comments

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 411th meeting held at the level of Heads of State and Government, in Banjul, The Gambia, on 30 December 2013, adopted the following decision on the situation in South Sudan:

Council,

  1. Takes note of the report of the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation in South Sudan [PSC/AHG/2(CDXI)], as well as of the statements made by representatives of members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council (France, Rwanda, United Kingdom and United States) and the European Union (EU);

         Recalls its press statements PSC/PR/BR.(CDIX) and PSC/PR/BR.(CDX) adopted at its 409th       and 410th meetings, held on 18 and 24 December 2013, respectively, as well as the press statements issued by the Chairperson of the Commission on the situation;

 

  1. Expresses, once again, its grave concern about the crisis in South Sudan and Africa’s dismay and disappointment that the continent’s newest nation should descend so quickly into civil strife, with the potential of rapidly deteriorating into ethnic clashes and a full-fledged civil war, with far-reaching consequences for regional peace, security and stability. Council also expresses deep concern over the humanitarian consequences of the situation in South Sudan;

 

  1. Strongly condemns the attacks against innocent civilians, including the targeting of ethnic groups and other communities, as well as other violations of human rights. Council further condemns the attack against the Akobo camp of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in the Jonglei State, on 19 December 2013, in which two peacekeepers and many civilians lost their lives ;

 

  1. Reiterates AU’s relevant instruments on the rejection of unconstitutional changes of Government and the use of force to further political claims. Council also reiterates its conviction that dialogue is the only viable way through which the South Sudanese parties can resolve their political differences, and calls upon President Salva Kiir Mayardit and Dr. Riek Machar, as well as other stakeholders, to act in a spirit of patriotism and vision for the greater national interest of their country;

 

  1. Commends the efforts being made by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to address the situation and facilitate a peaceful solution to the crisis, including the visit to Juba, from 19 to 21 December 2013, of a high-level IGAD ministerial delegation, which also included the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and the United Nations (UN) Special Envoy, as well as the visit to Juba, on 26 December 2013, by the Chairperson of IGAD, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn of Ethiopia, and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya. Council welcomes the communiqué adopted by the 23rd Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Nairobi, on 27 December 2013, and encourages IGAD to pursue and intensify its efforts towards the effective implementation of the steps outlined in the above-mentioned communiqué;

 

  1. Urges all South Sudanese stakeholders concerned to extend full cooperation to IGAD, in order to facilitate an early solution to the current crisis, in line with the IGAD’s communiqué of 28 December 2013. Council demands that the parties:

 

(i)                  immediately and unconditionally cease hostilities, as of today, 30 December 2013, and formally communicate to the Chairperson of the Union and Chair of IGAD, as well as to the Chairperson of the Commission, their commitment to do so. Council welcomes the expressed commitment of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to an immediate cessation of hostilities and looks forward to Dr. Riek Machar and the other South Sudanese stakeholders concerned to do so the same. Council requests the Commission and IGAD, working together with UNMISS, to put in place the necessary monitoring and verification measures, including a complaints mechanism;

 

(ii)                engage in unconditional and inclusive dialogue in order to resolve the current conflict and address its underlying causes, on the basis of respect for human rights, the rule of law, democracy and constitutional legality, as well as the rejection of the use of force. Council endorses the IGAD Summit decision that face-to-face talks should commence by 31 December 2013. In this regard, Council welcomes the expressed commitment of President Salva Kiir to engage in talks unconditionally, and looks forward to Dr. Riek Machar and other stakeholders concerned to do the same. In order to create a conducive environment for a successful dialogue, Council requests the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to release all political leaders currently detained. Council encourages the Chairperson of the Commission, notably through the High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP), to support the inclusive dialogue to be facilitated by IGAD through its newly-appointed Special Envoys, General Lazaro Sumbeiywo of Kenya and Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin of Ethiopia, as well as longer-term efforts to help South Sudan address its governance and democratization challenges, in line with the mandate of the AUHIP;

 

(iii)               ensure the protection of the civilian population and humanitarian workers, as well as refrain from any further acts of violence and other violations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law. Council strongly urges the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and all other parties on the ground to fully cooperate with UNMISS in the implementation of its protection mandate. Council warns all those involved in violations of human rights and international humanitarian law and other criminal acts that they will be held accountable for their actions. Council further demands that all parties ensure unhindered and secured humanitarian access to the populations in need;

 

(iv)              put an immediate end to the mobilization of armed groups along ethnic and tribal lines, as well as to any incitement, hostile or inflammatory messages. Council requests that an opportunity be given to national figures, including religious leaders and others, to convey messages of peace and reconciliation through national media and other appropriate outlets;

 

  1. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission, in consultation with the Chairperson of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and other relevant AU structures, to urgently establish a Commission to investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict in South Sudan and make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities. Council requests that the above-mentioned Commission submit its report to Council within a maximum period of three months;  

 

  1. Expresses its intention to take appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against all those who incite people to violence, including along ethnic lines, continue hostilities, undermine the envisaged inclusive dialogue, hinder humanitarian operations, undermine the protection mandate of UMISS and carry out acts of violence against civilians and unarmed combatants, and to seek the support of the UN Security Council. Council requests the Commission, working closely with IGAD, to initiate preparatory steps in this regard;

 

  1. Welcomes the efforts being made by the UN, and notes with appreciation the adoption by the UN Security Council of resolution 2132 (2013) authorizing an increase in the strength of UNMISS, to support the protection of civilians and the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Council calls upon all AU Member States having troops and police personnel in UN peacekeeping operations to support the increase in UNMISS strength by making available military and police personnel, as well as assets, through inter-Mission cooperation and calls upon those African countries concerned to facilitate the movements of UN military and police personnel to South Sudan;

 

  1. Notes with appreciation the efforts being made by all other international stakeholders, including the United States, China, Norway and the EU. Council encourages all relevant states and organizations to use their influence with the South Sudanese stakeholders, so that they bring the current violence to an end and engage in unconditional dialogue;

 

  1. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission, in close consultation with the Chairperson of IGAD, to submit to Council a comprehensive report on the evolution of the situation and the implementation of this decision, at its meeting at the level of Heads of State and Government, scheduled to take place in Addis Ababa, on the margins of the 23rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the Union, at the end of January 2014. In the meantime, Council requests the Commission to formally submit to it, within one week, an update on the response of the parties to the demands made by IGAD and the AU regarding the immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities and the initiation of an unconditional and inclusive dialogue, including the confidence building measures, as contained in paragraph 7 (i) and (ii) of the present communiqué;

 

  1. Further requests the Chairperson of the Commission to transmit the present communiqué to the UN Secretary-General and, through him, to the UN Security Council, as well as to other international partners, in order to mobilize their support for the African-led efforts;

 

  1. Decides to remain actively seized of the situation.

Posted by Messay
Last updated by Lulit Kebede

We use cookies on our website and mobile app to improve content display and overall user experience. The cookies we use do not store personally identifiable information nor can they harm your computer.
We intend to provide you with the right knowledge on-demand at the right time and in the appropriate format to ensure that you engage the African Union constructively in your specific role.
If you have any questions please contact directly PSD web Administrator at shashlm@africa-union.org

COMMENTS