By supporting South Sudan’s independence from Sudan, the US, UK and Norway have created conditions for the civil war, which broke out in the world’s youngest country in 2013, leaked documents from an inquiry by the African Union allege.
In 2005, the US, UK, Norway and the East African trading bloc, IGAD, pushed through a peace deal, which legitimized the South Sudanese rebels, and paved the way for the country’s independence in 2011.
According to a draft of the African Union inquiry obtained by Reuters, the actions of the Western powers helped establish “a politically unchallenged armed power in South Sudan” that acted with impunity and legitimized “rule of the gun.”
At least 10,000 people were killed and another 1.5 million have been displaced since July 2013 when the fighting between the forces loyal to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, and the militants led by his sacked deputy Riek Machar began.
The findings of the inquiry were to be presented to the African Union’s Peace and Security Council in late January, but it was decided the document will be shelved.
According to a Reuters source, it was done due to concerns the publication may disrupt the talks on forming a transitional government in South Sudan, which are currently underway between Kiir and Machar.
The inquiry suggested that South Sudan’s president and his rival should “be barred from participation in the transitional executive,” and the oil producer should be effectively placed under African Union control for a period of five years.
The investigation, led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, said that Kiir and Machar are responsible for the political crisis in December 2013 and “the organized massacres and the large-scale violence that followed.”
Officials from the US, UK and Norway said that they won’t comment on the document, which they haven’t seen.
“I think that the investigation that the African Union has started and the commission’s position, it needs to be made public,” Borge Brende, Norway’s Foreign Minister, told NRK broadcaster.
The call to make the inquiry public is supported by Washington, London and the UN Security Council.