ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, January 15, 2018/The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, strongly condemn the recent violations of the 21 December 2017 Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access in South Sudan.
They call on all South Sudanese fighting parties to immediately cease all hostilities, desist from undertaking any further military operations, and uphold their commitments to the 21 December 2017 Agreement. They further call on the parties to uphold their primary responsibility to protect civilians, adhere to international human rights and humanitarian law and ensure safe and unhindered humanitarian access.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations underscore the determination of the international and regional community to ensure that the parties abide by their obligations and responsibilities. They affirm their intent to support the imposition of consequences, consistent with the African Union Peace and Security Council Communiqué of 20 September 2017, should the parties continue to violate their own Agreement.
They express their full support for the second phase of the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) under the leadership of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). They call on the parties to participate in the Forum in good faith and with a view towards reaching a compromise and bringing South Sudan back to the path of sustainable peace.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission and the Secretary-General of the United Nations reaffirm their belief that there can only be a political solution to the conflict in South Sudan, and the parties must demonstrate the political will to negotiate a permanent ceasefire and update the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) in order to end the appalling suffering inflicted on the South Sudanese population.