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Adopted by the Peace and Security Council at its 912th Meeting held on 27 February 2020, on the Report of the PSC Field mission to the Republic of South Sudan undertaken from 18 to 20 February 2020.

The Peace and Security Council,

Recalling its previous communiqués, in particular communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM.(DCCCXIV)] adopted at its 894th meeting held on 14 November 2019, in which, amongst others, the PSC decided to undertake a field visit to South Sudan in February 2020 before the expiration of the 100 days extension of the pre-transitional period; as well as its communiqué [PSC/PR/COMM.(CMVI)] adopted at its 906th meeting held on 27 January 2019, in which the PSC reiterated its decision and agreed to undertake this visit during February 2020, intending to express AU’s solidarity to the Government and the people of South Sudan, as well as obtain the latest developments in the country;

Taking note of the statement by H.E. Ambassador Idriss Mohamed Farah of Djibouti in his capacity as the Chairperson of the PSC for the month of February 2020, and also noting the statements made by the representatives of the Republic of Sudan, as country chairing the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the Republic of South Africa, in its capacity as Chairperson of the AU Ad Hoc High Level Committee for South Sudan (C5);

Reaffirming the solidarity of the African Union with the people and the government of South Sudan in their aspirations to restore peace, stability and development in their country;

Acknowledging the efforts being deployed by the Government of South Sudan and all the parties, as well as the overall progress achieved to date in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (Revitalized Peace Agreement);

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

 Council:

1. Welcomes the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU on 22 February 2020, and commends the political will demonstrated by all the Parties to the Revitalized Agreement which culminated in their participation in the Interim Government, and in this respect, encourages all Parties to redouble efforts towards amicably addressing the outstanding issues, particularly, the finalization of the allocation of Ministerial portfolios  and appointment of the Executive Council, and further agree on the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States;
 
2. Acknowledges the security stability in South Sudan that has been witnessed since the signing of the Permanent Ceasefire, as evidenced by the reduction in political violence in most parts of the country, and also recognizes that this improved security situation has encouraged the return of a considerable number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees to their homesteads; and in this regard stresses the imperative of the Government of South Sudan to assist in the resettlement rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees in the country;  
 
3. Applauds the decision by President Salva Kiir to revert the country to the original Ten (10) states taking into cognizance the demographics of the young Republic, and in this respect, encourages all parties to proactively manage the differences relating to the named three administrative areas, namely Abyei, Ruweng and the Greater Pibor, in a manner that puts first the interest of the people of South Sudan;
 
4. Underscores the right to freedom of movement for all Stakeholders involved the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement; in this regard, Council appeals to IGAD to reconsider the removing the movement restrictions imposed by IGAD on the 1st Vice President, Dr. Reik Machar Teny, with a view to facilitate the functioning of the R-TGoNU and the implementation of the peace process in South Sudan;
 
5. Expresses appreciation to IGAD for its leadership during the peace process, in particular the meeting held on the margins of the 33rd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU, held on 9 to 10 February 2020, which facilitated the adherence by the parties to the deadline for the formation of the R-TGoNU, as prescribed in the Revitalized Agreement;
 
6. Pays tribute to the unwavering commitment and efforts of the guarantors of the Revitalized Agreement, namely IGAD, the AU, the neighbouring countries and the friends of South Sudan, as well as the broader international community, in accompanying the Government and people of South Sudan in their pursuit for peace, security and socio-economic development;
 
7. Commends the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC) and Revitalized Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (R-CTSAMVM) for their continued support to the implementation of the R-ACRSS and ensuring the protection of the population;
 
8. Acknowledges the disbursement of 40 million United States Dollars by the Government of South Sudan, towards the implementation process of the Revitalized Agreement and strongly urges the Government to urgently release the remaining funds, in order to expedite the implementation of the outstanding tasks;  
 
9. Stresses the imperative for ensuring inclusivity in the R-TGoNU by promoting the meaningful participation of women and the youth in accordance with the provisions of the Revitalized Peace Agreement; furthermore, expresses grave concern over reports of sexual and gender-based violence, especially against women and girls, in some parts of South Sudan; in this regard, calls for urgent and timely investigations which will ensure that justice is dispensed against all perpetrators of these gross violations, and underlines the need Government to provide the necessary  assistance to the victims of sexual and gender-based violence.
 
10. Expresses grave concern on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country, and strongly appeals to the AU Member States and the international community for material and the much-needed financial contributions aimed at alleviating the plight of the people of South Sudan;
 
11. Further expresses deep concern over the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in South Sudan, and encourages the Government of South Sudan, with the support of the AU Commission, as well as other relevant stakeholders, to expedite the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration, program, as well as the security sector reforms, to ensure lasting peace in the country;
 
12. Appeals to the Government of South Sudan and all other armed groups currently occupying civilian buildings, to ensure that all military and security personnel vacate these buildings without further delay or preconditions, and once again, strongly warns that such acts constitute to violations of international law and will accordingly lead to punitive measures to being taken against all those responsible;
 
13. Calls on the Government of South Sudan, acting with the support of the AU Commission as well as other relevant stakeholders, to expeditiously work towards the operationalisation of all transitional justice mechanisms, as envisioned in Chapter 5 of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, especially the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing (CTRH) and the Hybrid Court of South Sudan, as well as the Compensation and Reparations Authority; in  this regard, requests the AU Commission to urgently finalize instruments for the operationalisation of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, to ensure that there is transitional justice, reconciliation and healing in the country;
 
14. Reiterates that the Revitalized Agreement provides the South Sudanese with a sustainable platform for ending the conflict in South Sudan; and urges the international community, particularly the AU Member States, to continue providing technical and financial support aimed at expediting the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement, which would ensure that the people of South Sudan obtain respite from the effects of the protracted conflict in their country;
 
15. Underscores the importance of expediting the implementation of the transitional security arrangements, as per the provisions of the Revitalized Agreement, and encourages all parties to sustain commitment to consolidating gains, and to pave the way for the effective organization and creation of a conducive environment for holding national elections at the end of the interim process, with a view to enable the people of South Sudan to enjoy their democratic right of electing political representatives of their choice;
 
16. Further requests the PSC Committee of Experts, with support of the relevant Departments in the AU Commission, in collaboration with the Defence Attaches of the C5, to work on the matrix of the Action Plan, with clear timelines, to be submitted to the Council for its consideration, before 31 March 2020;
 
17. Requests the AU Commission to provide technical support to the institutions of the R-TGoNU, aimed at assisting the Government of South Sudan in building strong national institutions anchored on good governance and the rule of law; also requests the AU Commission, in line with the Plan of Action to be developed, to consider dispatching a technical assessment mission to South Sudan, to ascertain the current challenges, in close collaboration with the Government of South Sudan, and identify priority areas in which the Government of South Sudan requires support from the AU Member States and the AU Commission;
 
18. Decides that the PSC Troika, composed of PSC Chairperson of the month, outgoing PSC Chairperson and incoming PSC Chairperson, to regularly engage the South Sudanese stakeholders, including undertaking regular field visits to South Sudan, with a view to closely monitor the situation in the country;
 
19. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Posted by Abraham Kebede

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TAGGED IN THEMATIC(S):
Peace and Security council
TAGGED IN REGION(S) :
South Sudan

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