The Peace and Security Council (PSC) of the African Union (AU), at its 611th meeting, held on 11 July 2016, adopted the following decision on the situation in South Sudan:
Takes note of the briefing provided by the Commissioner for Peace and Security, as well as of the statements made by the representatives of South Sudan and Ethiopia, in its capacity as the Chair of Inter-governmental Authority for Development (IGAD);
Recalls its previous communiqués and press statements on the situation in South Sudan, in particular communiqué PSC/AHG/COMM.1(DXXVII) adopted at its 547th meeting held on 26 September 2015, in New York;
Strongly condemns the recent ceasefire violations, by whomsoever, which caused the fighting in Juba, resulting in dozens of people killed and many injured, including civilians, as well as the displacement of persons and destruction of property;
Deplores the loss of lives at the time when South Sudanese parties, with the support of the IGAD, the AU and the larger international community, should be scrupulously implementing the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS);
Calls for an immediate ceasefire, without any pre-conditions. In this regard, Council warns those who commit any further violations of the ceasefire that they will be subjected to stern measures, including targeted sanctions.
Condemns the attacks on the African Embassies and the United Nations (UN) compound, which led to the death of four peacekeepers and the injuring of several others, as well as the destruction of UN property and material. In this context, Council urges the South Sudanese parties to assume full leadership and responsibility of their respective forces as spelt out in the Addis Ababa Agreement;
Calls upon the Transitional Government of National Unity to take urgent measures to establish conditions conducive for the return of all displaced persons and to establish a corridor for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the affected civilians;
Urges the parties to desist from any actions that may escalate the security situation and calls for the immediate start of the process of national reconciliation and healing in South Sudan with a view to promoting confidence building measures and building trust amongst the South Sudanese;
Welcomes the convening, on 11 July 2016, in Nairobi, Kenya, of an IGAD ministerial meeting on the situation in South Sudan. In this regard, Council endorses the Communiqué issued by the meeting, particularly the recommendations in it for revision of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate in order to enable establishment of an African-led Intervention Brigade and for increasing the number of troops to, inter-alia, provide protection to civilians, security in Juba and in the whole country;
Commends the sterling efforts, in very challenging circumstances, of the AU High Representative for South Sudan, former President Alpha Oumar Konare and the Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), former President Festus Mogae and encourages them to persevere in their work in support of the peace efforts in South Sudan;
Calls urgently upon the parties to the ARCSS to embrace mutual trust, put the interest of their country and its people above everything else and to scrupulously implement the Agreement;
Reiterates its decision to undertake a field mission to South Sudan to engage with the stakeholders and consider what more Africa can do to speed up the implementation of the ARCSS with a view to finding lasting peace in the country;
Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.
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