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COMMUNIQUE

Adopted by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU) at its 990th meetingon 13 April 2021 on the theme: “Consideration of the Report of the PSC Field Mission to South Sudan, conducted from 24 to 26 March 2021”.

The Peace and Security Council,

Taking note of the opening remarks made by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Djibouti to the AU and Chairperson of the PSC for April 2021, H.E. Ambassador Mohammed Idriss Farah, as well as by the AU Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security; also taking note of the presentation of the Report of the PSC Field Mission to South Sudan presented by H.E. Ambassador Jean Njeri Kamau, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Kenya to the AU and PSC Chairperson for March 2021;

Mindful of the AU Commitment as a guarantor of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS;

Reaffirming the AU solidarity with the people and the Government of South Sudan in their aspirations to restore peace, stability and development in their country, and also reaffirming the commitment of the AU to respect the sovereignty, political independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of South Sudan;

Recalling its decisions and pronouncements on the situation in South Sudan, particularly Communique [PSC/PR/COMM. (CMXLV)] adopted at its 945th meeting held on 15 September 2020; and

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

1. Welcomes the steady progress in the implementation of the R-ARCSS, in particularly difficult circumstances and, in this regard, commends all parties to the R-ARCSS for their patriotism and commitment to give peace a chance and encourages them to persevere;

2. Commends, in particular, H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice-President Dr. Riek Machar for placing the supreme interests of the country and its people above all else, for demonstrating the required leadership, for forming the R-TGoNU, as well as for peacefully resolving their differences, including in relation to the governorship of the Upper Nile State and encourages them to continue to build on the established momentum in implementing all outstanding provisions of the R-ARCSS, particularly, reconstituting the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA);

3. Welcomes the ongoing talks with the held out movements, underscore the primacy of dialogue as to only viable approach to peace, and urges them immediately embrace the current peace process without further delays and warn them that any peace spoilers will face justice;

4. Notes with deep concern the dire humanitarian situation in South Sudan and commends the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and all humanitarian agencies working in South Sudan for their continued support to the population in need and appeals to all Member States that are in a position to do so, to also provide humanitarian assistance to the people of South Sudan; underscores the importance of harmonization and coordination of efforts among all actors providing support to South Sudan, in order to avoid duplication of efforts and wastage of resources;

5. Expresses condolences to the families of the deceased, who include humanitarian aid workers, who lost their lives in supporting peace and the people of South Sudan and appeals to the Government of South Sudan to continue to take necessary measures to ensure the protection, safety and security of humanitarian aid agencies;

6. Urges the R-TGoNU to take all possible steps to mobilize the necessary financial resources, from its own national reserves, for the implementation of the R-ARCSS, especially Chapter II relating to transitional security arrangements including, the long overdue graduation and deployment of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUFs), as well as the disarmament, demobilization and re-integration (DDR) programme; in this regard, requests the AU Commission, to work closely with the Government of South Sudan to provide the required support;

7. Encourages the R-TGoNU to expedite the implementation of Chapter V of the R-ARCSS, in particular, the establishment of the Hybrid Court of South Sudan (HCSS), the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation, and Healing (CTRH) and the Compensation and Reparation Authority (CRA), with a view to ending impunity, promoting justice for the victims of human rights violations and abuses, as well as to laying the ground for durable peace and reconciliation in South Sudan; in this regard, reiterates its request to the AU Commission to continue providing support on the implementation of Chapter V of the R-ARCSS;

8. Underscores the importance of timeous preparations for the organization of credible, transparent and democratic elections at the end of the current transition and, in this regard, requests the AU Commission, including through the AU Centre for Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development, to urgently dispatch a technical needs assessment team to comprehensively identify priority areas that require sustained support, as well as to work closely with the R-TGoNU on, among other issues, the drafting of the new constitution for the country and providing the required capacity building support to the national election management body and other relevant institutions, with a view to facilitating a successful completion of the transition process;

9. Emphasizes the important role of women and youth in the South Sudan peace processes, including in efforts aimed at promoting post-conflict reconstruction and development, as well as in peacebuilding, national reconciliation, transitional justice, and in this respect, encourages the South Sudan authorities to abide by the 35% quota stipulated in the R-ARCSS, with a view to guaranteeing and promoting more meaningful participation by women in the transition process;

10. Welcomes the appointment a High-Level peace committee to find durable solutions to intercommunal violence, and, in this context, encourages the committee to expeditiously discharge its mandate in a holistic and comprehensive manner, with a view to promoting lasting peace and stability in the affected parts of the country;

11. Urges the signatories of the Rome Declaration to recommit to the Sant’ Egidio process, including adherence to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of December 2017 and the Rome Declaration, as well as to the January 2020 Resolution;

12. Reiterates its appeal for AU Member States and the larger international community to continue to provide all necessary support towards the full implementation of the R-ARCSS and urges the concerned members of the international community who have imposed sanctions and other forms of punitive measures against South Sudan to immediately and unconditionally lift them, in order to facilitate the implementation of the R-ARCSS and create conducive conditions for socio-economic recovery and development of the country, and in this respect, commends all Member States that have extended financial and material support to the Government of South Sudan, including Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa and appeals to the other Member States to also make contributions in favor of South Sudan, in the spirit of promoting pan-African solidarity;

13. Commends IGAD for its continued efforts in South Sudan, particularly its oversight role in the implementation of the R-ARCSS and encourages it to continue to work in collaboration with the AU and other international partners, including through its Special Envoy, in supporting the peace process in South Sudan; also commends the efforts of the AU High Level Ad Hoc Committee on South Sudan, as well as those of the RJMEC in supporting the implementation of the R-ARCSS;

14. Expresses gratitude to the South Sudanese authorities for finding time to interact with the PSC Delegation during the field mission, as well as to all interlocutors, namely, the African Diplomatic Community, IGAD, R-JMEC, CITSAMVM, UNMISS, the Troika, the representatives of Civil Society Organizations, as well as to UNMISS for providing support for the PSC Delegation;

15. Expresses particular gratitude to the AU Liaison Office in Juba for facilitating the successful conduct of the field mission and commend the efforts of the Liaison Office in effectively promoting the visibility of the AU on the ground; notes with concern, the institutional capacity constraints facing the Office and, in this regard, requests the Chairperson of the Commission to urgently take necessary measures to ensure that the Office is availed with all necessary human, material and financial resources, in order to enable it to more effectively discharge its mandate; and

16. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.

Posted by SitroomCom

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