3 July 2018

South Sudan: Statement on Peace Talks

The following is a joint statement issued by the Governments of the United Kingdom, the United States of America and Norway.

The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) commend the Intergovernmental Authority on Development's (IGAD) efforts to drive forward the South Sudan peace process, and take note of the Khartoum Declaration of Agreement Between Parties of the Conflict of South Sudan agreed between President Salva Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar, and other opposition parties in Khartoum on June 27.  We welcome the Government of Sudan's role in hosting the latest round of discussions.

We hope that the principles outlined in the declaration will help to build confidence between the parties and guide the difficult discussions that must follow to reach a credible and comprehensive wider agreement.

While we welcome the renewed commitment to a ceasefire, all sides must stop fighting now - that is the only secure foundation upon which any agreement can be built.  The effects of the renewed commitment to a permanent ceasefire must be seen on the ground.  It must allow the return of South Sudan's refugees and displaced people, and the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance. It must lead to improved security for communities and an end to the horrendous abuses endured by civilians at the hands of security forces. "Self-monitoring" will not be sufficient to assess adherence to the ceasefire. The Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM) must continue to play a central role, with full access throughout the country and support in publishing timely reports.

The new ceasefire does not negate the need to respond to the continued and repeated serious violations by all sides of the December 2017 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA).  We will continue to seek measures at the UN Security Council to return the region to peace and security, including consequences for spoilers to the peace process.  The International Community therefore stands ready to support action by IGAD and the African Union to signal an end to impunity by delivering punitive measures against those responsible.

The parties must work to solidify this agreement.  They need robust security and enforcement mechanisms, inclusion of a wide range of constituencies, and clear limits to executive power. There is a need for specific and realistic benchmarks throughout the transitional period, which lead to free and fair elections that allow for a peaceful transition in leadership in the most expeditious and responsible manner. The international community will encourage any oil arrangement to include transparency and accountability and ensure that new oil revenues directly benefit the South Sudanese people, rather than fuel more conflict.

All this will be critical to ensure that the failures of past agreements are not repeated and the confidence of international donors is secured. We appreciate IGAD's ongoing efforts and look forward to further progress in the next phase of talks.

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Africa Regional Media Hub

United States Department of State

Johannesburg, South Africa

Website: www.state.gov/africamediahub

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