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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 458th meeting held on 17 September 2014, was briefed by the Commission on the situation in South Sudan. Council took note of the statements made by the representatives of South Sudan, the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU), as well as by those of France, Rwanda, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as members of the UN Security Council.

Council recalled its earlier communiqués and press statements on the situation in South Sudan. Council expressed its deep concern over the lack of progress in the political negotiations, including the non-compliance with the sixty days deadline for the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity, and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation. Council also strongly condemned all violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of 23 January 2014.

Council reiterated its gratitude to the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and its Chairperson, Prime Minister Haile Mariam Dessalegn of Ethiopia, as well as the Team of Special Envoys, for their tireless efforts in the search for a lasting solution to the conflict in South Sudan. In this respect, Council welcomed the outcome of the 27th Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government on the situation in South Sudan, held in Addis Ababa, on 25 August 2014, which, inter alia, endorsed the Agreed Principles on Transitional Arrangements Towards Resolution of the Crisis in South Sudan. Council urged the South Sudanese stakeholders to conclude, within six weeks, negotiations on the necessary details to fully operationalize these Principles, as requested by the above-mentioned IGAD Summit.

Council welcomed the resumption, since 15 September 2014, of the South Sudan multi-stakeholders talks in the city of Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, under the auspices of IGAD. Council reminded the South Sudanese stakeholders of their primary responsibility in ending the untold suffering inflicted upon their people and achieving lasting peace, security, stability and reconciliation in their country.

Council reiterated its appeal to the parties to honour their commitments under the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and other subsequent Agreements, including the Implementation Matrix they signed and which sets out a timetable for disengagement, separation and disposition of forces. 

Council, once again, reiterated its determination, in coordination with IGAD, to take the necessary measures against any party that fails to honour its commitments and continues to undermine the search for a negotiated solution to the current crisis. In this respect, Council requested the Commission to urgently initiate consultations with IGAD, with a view to making concrete recommendations on the way forward.

Council expressed its deep concern about the prevailing humanitarian situation in South Sudan and called for renewed efforts to assist the affected populations.

Council reiterated its full support to the AU Commission of Inquiry, mandated, as per communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM.1(CDXI) adopted at its 411th meeting, held in Banjul, The Gambia, on 30 December 2013, 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 looks forward to the submission of the report and recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry.

Council reiterated its gratitude to the international partners for their invaluable support to the AU and IGAD efforts in South Sudan, and called upon them to pursue and increase their assistance.

Council agreed to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by Marsden Momanyi
Last updated by Abraham Kebede

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