Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 917th Meeting held online on 9 April 2020, on the situation in South Sudan.

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 2020 and Communique [PSC/PR/COMM.(CMXII)], adopted at its 912th meeting held on 27 February 2020;

Taking note of the written statements by Ambassador Catherine Mwangi, Chairperson of the PSC for April 2020 and by Ambassador Smail Chergui, Commissioner for Peace and Security; also taking note of the written briefing by Ambassador Joram Biswaro, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the Commission for South Sudan, as well as the written statements submitted by the representatives of the Republic of South Sudan, and the Republic of Sudan in its capacity as Chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD); the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan; the Interim Chairperson of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC), the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements, Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) and by the United Nations Office to the AU;

Reaffirming the AU solidarity with the Government of South Sudan in their aspirations and commitment to restore peace and stability, and promote development in their country; and
Acknowledging the progress achieved to date in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (Revitalized Peace Agreement) and the concerted efforts deployed by all parties to achieve sustainable peace, justice and development in South Sudan.

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

1. Congratulates the Government and people of South Sudan on the landmark formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU), as a major step towards the full implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement;

2. Commends IGAD for its sustained engagement on the situation in South Sudan, which resulted in the formation of the R-TGoNU; also commends in particular, H.E. President Salva Kiir, H.E. First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar Teny-Dhurg and all other South Sudanese stakeholders for demonstrating political will and the required leadership to implement their commitments to restore peace in their country;
3. Expresses appreciation for the continued support of the guarantors of the Revitalized Agreement, namely, the IGAD, the AU, and the AU High Level Ad Hoc Committee on South Sudan (C5), as well as the international community at large for assisting the Government and people of South Sudan to achieve sustainable peace and development in their country;

4. Further commends the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission and Revitalized Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism for their continued support towards the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement and ensuring the protection of the people of South Sudan;

5. Urges all Parties to the Revitalized Agreement to fully adhere to the timelines of implementation of all transitional tasks, particularly the establishment and operationalization of the expanded Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA), allocation and appointment of Governors of the States and elaboration of the Transitional Constitution as necessary preconditions for a successful transition leading to organization of credible national elections;

6. Further urges all parties to facilitate the establishment of public authorities ; unification, training and integration of the various armed groups to enable deployment of the Unified Forces, among others; and urges the R-TGoNU to mobilize and provide necessary resources for these processes;

7. Stresses the importance of inclusivity within the R-TGoNU, especially achieving 35% representation of women in the Government and also ensuring meaningful participation of the youth in the country’s post-conflict reconstruction and development processes;

8. Urges the hold out groups to continue to respect the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement in line with the Rome Declaration of January 2020, and the Resolution of February 2020; and in this context, Council commends the work being done by the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Committee;

9. Welcomes the significant improvement in the general security and humanitarian situation, as well as respect for human rights, voluntary repatriation of refugees and return of IDPs to their communities;

10. Warns those armed groups currently occupying civilian buildings/facilities to unconditionally vacate them without further delay so that these facilities can serve their civilian purposes, failing which punitive measures will be imposed against the concerned armed groups;

11. Calls on the parties and all other South Sudanese stakeholders to continue to work together, in order to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19, working closely with Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC); the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNMISS, in order to preserve the gains so far made in the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement; and in this context, applauds President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his Government for the timely decisions taken, in particular the appointment of a High-Level Task Force on COVID-19, and urges the Task Force to work closely with Africa CDC and WHO;

12. Emphasizes the urgency, as South Sudan emerges from the conflict, for the AU Commission to undertake a post-conflict needs assessment mission to the country, in order to jointly identify with the authorities, the priorities and resources required;

13. Underscores the need for AU Member States and the larger international community to continue to provide all necessary support towards the full implementation of the Revitalized Agreement; and, in this regard, urges the concerned members of the international community, who imposed sanctions and other forms of punitive measures on South Sudan to immediately and unconditionally lift them, in order to facilitate the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement and create conducive conditions for socio-economic recovery and development in the country;

14. Reiterates its request for the AU Commission to urgently finalize all necessary instruments for the operationalization of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan and to submit, within two months from the adoption of this communique, a progress report to Council on the issue; and

15. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

Posted by SitroomCom

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South Sudan