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August 26, 2015

Humanity United Statement on the South Sudan Peace Agreement

Humanity United welcomes South Sudan President Salva Kiir’s signature on the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, designed to end a conflict which has raged since December 2013.  With his action, all parties have now committed to the agreement, but much hard work remains to ensure it is successful.

We appeal to South Sudan’s leaders – including Salva Kiir and Riek Machar – to be courageous and provide an example for cooperative leadership that will ensure the dignity and well-being for all the people of South Sudan, and will open the door toward much needed healing in the country.

We urge all parties to help build an inclusive transitional government that will give the people of South Sudan the good governance they deserve.  Reservations voiced by President Kiir about governance arrangements, and concerns raised by opposition leader Riek Machar, means there is a serious risk that this agreement will suffer the same fate as the many previous cessation of hostility agreements, none of which ended the fighting.

We urge sustained engagement by the mediators from the International Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the IGAD heads of state, and other international leaders who helped forged this agreement.

We call on the United States, including President Obama, and the UN Security Council to remain deeply engaged in ensuring that fighting actually ends and that the agreement is fully implemented.  The UN General Assembly next month can help bolster this peace agreement, and ensure that the parties fulfill their obligations.  If fighting continues, or if the parties demonstrate reluctance to implement the agreement, the UN Security Council should take immediate and strong steps against any individual in South Sudan who is undermining peace.

We also urge the African Union to immediately begin preparatory work on the establishment of the hybrid court to ensure that perpetrators responsible for human rights abuses are held accountable for their crimes, as provided for in the agreement.

The agreement represents an important step towards resolving the mass violence that has consumed much of South Sudan and threatened all of it. If fully implemented, the agreement promises a new inclusive political environment, reconciliation and healing, and justice for the victims of the violence. We remain committed to helping the people of South Sudan fulfill this promise and achieving these ends.

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