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AU threatens sanctions on defiant South Sudanese warring parties

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June 14, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – The African Union’s (AU) Peace and Security Council (PSC) in a strongly worded statement has threatened to take measures against any warring party in South Sudan that will continue to defy continental and international peace efforts aimed to end the 18-month long civil war in the country.

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President Salva Kiir (L) and rebel leader Riek Machar (R) attend the signing a ceasefire agreement during an IGAD summit on the South Sudan crisis in Addis Ababa on 1 February 2015 (Photo: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

This came in a communique released on Saturday, 13 June, in Johannesburg, South Africa, in its 515th meeting at the level of AU’s heads of state and government following reports presented to the council by both chairpersons of the AU’s Commission and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on the general situation in South Sudan.

The resolution urged the sanctions committee to begin to designate individuals and entities responsible for the perpetuation of the war in accordance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2206 (2015) with the aim of taking action against them.

“Recalls its previous pronouncements on the need to take the necessary measures, in coordination with IGAD, against any party that fails to honour its commitments and continues to undermine the search for “a negotiated solution” to the conflict, in line with UN Security Council resolution 2206 (2015) of 3 March 2015,” partly reads the resolutions.

“In this regard, Council calls 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, and reaffirms all the other steps agreed upon in press statement PSC/PR/BR.(DX),” it says.

The council further requested the chairperson of the AU Commission to take the necessary follow-up measures, including formally communicating the decision to the UN Secretary-General and, through him, to the UN Security Council.

Earlier, United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution on sanctions regime on South Sudan which would include travel bans and assets freeze on individuals as well as arms embargo to be imposed on the country.

The AU also resolved to convene a ministerial-level meeting by mid-July 2015, to consider the report of the AU Commission of Inquiry which investigated crimes committed by the warring parties, with sources close to the meeting telling Sudan Tribune that the report, which implicates leaders in the crimes including the Juba massacre of December 2013, will likely be released in mid-July per recent decisions in Johannesburg.

The resolutions expressed deep concern on the prevailing situation in South Sudan, marked by continued fighting and attacks against civilians, as well as by a dire humanitarian crisis, including forced displacement, acute food insecurity, access restrictions and other impediments to humanitarian assistance.

The AU’s peace and security council “strongly condemns the ceasefire violations committed by the parties, as reported by the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM), as well as the attacks and other egregious acts of violence and abuses of human rights against civilians, including during the fighting in Upper Nile and Unity States in the months of April and May 2015.”

“Council further condemns in the strongest terms the attacks and other acts of violence and harassment targeting the humanitarian agencies and their personnel and assets. Council commends the humanitarian agencies for their continued assistance to the affected populations and, once again, urges all concerned actors to fully cooperate with them,” urges the resolutions.

It also condemned all restrictions and other acts obstructing the implementation of the mandates of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), reiterating its full support to the IGAD Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) and UNMISS, and demanded that the belligerents in the war extended full cooperation to them to facilitate the discharge of their respective mandates.

The council also registered disappointment over what it said was the continued failure and unwillingness of the leaders of the warring parties to make a compromise and reach an agreement to end the conflict and the untold suffering inflicted on their own people.

“Council stresses that the continuation of hostilities, in total disregard of the suffering of the people, is tantamount to the abdication by the South Sudanese leaders of their most fundamental responsibility to their own people,” it charged.

It however welcomed steps taken in implementation of the Arusha intraparty roadmap agreement under the auspices of the Tanzanian ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), which sought to reunify three factions of the ruling Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) as a complementary to the ongoing IGAD-mediated comprehensive peace process in Addis Ababa.

No date was yet announced for resumption of the peace talks in Addis Ababa in order to negotiate a final peace agreement.

A draft peace agreement proposal by IGAD to end the war was rejected by the two warring parties led by president Salva Kiir and armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, due to varying observations in the power-sharing agreement.

Both president Kiir and opposition leader Machar attended the AU summit in South Africa.

(ST)

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  • 15 June 2015 09:14, by Akol Liai Mager

    AU’ urgent task right now is arresting Omar Al-Bashir the fugitive and hand him over to Hague’s based ICC. Its aimed at a soft target and the mass killer enjoys AU’ protection. What a World we live in in Africa?

    repondre message

  • 15 June 2015 09:36, by dinkdong

    You fools have been threatening for awhile now. Why don’t you do it already for the sake of thousands that have died and thousands more of innocence civilians that are still to die.

    repondre message

    • 15 June 2015 09:39, by dinkdong

      Hit Kiir and Riek with tough sanctions!

      repondre message

  • 15 June 2015 10:59, by paweetdit

    Sanction is not the best way of solving south Sudan problem, rather than engaging them to face - face dialog.

    repondre message

    • 15 June 2015 13:44, by hamil

      @Paweetdit

      These two were brought together face to face but nothing positive came out even after signing ceasefire agreements they breached those agreements on several occassions. It has all become a blame game and a show of superiority the positive note is that the proposed sanctions are meant for individuals but not the entire Nation of South Sudan

      repondre message

  • 15 June 2015 12:13, by William Atak Garang.

    AU & ICC should know the better option to the people of S. Sudan is peace rather than continuation of War within the State. if the individuals are not interesting in peace, they has to be held accountable instead of the Country to collapse.

    repondre message

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