The text of the following statement was issued jointly by the Heads of Mission of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Norway:
The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) condemn the breaking up of a meeting of youth leaders in Juba for a briefing on the results of the second round of the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) in Addis Ababa. National Security Service agents forced the participants to end the February 21 meeting prematurely. This kind of action to intimidate civil society and limit the flow of information surrounding the peace process is unacceptable and counterproductive. We note the participants were meeting with the Forum’s Youth Representative, an officially recognized stakeholder of the HLRF and signatory to the December 21 Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) Agreement.
The Troika reiterates the critical importance of the HLRF parties creating a conducive environment for peacemaking. We once again call on all parties to make good on their promises to implement the CoH, which includes provisions on protecting the rights of civilians and ensuring the protection of civil society.
South Sudan’s people deserve peace. We urge the Government of South Sudan to respect the rights of its citizens and recognize the positive role of civil society groups.