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The Peace and Security Council of the African Union, at its 440th meeting held in Addis Ababa, on 12 June 2014, adopted a decision on the situation in South Sudan

By African Union Commission (AUC)
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ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, June 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Peace and Security Council of the African Union, at its 440th meeting held in Addis Ababa, on 12 June 2014, adopted the following decision on the situation in South Sudan:


1. Takes note of the statement made by the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security and the briefing provided by Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, the Chair of the Team of Special Envoys of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Council also takes note of the statement made by the representative of the Government of the Republic of South Sudan, as well as by those of the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU)and Nigeria and Rwanda in their capacity as African members of the UN Security Council, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, in their capacity as permanent members of the Security Council;

2. Recalls its earlier communiqués and press statements on the situation in South Sudan;

3. Commends the IGAD Chairperson, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn, and the other leaders of the region for their continued commitment and determination in finding a lasting solution to the conflict in South Sudan. Council also expresses appreciation to the IGAD Mediation Team led by Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin and comprising General Lazaro Sumbeiywo and General Mohammed Ahmed Moustafa El Dabi, for its relentless efforts;

4. Notes with satisfaction the progress made in the operationalization of the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM), including the deployment of the Monitoring and Verification Teams (MVTs) to Bentiu, Bor, Malakal and Nasser, and looks forward to the planned deployment of MVTs in twenty other sites. Council urges the Commission to provide the necessary support to this effect;

5. Further notes with satisfaction the adoption by the UN Security Council, on 27 May 2014, of resolution 2155 (2014) that extended and enhanced both the mandate and strength of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), including the deployment of three battalions with additional responsibility for protecting IGAD's MVM, as well as implementing the Mission's overall mandate. Council calls on the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) to the protection force provided for in resolution 2155 (2014) to take all necessary steps towards the expeditious deployment of the required troops. Council further urges the UN to take all necessary steps to facilitate the deployment of the protection force. Council demands that the Parties immediately facilitate the full implementation of, and cooperation with, UNMISS and its protection force, as well as the MVM, in the discharge of their respective mandates;

6. Welcomes the signing on 9 May 2014, in Addis Ababa, under the auspices of the Chair of IGAD, Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn of Ethiopia, of the Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan between President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the leader of the SPLM/A (in opposition), former Vice President Riek Machar, including the commitment to expedite and complete dialogue on the formation of a transitional Government of National Unity within sixty (60) days, as well as to ensure unhindered humanitarian access to the affected population. Council also welcomes the convening in Addis Ababa, on 6 and 7 June 2014, of the multi-stakeholders symposium to initiate the inclusive phase of the peace process. Council further notes with satisfaction the release of all the political detainees and their participation in the political process;

7. Expresses its deep concern that, in spite of the commitments made by the Parties, both the Government and the SPLM/A in opposition have failed to meaningfully move forward the peace process and bring an end to the senseless killing of innocent civilians. In this respect, Council strongly condemns the continued and flagrant violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreements, as documented by the IGAD MVM, as well as the widespread atrocities and abuses committed by all sides against innocent civilians. Council reiterates AU's concern at the dire humanitarian situation prevailing in South Sudan, as a result of the failure of the parties to live up to their commitments;

8. Demands that the warring Parties immediately stop fighting, fully implement their commitments and display the required political will to advance the political process. In this respect, Council welcomes the communiqué adopted by the 26th Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government on the situation in South Sudan, held in Addis Ababa on 10 June 2014. Council reiterates its readiness, upon recommendation by IGAD, to immediately take targeted sanctions and other measures against any party that continues to undermine the search for a solution to the conflict and fails to honor its commitments;

9. Reaffirms the need for the peace process to be inclusive in order to facilitate a lasting solution to the crisis and stresses the need for all Parties to refrain from any action that may undermine the search for inclusivity;

10. Welcomes the steps already taken by the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan in investigating human rights violations and other abuses committed during the armed conflict. Council reiterates its call to all the Parties to extend full cooperation to the Commission, and looked forward to the submission, in due course, of its report and recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities;

11. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.