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Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 894th meeting held on 14 November 2019, on the situation in the Republic of South Sudan,

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in South Sudan, including Communique PSC/AHG/COMM(DCXXVI adopted at its 720th meeting held on 20 September 2016 in New York, Communique PSC/PR/COMM. (DCCLI) adopted at its 751st meeting held on 8 February 2018 and PSC/PR/COMM. (DCCLXVIII) adopted at its 768th meeting held on 26 April 2018, as well as its Communique PSC/AHG/COMM. (DCCLXXXIII) adopted at its 783rd meeting held in Nouakchott, Mauritania, at the level of Heads of State and Government, on 30 June 2018 and Communique PSC/PR/COMM. (DCCCLXXXVI) adopted at its 886th meeting held on 15 October 2019;

Taking note of the statement by the Permanent Representative of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria to the African Union (AU), H.E. Ambassador Rachid Benlounes, in his capacity as the Chairperson of the PSC for the month of November 2019 and the presentations by the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for South Sudan, H.E. Ambassador Joram Biswaro and the Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and Head of UNMISS, Mr Davis Shearer; also noting the statements made by the representative of the Republic of South Sudan, the representative of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, in its capacity as Chair of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Interim Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) and the representative of South Africa, in its capacity as Chairperson of the AU Ad Hoc High Level Committee for South Sudan;

Reaffirming the solidarity of the AU with the Government people of South Sudan in their aspirations to restore peace and stability in their country.

Acting under Article 7 of its Protocol, the Peace and Security Council:

1. Welcomes the Communique emanating from the meeting of the guarantors held on the 7 November 2019, in Entebbe, Uganda and expresses appreciation to H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda and H.E. President Abdel-Fatah Al-Burhan of the Sudan for convening the Entebbe Summit; and further commends H.E. President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar for having positively responded to the Summit, as well as for the consensus reached by the parties in Addis Ababa on the outcome of the Entebbe Summit;

2. Welcomes the extension of the Pre-Transitional Period for an additional period of 100 days and notes that the outcome creates a conducive environment for IGAD to decisively give impetus to the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement; further welcomes the Communique of the 69th Extra Ordinary Session of IGAD Council of Ministers held on 10 November 2019 to address pending issues relating to security arrangements and number of states and internal boundaries of South Sudan, which are critical to the full implementation of the Revitalized Agreement;

3. Commends IGAD for its continued efforts to address the situation in South Sudan; further commends United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the R-JMEC and the Revitalized Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (R-CTSAMVM) for their continued efforts to protect civilians and assist in the implementation of the R-ARCSS;

4. Welcomes the ongoing efforts to help the parties overcome the challenges relating to these outstanding pre-transitional issues; commends the guarantors of the Revitalized Agreement for the renewed impetus to the peace process in South Sudan;

5. Underscores the need for the parties to agree on a systematic approach for addressing outstanding matters, with a view to effectively and efficiently utilizing the coming 100 days to complete the remaining crucial tasks, notably security arrangements and the number of states and internal boundaries of South Sudan;

6. Commends the AU High Level Ad Hoc Committee for South Sudan and reiterates its call for the Committee to undertake, as soon as possible, a mission to South Sudan; also commends countries that have contributed their supports to the peace process in South Sudan, namely Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa, China and Japan and appeals to the international community to further enhance its support, in order to avoid missing another opportunity in stabilization efforts in South Sudan;

7. Expresses its renewed determination to support IGAD in its efforts aimed at implementing the priority tasks as provided for in the outcome of the Entebbe Summit;

8. Reiterates paragraph 10 of the Communique of 69th Extra Ordinary Session of IGAD Council of Ministers, for the AU Commission, the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, RJMEC and CTSAMVM to jointly organize a workshop in Juba on security mechanisms, to agree on a roadmap with clear timelines for the implementation of the Transitional Security Arrangements within the 100 days extension period;

9. Also reiterates its call for all regional and international stakeholders to further enhance their coordination and to harmonize their efforts, under the leadership of IGAD for the promotion of peace, security and development in South Sudan;

10. Calls on the hold out groups to unconditionally join the peace process with a view to ending the current hardships facing the people of South Sudan; in this respect, encourages the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan to continue to engage the leaders of the holdout groups, in particular Thomas Cirillo and Paul Malong to join the R-ARCSS; urges the international partners to consider punitive measures, including targeted sanctions, to be imposed against those who continue to undermine the peace process in South Sudan;

11. Calls on the South Sudanese Government with the support of the AU Commission, as well as all other concerned stakeholders, to expeditiously work towards the operationalization of all transitional justice mechanisms, including the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, in order to promote transitional justice, and reconciliation and healing in the country;

12. Appeals to the Government of South Sudan to expeditiously disburse the outstanding funds for the implementation of the peace agreement, for the extended pre-transitional tasks; in this respect, calls on the guarantors to immediately put in place the mechanisms agreed as per the Entebbe Communique, for the supervision of the financial management of the funds dedicated to the Pre-Transitional period, to ensure accountability and transparency:

13. Appeals to all Parties, particularly President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to embrace dialogue with a view to deepening and instilling mutual trust and confidence between and among them; also appeals to Dr. Riek Machar to consider relocating to Juba, as soon as possible, in order to facilitate the implementation of the outstanding issues of the Revitalized Agreement;

14. Calls upon the Government of South Sudan and the SPLM/A-IO forces to immediately vacate the civilian facilities occupied by their forces, in order to enable the facilities to be used for the designated purposes;

15. Expresses, once again, its deep concern over the persisting humanitarian situation in South Sudan, which has been exacerbated by the recent floods in some parts of the country; in this regard, appeals to all AU Member States and the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to the population in need;

16. Requests the Chairperson of the Commission to brief Council on a monthly basis on the situation in South Sudan until the end of the 100 days extension of the pre-transitional period;

17. Decides to undertake a field visit to South Sudan in February 2020 before the expiration of the 100 days extension of the pre-transitional period;

18. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Posted by Limi Mohammed

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