The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 510th meeting held on 22 May 2015, in Swakopmund, Namibia, was briefed by the Commission on the recent developments on the situation in South Sudan.

Council expressed its extreme concern at the further deterioration of the situation in South Sudan, including the escalation of hostilities and the deepening of the grave humanitarian situation prevailing on the ground. Council expressed deep concern that, in recent days, the parties to the civil war in South Sudan have, again, abandoned the path of seeking a peaceful negotiated settlement to the civil war that is tearing apart their country. Council noted that the people of South Sudan have already been devastated by war, and that the current escalation threatens to unleash irreversible consequences for this young nation. 

Council reiterated the AU’s deep disappointment over the failure of the leaders of the belligerent parties in South Sudan to rise above personal and factional political interests and put the national interest and well-being of their people first. Council strongly condemned the resumption of hostilities in South Sudan and the untold suffering inflicted on the civilian population, in total disregard of International Humanitarian Law. Council stressed that these actions are wholly contrary to the expressed will of the AU, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the United Nations (UN) and the international community as a whole. 

Council underlined the particular relevance of its previous communiqués and press statements expressing its determination, in coordination with IGAD, to take the necessary measures against any party that fails to honor its commitments and continues to undermine the search for a negotiated solution, as well as of resolution 2206 (2015) of 3 March 2015, through which the UN Security Council decided to impose targeted sanctions, in order to support the search for an inclusive and sustainable peace in South Sudan. In this regard, Council called for urgent steps by the Sanctions Committee, established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015), to designate individuals and entities subject to the measures provided for therein. Council requested the UN Security Council to urgently consider the immediate imposition of an arms embargo on the belligerents. 

Council reiterated the AU’s commitment to extend full support to the IGAD mediation efforts in South Sudan, notably through the early operationalization of the AU High-Level ad hoc Committee, established by the Peace and Security Council in December 2014, and other related measures. Council appealed to the Member States and the larger international community to urgently provide the much-needed humanitarian assistance to alleviate the plight of the civilian population. 

Council agreed to convene soon a meeting to consider the situation in South Sudan.

Posted by Tchioffo Kodjo

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South Sudan Namibia