The IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held the 31st Extra-Ordinary Summit on 12th June 2017, in Addis Ababa, under the chairmanship of H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government, to discuss current situation in the Republic of South Sudan and IGAD institutional matters.

The Assembly was attended by H.E. Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President of the Republic of the Sudan; H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; H.E. Taban Deng Gai, First Vice President of  the Republic of South Sudan; H.E. Hassan Ali Khaire, Prime Minister of the Federal Republic of Somalia; H.E. Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of Djibouti; and H.E. Amina Chawahir Mohamed, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya.

The Summit was also attended by the Executive Secretary of IGAD; the African Union Commissioner for Peace and Security; the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC); the EU Special Representative to the Horn of Africa; the UNSG Special Representative to South Sudan and Head of UNMISS; the UNSG Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan; the Co-Chair of the IGAD Partners Forum (IGAD-IPF); and the Representatives of the Troika on South Sudan (US, UK, Norway).
Following the submission of the report by the Chairperson of JMEC and briefings from invited representatives and after extensive deliberation on the humanitarian, political and security situation in South Sudan and IGAD institutional matters, the Heads of State and Government of IGAD issued the following communiqué.

I. On South Sudan, the Summit:

1. Recalls the previous communiqués of IGAD and IGAD Plus issued since the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) in August 2015 and the recommendations made thereof;

2. Takes note of the report and the recommendations of the Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), H.E. Festus Mogae;

3. Expresses its appreciation for the relentless efforts that the Chairperson of JMEC is making in the fulfilment of his mandate to assist the parties to the ARCSS and notes that the security sector reforms are important instruments for enhancing democratic governance;

4. Notes progress made so far such as: the formation of the TGoNU, the reconstitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and the incorporation of provisions of the Peace Agreement into the transitional constitution;

5. Reiterates that the full implementation of ARCSS remains to be the only viable way forward to bring about peace and stability and create the basis for a democratic political system in South Sudan. In this regard, the IGAD Summit calls upon all the parties to take urgent steps to draw concrete plan and timeline to compensate the delay and to revitalize the full implementation of the ARCSS;

6. Welcomes the launching of a national dialogue by President Salva Kiir Mayardit on 22nd May 2017 and urges TGoNU to make the process all inclusive, genuine and transparent as well as complement the ARCSS;

7. Welcomes also the recent declaration by President Salva Kiir Mayardit of a unilateral ceasefire and calls upon the President to follow up the strict implementation of the ceasefire and ensure that his field commanders respect the ceasefire and take swift measure against those who violate his decision. In this connection, IGAD Summit urges the armed opposition groups to reciprocate the call for a ceasefire as well as to renounce violence;

8. Condemns in the strongest terms the violence and armed  conflict that continues to be perpetrated by government forces as well as all other armed groups in South Sudan targeting defenceless civilians and causing huge loss of lives, destruction of property, and uprooting millions of South Sudanese from their homes to take refuge in the neighbouring states or suffer as internally displaced persons within their country;

9. Emphasizes that all armed opposition groups in South Sudan also share full responsibility on the humanitarian consequences of the conflict and human rights violations occurring in South Sudan; IGAD commits to collaborate with AU and UN to take all necessary measures to hold accountable individuals and groups causing humanitarian crises and committing human rights violations;

10. Regrets the long delay of the deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF) and decides to convene a meeting of the Chiefs of Defence Staff of the Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs), Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), and UN to discuss all outstanding issues and determine a definitive timeline for full deployment of the RPF;

11. Underscores that humanitarian assistance should be provided to all citizens of South Sudan without any discrimination;

12. Expresses concern on the obstacles facing humanitarian agencies including killings of humanitarian personnel and denial of access to deliver humanitarian supplies; calls upon TGoNU to take urgent measures to facilitate unhindered access to the affected population and to bring to justice individuals and groups that have committed crimes against humanitarian workers;

13. Takes note of the progress made by TGoNU to address the issue of access through the establishment of the High-level Humanitarian Oversight Committee, and the opening of the new humanitarian corridors; and commends the Governments of Kenya and Sudan for opening new corridors;

14. Affirms that IGAD Member States will continue to maintain common positions on the resolution of the problem on South Sudan and convey the same message and align their engagement with all parties to the conflict;

15. Affirms also its resolve to work closely with the AU and UN in the pursuit of lasting peace in South Sudan; notes in this connection the continuous consultations between the IGAD Chairperson, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, and the Secretary General of the UN;

16. Decides to urgently convene a High-level Revitalization Forum of the parties to the ARCSS including estranged groups to discuss concrete measures, to restore permanent ceasefire, to full implementation of the Peace Agreement and to develop a revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule towards a democratic election at the end of the transition period; mandates the IGAD Council of Ministers to urgently convene and facilitate this forum in collaboration with relevant stakeholders; and directs the Chairperson of JMEC and the Executive Secretary of IGAD to provide the necessary secretariat and logistical arrangements;

17. Calls on the EU and the IGAD Secretariat to urgently convene a meeting of the Friends of JMEC to discuss among others the role to be played by partners of IGAD in the implementation of the revitalization of the ARCSS as described in paragraph 15 above;

18. Recognizes the support extended so far by the international community to provide humanitarian assistance to the war and famine affected population of South Sudan and appeals to the international community to redouble its effort and also assist in alleviating the burden of the neighbouring countries that continue to receive and host huge number of refugees from South Sudan;

19. Expresses its appreciation to AU, UN, Troika, China, EU, IPF, international partners and friends of South Sudan for their continued commitment and support to peace  and reconciliation in the Republic of South Sudan; and

II. On Institutional Matters, the Summit:

20. Decides to hold a Resilience Summit on 31st August 2017 in Addis Ababa, preceded by IGAD Council of Ministers on 29th – 30th August 2017;

21. Appoints Dr Mohamed Ali Guyo as the IGAD Special Envoy for Somalia;

22. Appoints Amb Ismail Wais as the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan;

III. On the Upcoming Elections in Kenya, the Summit:

23. Welcomes the briefing on the state of preparations towards the elections in Kenya, and encourages Kenyans to be peaceful during the electioneering period, and calls upon external actors to respect the sovereign rights of Kenyans to choose their own leaders without interference;

24. Decides to remain actively seized of the matters.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Done on the 12th day of June 2017

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

T + 253 21 35 40 50   F + 253 21 35 69 94   E

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