AU council delays report on S. Sudan violations

ADDIS ABABA – The African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council has postponed the release of a fact-finding commission's report on alleged human rights violations in South Sudan.

"The AU Peace and Security Council deferred formal presentation and consideration of the report in order to advance the peace process, which was about to achieve the formation of an interim government of national unity for South Sudan by IGAD," council chairman Olusegun Obasanjo said at a Friday press briefing.

He said South Sudan's peace efforts would "soon succeed and will be immediately followed by the consideration and publication of the commission's report."

The report became an issue of contention at a Wednesday meeting of Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) foreign ministers, held in Addis Ababa.

While some ministers called for the release of the report, others argued that it would complicate IGAD's efforts to hammer out a peace deal between South Sudan's warring camps.

Obasanjo, for his part, said the report's recommendations would help to ensure "healing, reconciliation, accountability and sustainable governance in South Sudan."

South Sudan, which became independent in 2011, has been shaken by violence since late 2013, when President Salva Kiir accused Riek Machar, his sacked vice-president, of leading a failed coup attempt against his regime.

Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have since been displaced in fighting between the two rivals, close to two million people have been uprooted from their homes, and hundreds of thousands now seek shelter in refugee camps across the country.

In recent months, the warring camps have held on-again, off-again IGAD-backed peace talks in Addis Ababa.

The talks, however, have largely failed to produce any breakthroughs.

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