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European Union calls to cease hostilities in South Sudan’s Equatoria

UNMISS military convoy escorting ceasefire monitors in Kajo-Keji on 16 January 2018 (UNMISS photo)
February 18, 2019 (JUBA) - European Union Delegation in South Sudan Monday condemned the violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement and called to stop the recurrent clashes in the Equatoria region.

Recent reports by the ceasefire monitoring mechanism say clashes between the government army SSPDF and the National Salvation Front (NAS) continue in Yei and Amadi states. Also, the holdout rebel group accused Juba of attacks on its positions, pointing to the increasing displacement of civilians.

The EU Delegation "follows with deep concern the ongoing violence in Yei River and Amadi States and condemns violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan which have taken place, as confirmed by the ceasefire monitoring body CTSAMVM".

The statement pointed to the negative impact on civilians including the killing and displacement of villagers as well as the denial of humanitarian access to the affected areas.

UNHCR estimates that over 5,000 civilians have been forced to flee to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and an additional 6,000 internally displaced persons have been registered by the government in Yei town.

The statement further called on the warring parties to cease the fighting and military preparations immediately and to resume talks for a political solution.

The EU Delegation "calls on all the parties to cease hostilities and military preparations immediately, to step up efforts to come to a political solution and to take all possible action to ensure the safety of civilians, their freedom of movement, and to ensure unhindered access to humanitarian actors, UNMISS and CTSAMVM,".

"All parties should implement the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan in a timely manner and in good faith," stressed the EU diplomatic mission in Juba.

The IGAD has decided to bring to holdout groups in Greater Equatoria into the revitalized peace agreement. But, the latter call to open the peace agreement for additional talks and to give the regions more autonomy.

The IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan met with the non-signatory groups last December but he didn’t announce further steps.

(ST)