The members of the Troika (the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway) are gravely concerned with the continued lack of progress in the South Sudan peace negotiations.
We commend the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the IGAD Special Envoys for their steadfast commitment to the peace process, and welcome the strong message from People’s Republic of China Foreign Minister Wang Yi calling on the parties to make peace. We recall IGAD’s determination, as articulated in its summit communiqué of January 31, 2014, to inclusive negotiations toward an agreement that addresses necessary reforms to the security sector and economic governance, creates institutions for justice and accountability, catalyzes a revived permanent constitutional process, and forms a transitional government leading to credible elections.
IGAD has made every effort to realise these goals despite obstruction from both the government of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - In Opposition (SPLM-IO). We are deeply disappointed in the continued unwillingness of either party to make the compromises needed to achieve a viable peace agreement. Over the past two months, statements by both parties have suggested they have distanced themselves from previous commitments, and violations of the cessation of hostilities agreement have continued. We call on both parties to recommit to negotiate with a spirit of urgency and compromise, refrain from all further military action immediately and form a Transitional Government of National Unity.
We look forward to guidance from the African Union Peace and Security Council, convened in the margins of the African Union Summit in January, on how the report of the AU Commission of Inquiry will be used to support the peace process and inform the development of mechanisms for accountability and reconciliation in South Sudan.
Furthermore, we reiterate our determination to address the grave humanitarian situation in South Sudan. Today, over a year after the beginning of the conflict, nearly 2 million South Sudanese have been displaced, over 100,000 are under the direct protection of the UN Mission in South Sudan, and the country remains at risk of a food security crisis. Along with other international donors, we will continue to stand with the people of South Sudan who are needlessly suffering as a result of this conflict.
We recognize the recent agreement in Arusha, Tanzania to reconcile the SPLM and encourage the parties to use the upcoming IGAD summit of 29 January to secure peace for the people of South Sudan. In the face of this deplorable humanitarian crisis, there can be no excuse for further delay in negotiations or for continued violence.
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