COMMUNIQUÉ OF THE 59TH EXTRA-ORDINARY SESSION OF IGAD COUNCIL
OF MINISTERS ON THE SITUATION IN SOUTH SUDAN
ADDIS ABABA, DECEMBER 17, 2017
The IGAD Council of Ministers held its 59th Extra-Ordinary Session on 17th December 2017 under the chairmanship of H.E. Workneh Gebeyehu, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the IGAD Council.
The session was attended by H.E. Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Djibouti; H.E Hirut Zemene, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; H.E. Monica Juma, Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya; H.E. Yusuf Garaad Omar, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Somalia; H.E. Martin Elia Lomuro, Minister for Cabinet Affairs of the Republic of South Sudan; H.E. Patrick Mugaya, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uganda; and H.E. Professor Ibrahim Ghandour, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Sudan.
H.E. Festus Mogae, Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC); H.E. Mahboub Maalim, IGAD Executive Secretary and H.E. Ismail Wais, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan were also in attendance.
The Special Envoys of the AU, UN, EU and Troika (Norway, UK, US) as well as representatives of China, Co-Chairperson of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) were also present at the meeting and made statements.
After listening to the Progress Report of the IGAD Special Envoy on the preparations to convene the High-Level Revitalization Forum (the Forum) and following exchange of views;
Takes note with appreciation: the Report of the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan.
Welcomes the preparations to convene the High-Level Revitalization Forum and unanimously decided to launch the Forum on December 18, 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Commends: the IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan for the thorough preparations his office has undertaken to convene the Forum, and while affirming the Council’s full support and commitment, encourage the Envoy to vigorously continue his efforts towards achieving the objectives of the revitalization.
Expresses its appreciation for the very strong support and solidarity expressed by the AU, UN, Trokia the IPF, EU, and China to the process initiated by IGAD to revitalize the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS), and calls upon the partners to continue their support until the desired outcome of the revitalization of the ARCSS is achieved.
Takes Note: the statement made by the Chairperson of JMEC H.E. Festus Mogae, and reiterates its firm support for the efforts he is making to carry out his mandate under difficult circumstances.
Notes with deep regret that in spite of the continuing efforts by IGAD, the AU, and the UN as well as the international partners, the peace in the Republic of South Sudan remains elusive.
Recalls: the decision of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government of 12th June 2017 and mandated this Council to facilitate and coordinate the preparations for the convening of the High-Level Revitalization Forum, and appointed the Special Envoy for South Sudan; and reaffirmed that the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) is the only viable solution to the crisis in the country. It further decided to urgently convene a High-Level Revitalization Forum of the Parties to the ARCSS, including estranged groups; discuss concrete measures to restore permanent ceasefire; full and inclusive
implementation of the ARCSS; and develop a revised and realistic timeline and implementation schedule with a view towards a democratic election at the end of the transition period. This decision of the Assembly will be the basis for the agenda of the Forum.
Calls upon all South Sudanese stakeholders participating in the Forum to seize this critical opportunity to take South Sudan out of the deep crisis it is currently facing. In this regard, the Council urges all the parties to commit themselves to immediately silence the guns in South Sudan and cease any form of hostile propaganda, through a declaration and signing of a cessation of hostilities, and commit to this first step which will create the necessary conditions for addressing the dire political, humanitarian and economic conditions in South Sudan.
Urges the South Sudanese stakeholders participating in the Forum to deliberate in good faith in the spirit of compromise, putting the interest of their people and the nation first. In this connection, the Council affirms the unswerving support of IGAD member states to the South Sudanese as they seek ways to revitalize the Peace Agreement, and restore peace to in South Sudan.
Re-affirms its readiness to take all necessary actions against individuals and groups that spoil and derail the revitalization process from moving forward. In this regard, the Council calls upon the TGoNU, and all South Sudanese parties to focus on the higher goal of the national interest, and securing the future of the South Sudan.
Emphasizes that IGAD member States have followed with concern the continuation of the senseless violence in South Sudan, which is inflicting enormous pain and suffering on the South Sudanese people, and has resulted in massive displacement of the population, a dire humanitarian situation, and the devastation of the economy unprecedented in the history of South Sudan.
Underlines the resolve and determination of the member states of IGAD to continue to stand in solidarity with the people of South Sudan and to speak with one voice to rejuvenate the political process and transformation envisaged in the ARCSS when it was signed in August 2015. In this regard, the Council reiterates its conviction that only a full, and timely implementation of the Peace Agreement, and effective enforcement mechanism will deliver a comprehensive and lasting solution to the crisis of South Sudan.
IGAD Council of Ministers remains fully seized of the situation in South Sudan and will redouble its effort towards the success of the High-Level Revitalization Forum.
Done in Addis Ababa, 17 December 2017
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