The United States condemns the South Sudanese opposition forces’ ground attack on the positions of the South Sudanese army (SPLA) in Nasir, Upper Nile State, on July 20. We call on both parties to immediately end all such attacks and fully adhere to their May 9 and June 10 commitments to cease hostilities and begin the disengagement of forces to be monitored and verified by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Monitoring and Verification Mechanism.
The people of Nasir, as with civilians all across South Sudan, have suffered from frequent and horrific acts of violence and human rights abuses since fighting broke out in mid-December, causing widespread displacement and a worsening humanitarian crisis as civilians fear returning to their homes. With famine conditions looming in some conflict-affected areas of South Sudan as early as August 2014, it is increasingly urgent that both parties immediately recommit themselves to inclusive, political negotiations.
We urge both President Kiir and Riek Machar to reaffirm their commitment to the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and ensure that their forces, and all aligned forces, stop all fighting immediately. Attacks such as these are unacceptable; perpetrators on both sides must be held accountable; and the cycle of violence that has plagued South Sudan for too long must come to an end. It is imperative that both parties negotiate in good faith under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, and embrace efforts of the African Union, United Nations, and others in the international community to support the peace process. We remind both parties that President Obama’s April 3, 2014 Executive Order makes clear that those who threaten peace, commit human rights abuses, or obstruct humanitarian operations, risk U.S. sanctions.