An extract from the Communique of the 55th Extra-ordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, January 30 – 31, 2016, focusing solely on the Councils recommendations for South Sudan.
Note: Formatting is faithful to the IGAD communique which can be read in the original here.
On South Sudan:
1. Welcomes the commencement of the work of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) and the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC), but notes the limited progress to date in most aspects of the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS).
2. Further welcomes the agreement between the Parties on the selection of ministerial portfolios and the Parties’ continued compliance with the Permanent Ceasefire in most parts of greater Upper Nile, given the fragility of the security situation throughout the country.
3. Appreciates the ongoing support by partners and friends of South Sudan to address humanitarian needs and support the implementation of ARCSS, and calls for their continued commitment to support South Sudan throughout the process of the implementation of the agreement.
4. Commends the Chairperson of JMEC for his tireless efforts to implement the Agreement, reiterates its full support for the Terms of Reference of JMEC while reaffirming the need for consultations between the Chair and IGAD regional leaders.
5. Expresses concern at the ongoing violence in Western Equatoria and Western Bahr el Ghazal, and demands that the Parties take all necessary actions to ensure that the Permanent Ceasefire is fully respected.
6. Appalled by the deterioration in the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, and demands immediate action by the Parties to ensure unconditional humanitarian access across the country to avert further crisis and tragedy.
7. Concerned by the recent decision of the Government of South Sudan to implement the October 2, 2015 Presidential Decree on the creation of 28 new states, given that such action is inconsistent with the terms of ARCSS. However, Council underlined that this should not delay the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and urges the rapid formation of the TGoNU to enable dialogue on this matter.
8. Notes the continued absence from JMEC and other transitional institutions of political parties not aligned with the Government, urges all Parties to participate in the institutions, and calls upon the Government of South Sudan to facilitate the unimpeded participation of all Parties in these institutions, including in the Transitional National Legislative Assembly, as provided for in the Agreement.
9. Demands the full and unconditional implementation of the Agreement by the Parties.
10. Calls on the Parties to immediately implement, by no later than the first week of February 2016, the first phase of the Transitional Security Arrangements for Juba in order to provide for the establishment, without further delay, of the TGoNU.
11. Further calls on the Parties comprising the TGoNU to immediately embark on addressing the humanitarian, economic, and security challenges that the country faces once the new government is formed.
12. Urges the Parties, subsequent to the formation of the TGoNU at national level, in the absence of agreement on the creation of new states, to suspend further action on implementing the operationalization of new states until an inclusive, participatory National Boundary Commission comprising all Parties to ARCSS reviews proposed states and their boundaries, and that this review process occur, for a period of up to one month.
13. Indicates to the Parties that in the event there are outstanding disputes at the end of the boundary commission review process, the Parties should revert to the provisions of the Agreement.
14. Calls on the Parties to incorporate the Agreement into the transitional constitution as signed, but confirms that the TGoNU can be formed on the basis of ARCSS, and the provisions which render it supreme to the constitution.
15. Calls on the African Union Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to affirm their commitment to supporting JMEC and the Agreement, including their willingness to support consequences, should the Parties further fail or refuse to implement the Agreement, and asks the AUPSC and the UNSC to review the progress made in implementation within two weeks of this meeting.