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COMMUNIQUÉ

 

The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 609th meeting held on 30 June 2016, adopted the following decision on the situation in South Sudan:

 

Council,

 

  1. Takes note of the report of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, as well as the briefing provided by the Chairperson of Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) former President Festus Gontebanye Mogae. Council also takes note of the statements by the AU Commission, representatives of the Republic of South Sudan, Ethiopia as Chair of the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on the situation in South Sudan in relation to the implementation of the “Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan”;  

 

  1. Recalls its earlier communiqués and press statements on the situation in South Sudan, including communiqués PSC/AHG/COMM.1(DXXVII) adopted at its 547th meeting held on 26 September 2015, in New York and PSC/AHG/(DLXXI), adopted at its 571st meeting held at the level of Heads of State and Government on 29 January 2016, in Addis Ababa;

 

  1. Commends the South Sudanese Presidency, led by President Salva Kiir Mayardit, First-Vice President Riek Machar Teny and Vice President James Wani Igga, for establishing the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) on 29 April 2016. Council congratulates the Parties for making the necessary concessions to ensure that the return of First-Vice President was peaceful in order to facilitate the formation of the TGoNU. Council notes the challenges that face the activities of the TGoNU, and encourages the Parties to maintain a spirit of compromise, to assist them in addressing the difficulties facing the government and the people of South Sudan.  Council urges the TGoNU to function as a unified government, in order for it to successfully address outstanding issues facing the implementation of the Peace Agreement. In this context, Council welcomes the formation of the Council of Ministers;

 

  1. Commends the JMEC Chairperson, and the JMEC members for their continued and unwavering efforts in monitoring implementation of the Peace Agreement. Council fully supports President Mogae’s efforts, his mandate, as well as decisions taken thus far in pursuance of peace in South Sudan. Council further notes with satisfaction the determination displayed by JMEC to continue engaging the parties even during the most challenging periods of the implementation process;

 

  1. Commends the efforts of the AU High Representative for South Sudan, former President Alpha Oumar Konaré in assisting the South Sudanese parties to overcome their challenges, as well as his continued engagement with regional and international partners in support of the peace process. Council further commends the continued close collaboration between the AU High Representative and JMEC, and urges the AU High Representative to also engage with the Parties on the Arusha Process;  

 

 

  1. Expresses gratitude to the Chair of the IGAD, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia, and leaders of the IGAD, especially President Uhuru Kenyatta of the Republic Kenya, President Yoweri Museveni of the Republic of Uganda, and President Omar al-Bashir of the Republic of Sudan, for their continued engagement and support to the efforts of JMEC and their commitment to the promotion of peace, security and stability in South Sudan. In this regard, Council underscores the fact that a stable and safe region can only be attained through unity of purpose in supporting South Sudan throughout this challenging period;

 

  1. Expresses appreciation to the UNMISS for its role in the maintenance of peace and security in South Sudan. Council also commends the continued protection given by UNMISS and aid agencies to the affected populations of South Sudan and urges them to continue providing such assistance;

 

  1. Reaffirms its grave concern over the continued violations of the ceasefire agreement as reported by the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) to JMEC and encourages the Parties to desist from any actions that might escalate the security situation. Council calls on the TGoNU to issue explicit orders to the local civilian and military authorities to allow for unimpeded access and freedom of movement for the CTSAMM. Council strongly calls on the Parties to recommit to the ideal of ensuring that there is a permanent ceasefire throughout the country;

 

  1. Expresses grave concern over reports of increased sexual and gender based violence, in particular against children, and the conscription of child soldiers, and strongly condemns all such acts; 

 

  1. Renews its appeal for the international community to lend support to the implementation of the Agreement in a coordinated manner, in accordance with the mechanisms established under the Agreement, particularly to the JMEC. Council welcomes the efforts of the JMEC Partners Forum and urges it to continue mobilising support for the peace process. Council also appeals to the international partners to support the peace process in South Sudan especially the establishment of the Hybrid Court and other transitional justice institutions;

 

  1. Strongly appeals to the AU Member States, to support the stabilization and recovery processes in South Sudan, and calls on the AU Commission to convene a pledging conference for South Sudan through the African Solidarity Initiative (ASI), before the end of the year;

 

  1. Calls upon the the TGoNU to create a conducive environment for humanitarian access, and to take full responsibility for ensuring the protection of civilians and the safety and security of humanitarian workers;

 

  1. Calls upon the TGoNU and all relevant stakeholders to facilitate the voluntary return, resettlement and rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees so that they can contribute to their country’s recovery process;

 

  1. Reiterates its call to the TGoNU to begin to address, together with the Government of Sudan (GoS), critical elements of the Cooperation Agreement between Sudan and South Sudan signed in September 2012, especially as they relate to their international borders, oil sharing mechanisms and security arrangements that have a direct bearing on the stability of the two countries. Council expresses its support to the efforts of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and South Sudan (AUHIP), led by former President Thabo Mbeki, to resolve issues emanating from the Cooperation Agreement of 2012; 

 

  1. Strongly appeals to the IGAD Member States to continue playing a positive role in assisting the parties to the Agreement to resolve all outstanding issues of the Agreement. In this regard, Council calls on the South Sudanese parties to fully cooperate with IGAD and JMEC to ensure a credible and genuine transformational process towards establishing a more peaceful and secure country;

 

  1. Requests the AU Commission to speedily complete the necessary arrangements, including the mobilization of resources and recruitment of personnel, to enable the establishment of the AU Mission in South Sudan (AUMISS). Given the financial constraints confronting the AU Commission, Council appeals to the AU Member States to second officers to the planned Mission, in coordination with the AU Commission. Furthermore, Council strongly appeals to the international community to support this initiative, given the strategic role that Africa can play in supporting the peace process;

 

  1. Underscores the important role that the AU High Level ad hoc Committee on South Sudan can play in advancing the course of peace and security in South Sudan, and therefore appeals to the AU High Level ad hoc Committee to strengthen its cooperation with JMEC and to undertake a working visit to South Sudan before the end of the year 2016;

 

  1. Decides to undertake a field visit to South Sudan, in August/September 2016, in solidarity with the people of South Sudan, as well as to gather first-hand information on the ground on political, security, humanitarian and economic challenges facing the country;

 

  1. Requests the AU Commission and JMEC to provide quarterly updates on the evolution of the situation in South Sudan and the implementation of the Peace Agreement;

 

  1. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Belayneh

Last updated by Tchioffo Kodjo

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