South-Sudan : the UNSC must take immediate action against those who stand in the way of peace !

FIDH regrets that a consensus over a peace deal is yet to be reached between all parties to the conflict in South Sudan, after President Salva Kiir’s decision not to sign the agreement mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and calls upon all the stakeholders to pursue the efforts to put and end to the conflict without any further delay.

In the meantime, FIDH urges the member-states of the UN Security Council to exert more pressure on the South-Sudanese parties and adopt the draft resolution tabled by the United-States on August 19, 2015, calling for an arms embargo and further individual sanctions against those who continue to stand in the way of peace, including leaders and decision-makers, if South Sudan’s government does not sign the peace deal by September 1st.

« The Government of South-Sudan is buying time as they are now requesting further internal consultation before making any decision about signing the peace deal. According to information received from the field, we are extremely worried that the SPLM will organize protests against provisions of the proposed peace deal, which may incite to more violence and bloodshed in the next days. The Security Council must act quickly. » declared Karim Lahidji, FIDH President.

FIDH is also calling upon South-Sudan’s neighbouring countries as well as African regional institutions to support UNSC’s positive moves in that respect, especially since the arms embargo should help reinforce a regional environment that is more inviting to a political solution.

In addition, those regional states should be consistent with their genuine concern about consequences for their own security in case the situation in South-Sudan further deteriorates, and commit to enforce an arm embargo, should the resolution be adopted by the UNSC.

With respect to the content of the peace agreement that IGAD proposed on August 17th, FIDH deplores that the provisions related to the establishment of accountability mechanisms have been significantly weakened compared to the previous draft presented to the parties in July.

« The section of the Agreement establishing a hybrid court is very vague: there is no indication on how, when and for how long the Court should be established, the oversight mechanism which existed in the July draft has been removed, the way the African Union’s Commission of Inquiry report will be used by Prosecutors is unclear and there is no longer mention of any involvment of the UN in the establishment and functioning of the Court. We would like some clarification on this last point in particular, since we believe the effectiveness of this Court requires a strong mandate and the support of both the AU and the UN, alongside national actors » said Drissa Traore, FIDH Vice-President.

FIDH recalls that thousands of civilians have already been killed in the conflict, in many cases targeted for their ethnicity or perceived political allegiances. An estimated 1.9 million people have been displaced, thousands of refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, and massive looting and burning by both government and opposition forces has left towns and rural areas destroyed and abandoned.

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