20 September 2016, Brussels – Declaration by the High Representative, Federica Mogherini, on behalf of the European Union concerning South Sudan
July’s events in South Sudan continue to loom large. During the fighting in July, hundreds lost their lives and atrocious acts of sexual violence were committed. Those responsible must be brought to justice. The EU calls for investigations to be opened into all crimes committed during the most recent fighting with a view to the prosecution of those responsible. In this context, the EU reiterates its call for the rapid establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan.
The EU welcomes UN Security Council Resolution 2304 (2016) which extended the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until 15 December 2016 and authorised the deployment of a regional protection force, as part of UNMISS, with the responsibility of providing a secure environment. Swift deployment of this force is an important step to help ensure peace and stability in South Sudan.
The EU welcomes the spirit of co-operation demonstrated by the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan in the joint communiqué issued after the visit of the UN Security Council to Juba on 2-4 September. The commitments made in the joint communiqué, including to work with UNMISS and with the regional protection force, must be fully implemented by the Transitional Government.
The EU commends the continuous engagement on this issue by the African Union and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the responsible stance of neighbouring countries during recent events. The EU reiterates its call on all South Sudanese parties to implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in good faith. The EU remains ready to impose sanctions against any individual responsible for undermining the peace process in South Sudan, and – noting that the EU has long maintained an arms embargo on South Sudan – supports the UN Security Council’s willingness to consider additional measures, including an arms embargo, should obstruction of UNMISS continue.
The EU recalls that humanitarian action is independent and neutral, and is provided solely on the basis of the immense needs of the most vulnerable South Sudanese. The EU urges the Transitional Government of National Unity to adhere to its obligations under International Humanitarian Law to facilitate rapid and unimpeded relief to all South Sudanese affected by the conflict, regardless of ethnic, tribal or political affiliations and to ensure full respect for all organisations providing humanitarian relief and their staff.
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