The following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Norway and delivered by UK Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan Ambassador Chris Trott.
The members of the Troika (the United Kingdom, United States, and Norway) welcome the commitment of the region to come together to address common peace and security priorities for the benefit of its citizens. We must seize this broader regional momentum to secure peace for the people of South Sudan.
The Troika acknowledges the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan and recognises the role IGAD played in this process. We hope discussions will remain open to those who are not yet convinced of the sustainability of this agreement.
We remain concerned about the parties’ level of commitment to this agreement, and to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed in Addis Ababa in December. In Wau, for example, military offensives have been undertaken since the signing of the most recent ceasefire. The ceasefire monitoring teams were denied timely access to assess the impact of this most recent violence, but it is certain that it has resulted in civilian deaths. Humanitarian access continues to be blocked both physically and bureaucratically, with humanitarian workers expelled, detained and physically harmed. This year, as the talks have been progressing in Addis Ababa and Khartoum, 13 humanitarian workers have been killed in South Sudan.
The Troika is committed to peace in South Sudan. But in order to be convinced of the parties’ commitment, we will need to see a significant change in their approach. This must include, but not be limited to: an end to violence and full humanitarian access; the release of political prisoners; and a real commitment to effective and accountable implementation, demonstrated by supporting robust security and enforcement mechanisms, checks on executive and majority power, and the transparent use of resources for the benefit of all South Sudanese. Without progress in these critical areas, we remain concerned the agreement will not deliver the peace that the people of South Sudan deserve.
To ensure success, regional partners will need to maintain their engagement and play a positive role in the agreement’s implementation. Their involvement in monitoring progress and holding the parties to account is crucial. This means publicly highlighting any violations by the parties, and ensuring those responsible face consequences. We call on regional partners to support the rigorous implementation of the United Nations Security Council sanctions and arms embargo. Specifically, any movement of military forces, weapons, or related material into South Sudan must not violate that embargo.
I would like to close with a message for the people of South Sudan. The Troika’s priority has always been to work for peace. We remain committed to accompany South Sudan on its path toward justice, liberty, and prosperity.