November 10, 2019
On the occasion of the meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the Troika wishes to reiterate its commitment to South Sudan. The people of South Sudan want and deserve peace.
We have heard the commitment from all parties to the permanent ceasefire. We expect the parties to make these commitments explicit and public. We have reinforced the fundamental importance of avoiding a return to armed conflict – any outstanding issues should be resolved through dialogue and compromise.
We welcome the fact that President Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar met face to face this week to resolve the many outstanding issues, and hope this will become more regular and include all the signatories of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS). We recognize the region’s leadership, and welcome IGAD’s initiative to bring all the parties back together in Addis. We call on IGAD to regularize the status of Dr. Machar since we believe this would facilitate greater progress.
We are disappointed, however, that the parties chose to delay, for another 100 days, formation of a government of national unity. Responsibility for this delay is shared by all those who have stood in the way of progress, against the wishes of the South Sudanese people.
It is vital that the next 100 days are spent wisely, by implementing practical solutions to the contested issues that are holding back the formation of the new government.
Going forward, it is also important that the parties provide the clarity necessary to allow people across the country to retain confidence in this process.
We expect that the parties used the meetings yesterday to establish clear, achievable, and time-bound benchmarks for the next 100 days. Some of these benchmarks should include, but not be limited to:
- Immediate release of the funding previously promised by the Government for the peace process.
- Clear progress in the creation of the Necessary Unified Forces.
- Inclusion of the agreement in the constitution.
- Interim agreement to address the number of states.
- Inclusion of 35% of women in every level of government as agreed by all the parties in Addis. This along with greater youth representation will build a stronger peace.
We reaffirm our conviction that allowing civil society and the media to engage in discussions about this agreement is essential to ensure sustainable peace and an inclusive government. We urge the government of South Sudan to ensure freedom of the media to ensure that the public is informed.
We also urge IGAD to appoint a new permanent chair of the R-JMEC. We are convinced that the countries in the region are best positioned to work with the parties to find solutions to the conflict, and to hold the parties accountable for their implementation, through IGAD and bilaterally, and within the broader framework of AU and the C5. We look forward to working with them and the parties on the transparent and accountable implementation of the R-ARCSS and emphasize that maintaining the ceasefire is the fundamental requirement for successful implementation of all aspects of the peace process.