African Union to Release South Sudan Report, Establish War Court

African leaders agreed to release a delayed report into South Sudan’s civil war and backed the establishment of an African-led hybrid court to try war-crimes suspects.

The African Union Commission of Inquiry probe found that civilians had been mostly targeted in the conflict, now in its 22nd month, and that both the government and rebel forces committed numerous atrocities, the bloc’s Peace and Security Council said Tuesday in a statement. Rights groups have been urging the bloc to release the report since earlier this year.

The investigation initiated in March 2014 concluded there are “no reasonable grounds to believe” that genocide against ethnic Nuer occurred at the conflict’s outset in December 2013, as alleged by rebels, it said. No details were given on when the inquiry’s report would be made public.

A power struggle within the ruling party led to the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people and forced two million to flee their homes. A regionally brokered deal for President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, his former deputy, to share power was signed last month. Continental leaders expressed “disappointment and concern” at violations of the latest truce.

The African-owned Hybrid Court of South Sudan should be established to investigate any abuses of international law committed during the war, or throughout a 30-month interim government to be established at the end of November, the council said.

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