November 16, 2018
Troika Intervention at the IGAD Council of Ministers’ Meeting on South Sudan
The following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of the United States, United Kingdom, and Norway.
The members of the Troika (the United States, Norway, and the United Kingdom) welcome the progress that has been made in regard to parts of the revitalized peace agreement signed on September 12. We have seen positive steps. Some key transitional governance bodies have been formed, senior members of opposition parties have returned to Juba, and both government and opposition representatives are participating in the work of the National Pre-Transitional Committee and the National Constitutional Amendment Committee. Members of government and opposition forces have jointly visited previously contested territories. Overall, violence has decreased, and some prisoners of war and political detainees have been released.
This initial progress needs to be built on and consolidated, to increase trust and confidence among South Sudanese and with the international community. Inclusiveness in implementation of the agreement, specifically participation by civil society, women, and displaced populations, will help build peace. The critical pre-transitional bodies, especially the NPTC, need to be empowered to function effectively and drive forward implementation of the peace deal, with South Sudan’s resources clearly used to fund the agreement.
We are deeply concerned that progress is being undermined, however, by continued fighting, which we are seeing in some areas. In Wau and Yei, recent violence has targeted civilians. Humanitarian workers and ceasefire monitors continue to be denied access in parts of the country. The ongoing violence prolongs the suffering of the South Sudanese people, and increases the risk that the current momentum will be lost, key deadlines missed, and implementation falls behind. We urge all parties to uphold their commitments and cooperate on addressing and preventing violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the new peace agreement.
IGAD and its member states have been crucial to the progress made so far. The region’s continued engagement is essential to help this latest agreement deliver a lasting peace. The region must take the lead in encouraging the Government of South Sudan to demilitarize Juba and allow UNMISS complete freedom of movement to execute its mandate in the city. Proposals to augment security in South Sudan should be discussed with the wider international community, be part of an internationally authorized process, and be consistent with the UN arms embargo. We urge IGAD member states to support peace by rigorously implementing the UN Security Council arms embargo and South Sudan sanctions regime, and halting the export and transshipment of prohibited items. Finally, the region must hold the parties to account for ceasefire violations like the ones in Wau. Without this engagement from IGAD, the peace agreement will not hold.
JMEC and CTSAMVM also have a central role to play, and their reconstitution should be completed without delay with leadership that is independent of national interests and empowered to hold the parties to account. It is imperative that their reports, particularly CTSAMVM’s violation reporting, are promptly made available and published in full.
South Sudan’s people have suffered years of appalling violence, particularly women and children. They deserve a chance to live in peace, stability, and prosperity. The Troika are committed to a peaceful South Sudan, and will continue to encourage all South Sudanese and their partners in the region to take the steps needed to achieve peace.