Troika warns of sanction for obstruction of IGAD-led revitalization forum


South Sudan's army soldiers drive in a truck on the frontline in Panakuach, Unity state April 24, 2012. (Reuters Photo)

December 1, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan peace guarantors of the Troika countries called for the need to create a conducive environment for the peace revitalization process and warned that sanctions would be imposed on those who violate the ceasefire and obstruct humanitarian assistance ahead of an IGAD brokered forum.

The special envoy from Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States toured recently in the region and met with the South Sudanese official to encourage the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) countries to urgently hold a High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) for peace in the new nation.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Troika envoys said “appalled by the dire economic, security, human rights, and humanitarian crisis” in South Sudan and underscored the need for urgent progress.

The envoys warned the two warring parties saying they must end fighting to show their commitment to the upcoming revitalization forum. However, they insisted “The Government of South Sudan, in particular, must cease its pursuit of military victory and make good on its promise to end all obstruction of humanitarian assistance.

“The Troika will continue to identify and hold responsible those who work against peace, including through economic and other sanctions,” emphasised the statement.

“They will also act against those who use their positions to fuel conflict and steal from the South Sudanese people and those who facilitate their illicit financial activities,” it stressed.

Last Wednesday, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations on Tuesday, Bintou Keita urged the Security Council to support the revitalization forum and raised concerns about the growing number of incidents targeting humanitarian actors and restrictions on the movement of the UN Mission in South Sudan personnel.

While the U.S. Ambassador to United Nations, Nikki Haley, told the Security Council that the government “bears the primary responsibility for the killing, raping, and torturing in South Sudan”. Further, she directly threatened the South Sudanese government of sanctions.

“Going forward, the United States will judge President Kiir and his government by their actions, not their words. And the actions needed are clear. There is a way to end the violence in South Sudan. As a first step, President Kiir needs to adhere to the ceasefires he has declared many times. No more promises. We need action,” Haley stressed.

Regarding the forum, the Troika envoys said it should be inclusive, reflecting the interests of all parties, regions, and groups in South Sudan, including young people and women.

They pointed to the need “to amend sections of the Agreement that no longer reflect the reality of conditions in South Sudan, particularly those related to power-sharing, timelines, and transitional security arrangements”.

Also, the statement of the Troika countries has determined the “key goal” the process should work for.

“(The) effective security arrangements durable enough to stop the conflict, improve the human rights and humanitarian situation, and support (for) a political process that produces an agreed path to viable elections”.

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