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Home / News-archive / African Union to establish a criminal court for South Sudan

African Union to establish a criminal court for South Sudan

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union, at its 547th meeting (26 September 2015), decided to release the final report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan and to establish an 'African-led' court to prosecute those responsible for the atrocities committed during the conflict that broke out in December 2013.


The extreme violence that is the focus of the Commission of Inquiry report was unleashed in two phases: (a) the first over three days, from 16 to 18 December 2014, in Juba, (b) the second phase covered three states in the provinces and was centered around the towns of Bor, Bentui and Malakal.


The Commission found evidence that acts of murder, rape and sexual violence, torture and other inhuman acts of comparable gravity, outrages upon personal dignity, targeting of civilian objects and protected property, as well as other abuses, have been committed by both sides to the conflict. Most of the atrocities were carried out against innocent civilians. At the same time, however, the report concludes that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the crime of genocide has been committed during the conflict.


As a consequence, the Peace and Security Council agreed on the establishment by the African Union of an independent hybrid judicial court, the Hybrid Court of South Sudan, as an African-led and Africa-owned legal mechanism. The purpose of the Court shall be to investigate and prosecute individuals bearing the responsibility for violations of international law and/or applicable South Sudanese law, committed from 15 December 2013 through the end of the transitional period.




Communiqué of 547th meeting of the Peace and Security Council, at the level of Heads of State and Government, on the situation in South Sudan


African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan

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