganda, South Africa, Ethiopia, and other unnamed countries were behind the deferment.

Some AU leaked reports also suggested that South Sudan’s government does not want the AU finding to be released because it could impede the negotiations.

However, South Sudanese rebels said the inquiry report is an important and that it must be made public before any peace agreement is reached.

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