April 23, 2021
TO: The South Sudan Transitional Government of National Unity
President Salva Kiir
First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar
Vice President Hussein Abdelbagi
Vice President James Wani Igga
Vice President Taban Deng Gai
Vice President Rebecca Nyandeng Garang
A letter of concern and a call to action from members of the Troika, Canada, France, Germany and the European Union:
On 9 July 2021, South Sudan will celebrate ten years since gaining independence. Independence was hailed as a path to a better life for the people of South Sudan, one that would bring lasting peace, freedom, and opportunities. We collectively praise the continued courage, strength, and patience of the people of South Sudan in their pursuit of this vision.
Over the last ten years, however, conflict, humanitarian crises, and instability have impeded the achievement of these important objectives. Durable peace, stability and development remain elusive. Implementation of the revitalised peace agreement has been too slow. Much work remains to be done to ensure the full and collegial implementation of power sharing provisions and the establishment of functioning governance structures.
As we approach the 10 year anniversary of independence, the time is right for all of South Sudan’s leaders to come together to address the multiple challenges that are facing their people. Decisions and actions by the unified government, made in the best interests of the people of South Sudan, will help to achieve the original objectives of independence.
The undersigned Members of the Troika, Canada, France, Germany and the European Union have provided sustained political and financial support since independence and we remain committed to continuing to work with the South Sudanese people and the Unity Government. We believe further progress in addressing South Sudan’s challenges requires a renewed and sincere commitment by all members of the Unity Government. We therefore call upon the Unity Government to:
- Take immediate and effective measures to protect humanitarian workers and enable sustained and unhindered access for their efforts to provide relief to those who are experiencing food insecurity and other humanitarian needs;
- Work with newly appointed Governors to de-escalate subnational conflicts and to hold accountable those responsible for perpetuating violence; to engage in dialogue directly, in conjunction with state and local officials, with those involved in such conflicts; and to make public the actions the Governors and state and local officials are taking;
- Demonstrate public commitment to implement economic reforms consistent with Chapter IV of the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS), including demonstrating accountability for oil and non-oil revenues, publishing audited government financial statements and timely, transparent and accountable annual budgets with increased spending on service delivery and programs that benefit South Sudan’s citizens, and empowering the Public Financial Management Oversight Committee and Technical Committee and working to ensure successful reviews under the Staff Monitored Programme agreed with the IMF;
- Take immediate efforts to end ceasefire and cessation of hostilities agreement violations;
- Reconstitute the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and Council of States and expedite the operationalization of State Governments (Cabinet, State Assemblies, County Commissioners etc.) including by providing them with the necessary financial means to operate;
- Prioritize the 35 percent female representation requirement as stipulated in R-ARCSS;
- Agree to hold regular, documented meetings between the Presidency, Council of Ministers and state governments;
- Establish and equip the transitional justice institutions set forth in Chapter V of the R-ARCSS;
- Sign without delay the MoU with the AU to establish the Hybrid Court for South Sudan, start its effective establishment, and set up the Commission for Truth, Reconciliation and Healing and the Compensation and Reparation Authority through broad-based consultation;
- Reconstitute, restructure, and resource critical national level transitional institutions and mechanisms;
- Implement the Transitional Security Arrangements, in particular:
1) agreement on Necessary Unified Force (NUF) including agreement on headquarters command structure of all organized forces.
2) improvement of conditions in training centres, and
3) urgently start graduation and deployment of the NUF, according to a realistic graduation and deployment plan – (as called for by IGAD on January 21, 2021).
- Agree and offer a credible Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration plan that is financially feasible and that could be initiated through a Community Violence Reduction Program.
- Initiate and oversee a permanent Constitution-making process, with broad-based public consultations; strengthen the electoral commission and begin preparations for holding inclusive, free and fair elections in accordance with the provisions of the R-ARCSS.
Canadian Ambassador to the Republic of South Sudan Jenny Hill
European Union Special Representative for the Horn of Africa, Alexander Rondos
French Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Jean-Michel Dumond
Germany Director for Sub-Saharan-Africa and the Sahel Robert Doelger
Norwegian Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Endre Stiansen
United Kingdom Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan, Robert Fairweather
United States Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Donald Booth