The African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan has released its final report. The results aren't good. The report concludes that “widespread and systematic” killings took place in Juba in December 2013 and that violence spiraled to other areas of the country from there.
The two key takeaways of the AU report are
- The killings in Juba were carried out pursuant to a state policy and were coordinated and possibly also planned.
- AU investigators found no evidence of a coup attempt as claimed by President Salva Kiir. The report concludes that a gunfight within the Presidential Guards was the immediate trigger of the violence in which “Dinka members of the Presidential guard and other security forces targeted Nuer soldiers and civilians... killing Nuer soldiers and civilians in and near their homes.”
The AU report details numerous accounts of murders, rapes, torture and other atrocities including alleged cases of forced cannibalism perpetrated by members of the army and security forces. Articles 810, 811, 812, 813 and 814 of the report make the case that such acts were carried out with a degree of organization and planning.
Indications of planning and coordination include testimonies that irregular forces disguised as “street cleaners” allegedly scouted areas of Juba in the weeks before the massacres, as well as division of Juba into “four operational zones” and the setting up of roadblocks and checkpoints around the city.
“House to house searches were undertaken by security forces. During this operation male Nuers were targeted, identified, killed on the spot or gathered in one place and killed,” states the Commission report.