By Sudan Tribune,
THE African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) has reiterated its readiness to impose targeted multilateral sanctions and other punitive measures against any party that fails to honor its commitments and continues to undermine the search for a negotiated solution to South Sudan’s current crisis.
This comes after AUPSC members were briefed by the chairperson of the special envoys of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on the situation in the conflict-hit nation.
The Council, at a meeting held on 21 August, also received statements from the representatives of South Sudan, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Rwanda, France, United Kingdom, United States, the United Nations and European Union.
Recalling an earlier communiqué, the AUPSC reiterated its strong condemnation of the flagrant violations of the ceasefire agreement signed by the warring parties.
It specifically urged South Sudanese parties to immediately put an end to the current fighting and expedite the IGAD-facilitated talks aimed at restoring peace and stability in the country.
Both parties, the Council said, should facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the affected population and ensure the protection of humanitarian aid agencies.
“[The] Council looks forward to the successful convening of the forthcoming IGAD summit on the situation in South Sudan,” the AUPSC said in a communiqué.
Both the EU and US government have already slapped sanctions on military generals from both sides of the conflict over their alleged involvement in the country’s conflict.
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Press Statement of the 451st Meeting of the Peace and Security Council
By African Union,
The Peace and Security Council of the African Union (AU), at its 451st meeting, held on 21 August 2014was briefed by the Chairperson of the Special Envoys of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) for South Sudan, on the situation in that country.
Council also received statements from the representatives of the Republic of South Sudan and the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, in its capacity as the Chair of IGAD, as well as from, the representatives of Nigeria, Rwanda, France, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the United Nations and the European Union.
Council recalled its earlier communiqués and press statements on the situation in South Sudan and, in this regard, expressed its deep concern over the resumption of fighting in South Sudan which continues to cause untold suffering to the South Sudanese population. In this context, Council reiterated its strong condemnation of the flagrant violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreements signed by the Parties.
Council urged the Parties, in the interest of their country and its people, to bring to an immediate end to the current fighting and expedite the IGAD-facilitated Talks aimed at restoring peace in South Sudan.
Council appealed to the Parties to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the affected population and to ensure the protection of humanitarian aid agencies.
Council reiterated its readiness to impose targeted multilateral sanctions and any other forms of punitive measures against any party that fails to honor its commitments and continues to undermine the search for a negotiated solution to the current crisis.
Council looks forward to the successful convening of the forthcoming IGAD Summit on the situation in South Sudan.
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IGAD Summit Delayed until Monday Over Controversial S. Sudan Peace Plan
By Sudan Tribune,
The leaders of African regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), have postponed a summit scheduled for Sunday until Monday after South Sudan’s warring parties contested a peace plan proposed by the mediation team.
The IGAD mediation team, headed by former Ethiopian foreign minister Seyoum Mesfin, have presented a draft agreement between Salva Kiir’s government and Riek Machar’s opposition group.
The regional body, which is tasked with mediating the peace process between the South Sudanese government and Machar’s SPLM in Opposition faction, also postponed the heads of state summit which was due to kick off on Sunday.
The decision was taken after Ethiopian prime minister and chair of the IGAD bloc Hailemariam Desalegn held consultation meetings with the different head of states and delegations who are already in the capital, Addis Ababa, for the summit.
Both Kiir and Machar will attend the summit on Monday, which will bring together heads of state and government from across the region.
Sources at the talks say the controversial proposal calls for an interim government headed by Kiir as president with two deputies and a prime minister position for Riek Machar, also with two deputies.
Another alternative in the draft agreement provides that Kiir remain president, with Machar to be reinstated as vice-president, on the condition that both refrain from running for the presidency in the upcoming elections.
Kiir and Machar have both rejected the clauses, as well as the threat of tough sanctions, which are supported by the UN Security Council (UNSC), should they fail to accept the proposed peace plan.
Observers said the leaders’ rejection of the IGAD imposed proposal throw into question the regional body’s ability to mediate in the ongoing conflict.
Rebels earlier demanded that Kiir step aside, accusing him of inciting the violence and overseeing the massacre of thousands of ethnic Nuers who elected him to office, saying he was no longer a legitimate president.
Machar and his group argue that a mere power-sharing agreement imposed on the two parties by IGAD without addressing the root causes of the conflict is meaningless and would unravel in a short time, plunging the country back into another crisis.
Kiir on the other hand said he would remain the president, arguing that he was elected by the people.
The South Sudanese president has only provided for a second vice-president position to accommodate Machar until the next elections.
Meanwhile, international pressure, particularly from the US, is mounting on the two warring parties and IGAD to bring the conflict to a speedy end, amid growing mistrust among the rival South Sudanese leaders.
Tens of thousands of people have been killed while 1.5 million have been displaced internally and to neighbouring countries since conflict erupted in mid-December last year following a political dispute in South Sudan’s ruling party.
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IGAD Condemns the Death of Monitor in South Sudan
IGAD condemns the death of one of its ceasefire monitors in Bentiu in the hands of forces allied to the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO). The monitors who are part of the eight verification teams had landed in the Unity State town for their routine inspection mission before being arrested and marched to unknown destination.
“The violators of the cessation of hostilities agreement and those responsible for the death will bear the consequences”, said Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin, the Chairman of the IGAD Mediation Team, briefing the media before the start of the Extra Ordinary Summit on South Sudan in Addis Ababa.
The Summit of IGAD Heads of State and Government is expected to decide on the way forward and also spell out the punitive measures indicated in its communiqué of 10 June 2014. “We cannot continue to treat this matter with velvet gloves as the credibility of the summit is on the line,” the special envoy reiterated.
Amb. Seyoum further pointed out that a humanitarian crisis looms in South Sudan due to lack of food productivity during the prolonged conflict. “The people and leaders of South Sudan and the region, as well as the international community, have to do everything possible to avert it.