Plans of the African Union, United Nations and Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Eastern Africa to support the coalition government with programmes to promote a post-conflict resolution in the South Sudan

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NATIONAL ASSEMBLY

FOR ORAL REPLY

QUESTION NO: 86 (NO1615E)

PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO: 05-2016 OF 25 MAY 2016

86. Mr B A Radebe (ANC) to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation:

With reference to the developments in South Sudan regarding the formation of a government of national unity which signifies peace and stability after two years of war, what plans do the African Union, United Nations and Intergovernmental Authority on Development in Eastern Africa have in place to support the coalition government with programmes to promote a post-conflict resolution in the South Sudan?

REPLY:

The regional bloc IGAD has since January 2014, emerged as the lead mediator through a process aimed at finding lasting solutions to resolve the conflict.

The African Union (AU) has been instrumental in efforts aimed at restoring peace and security in South Sudan, supporting the mediation efforts by IGAD, which culminated in the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) in August 2015. The establishment of a Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) as part of the IGAD Plus peace process launched by its Chairperson - former President of Botswana, Mr Festus Mogae in Juba on 27 November 2015 has resulted in the return to Juba of the Former Detainees and SPLM/IO senior leadership who participated in the second session off the JMEC which took place on 22 December 2015, in which agreement was reached on a number of important issues, including the establishment of the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC). 

The recent return to Juba by Dr Riek Machar Teny to take up his up his position as the First Vice-President of South Sudan is indeed an important development in further consolidating the recent gains towards establishing the South Sudan Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) as encapsulated in the Compromise Peace Agreement between parties to the conflict. Other important outcomes include the agreement by consensus on the sharing of Ministries.

The AU Commission instructed the AU Commissioner for Peace and Security in November 2015, in consultation with the Ministers of the AU ad hoc Committee on South Sudan, to develop a document (matrix on AU support towards recovery and democratic transformation of South Sudan) as a roadmap to guide all relevant stakeholders on the full and effective implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. Specifically, the matrix identifies key responsibilities of AU entities and other stakeholders involved in the implementation of the Agreement, which includes the provision of general support for South Sudan.

While commending the efforts by the AU Commission to develop a matrix on AU support towards recovery and democratic transformation of South Sudan, South Africa is of the view that the AU High-Level ad hoc Committee on South Sudan has an important role to play in support of the full and effective implementation of the ARCSS and in this regard, would wish to see a more clearly defined role for the Committee in the framework of the matrix.

As such, South Africa would support that the terms of reference of the AU High-Level ad hoc Committee on South Sudan makes specific provision for: (a) consultations with the IGAD Chairperson and regional leaders in order to identify practical steps to help expedite the full implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan; (b) reaching out to other African leaders to mobilise their support towards facilitating a coordinated African action to resolve the remaining challenges delaying the full implementation of the Agreement; and (c) liaising with and consulting relevant international partners towards ensuring a coordinated and coherent approach to supporting African-led efforts aimed at building durable peace.

Substantial resources will be required to rebuild South Sudan which will require a renewed and priority focus to be placed on Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development (PCRD).

South Africa continues to play a key role in supporting the maintenance of peace in South Sudan through the mediation efforts of President Zuma’s special Envoy, Deputy Cyril Ramaphosa, who last week undertook a Working Visit to Juba.

South Africa supports the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) led mediation process, as well as the Arusha Intra-Party political process.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2155 (2014) of 27 May 2014, reinforced the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and reprioritized its mandate towards the protection of civilians, human rights monitoring, and support for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and for the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.

On 4 May 2016, under the Egyptian Presidency, the United Nations Security Council, through a media statement, called on the newly formed transitional unity Government of South Sudan to end the cycles of violence and suffering and fully implement the peace agreement signed by warring parties in August 2015.

In addition the new Government was called on to allow the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) free movement to exercise its mandate, including protection of civilians and investigation of human rights violations, while condemning, in the strongest terms, the attack against the UNMISS compound in Bentiu on 25 April.

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