Deadlines keep passing and innocent people keep dying. The log-rolling and delay has to end. The Government of South Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) - in Opposition agreed to take no more than 60 days to form a transitional government of national unity. Regional leaders helped broker the agreement, but despite the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediation team’s best efforts, neither party engaged in peace talks seriously. Along with my Troika colleagues from Norway and the United Kingdom, we condemn these failures.
This is an outrage and an insult to the people of South Sudan. Their leaders are letting them down again and again. Peace talks have been on-going in Ethiopia for six months, while the people of South Sudan continue to suffer and the war persists. Over a million people have been displaced due to the fighting and South Sudan now faces the worst food security crisis in the world with a real risk of famine.
I condemn the recent clashes in Maban County that resulted in the deaths of at least six humanitarian workers, and am especially concerned at reports that civilians may have been systematically murdered based on their ethnicity. These killings further undermine the enormous humanitarian response needed to support the 3.9 million South Sudanese who are in desperate need of life-saving food assistance and who continue to live in fear of violence.
Regional leaders have previously called for punitive measures if the parties failed to secure peace by the agreed deadline. I call on IGAD and the African Union to immediately take appropriate action to bring peace to the people of South Sudan. We’re well past the point where enough is enough.