“Pursue robust & diplomatic efforts to engage South Sudan’s leaders” – IR urges UN, IGAD and donor countries

 

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The Emblem of the Refugees International (Credit: IR)

October 4th 2019 (Nyamilepedia)-Refugees International (IR), an international humanitarian organization, has urged the United Nations, IGAD member states and donor countries to continue to make a strong and coordinated diplomatic effort to engage South Sudanese leaders as the formation of a Transitional Government of National Unity draws closer.

To the UN, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) donor countries;

“Pursue a robust, coordinated, diplomatic effort to engage South Sudan’s leaders toward creation of a transitional government by the new deadline of November 12, 2019 and further implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).”

The global advocacy group urged the international community and the region to ensure the safety of the SPLM-IO Chairman, Dr. Riek Machar, before returning permanently to Juba without fear for his life.

This implementation should include the following;

 

  •  “Engaging Salva Kiir and Riek Machar directly, including facilitating the safe permanent return of Machar to South Sudan and prioritizing efforts at cantonment, integration of forces, and political settlement of the issue of states and borders within South Sudan.

 

  •  Establishing clear consequences for failure to implement key elements of the peace agreement, such as targeted sanctions aimed at South Sudan’s leaders, including travel bans and asset freezes.”

The Refugees International called on the UN and IGAD countries to exert pressure on South Sudan government to immediately disburse funding for the speedy implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement.

 

  •  “Pressuring the current government to make good on its pledge to provide $100 million to implement the peace process, with priority given to funding for cantonment and integration of forces.

 

  • Conditioning further funding of measures of importance to the parties, such as cantonment and demobilization of some troops and training of others, on the demonstrated commitment and tangible progress in the peace agreement made by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the opposition.”

Pushing the current government to accept external assistance on housing, land, and property (HLP) issues.

 

  • “Continue to expand services in areas of return, but in a manner that does not force IDPs in PoCs to choose between protection and services.
  • Support further analysis by UN and NGO actors on the issues of population movements, intentions, and barriers to returns to better plan for returns and avoid manipulation of those returns for political purposes.
  • Fully fund the efforts laid out in the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (calling for $1.5 billion in aid and currently funded at just 46 percent) and sustain high levels of humanitarian aid.”

The statement seen by Nyamilepedia called on the Commission of Human Rights on South Sudan, mandated by the UN Human Rights Council, to investigate the ethnic dislocation taking place in the country and specifically, the United States should reappoint a special envoy for South Sudan, with experience and stature in the region and who enjoys White House backing.

Pointing out that, “The envoy should prioritize support for the peace process and combatting aid manipulation and ethnic dislocation.”

The advocacy group, press on South Sudan’s government to implement all provisions of the peace deal, this includes disarmament, demobilization and integration of forces into a unified national army.

TO THE GOVERNMENT OF SOUTH SUDAN AND OPPOSITION LEADERS;

Implement unfulfilled aspects of the peace agreement, including use of the $100 million pledged by the current government, with a priority for the following:

  • Cantonment of soldiers in agreed-upon sites and initiation of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration programs.
  •  Integration of forces to reflect ethnic diversity and reduce the overall number of soldiers in a new unified army.
  • Settlement of the number and boundaries of states in a manner that avoids disenfranchisement of ethnic minorities.
  • Meet at the highest levels, including regular in-person meetings between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar, to reach a political agreement on Machar’s permanent return to Juba.
  • Establish a special court for adjudicating HLP issues arising in the context of ethnic dislocation taking place in towns like Malakal and Wau.

Finally, the statement called for rapid establishment of the hybrid court to try those accused of committing heinous crimes against the civilian population.

“Promote accountability for atrocities committed during the civil war by establishing the hybrid African Union-South Sudanese court that the peace agreement called for to try those responsible for crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

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