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Sunday, September 22, 2019

U.S., UK and Norway express cautious optimism on South Sudan peace talks in fresh statement

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The United States, the United Kingdom and Norway, known as Troika, issued a statement on Friday, encouraging peace talks in South Sudan but expressing concerns the leaders had not demonstrated enough commitment to peace, adding that the arrangements agreed to date were not “realistic” or “sustainable”.

“Given their past leadership failures, South Sudanese leaders will need to behave differently and demonstrate commitment to peace and good governance,” Troika said in the statement below.


Troika Statement on South Sudan Peace Talks

The text of the following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and Norway.

The members of the Troika (the United States, the United Kingdom, and Norway) support the engagement of the region in the recent Khartoum-based negotiations on outstanding governance and security issues.  We acknowledge the role of Sudan in hosting these negotiations.  Considerable challenges lie ahead, and we are concerned that the arrangements agreed to date are not realistic or sustainable. Given their past leadership failures, South Sudanese leaders will need to behave differently and demonstrate commitment to peace and good governance.

Above all, we support the people of South Sudan’s aspirations to lead lives unburdened by fear, and to experience peace, pluralism, and prosperity.  We remain steadfast that the best hope for sustainable peace is a process inclusive of ordinary men and women, civil society, religious leaders, ethnic minorities, and other excluded groups. We urge mediators to ensure the open and free participation of these groups and other participants in the negotiations, to ensure their interests are fully protected. Moreover, the process should culminate in free, fair, and credible elections, and allow for a peaceful transition in leadership in the most expeditious and responsible manner.

During the next stage of the talks, parties must bring in a wider range of stakeholders, and develop clear plans for the transition period, including how resources will be used in a transparent and accountable way for the benefit of all South Sudanese.  Critical questions remain, such as how security will be provided in Juba during the transition period and how meaningful checks will be placed on executive power.

We call on the parties to develop clear and realistic governance and security timelines and plans for the transition period, and on the Intergovernmental Authority on Development member states and the AU to continue and intensify their involvement in the implementation phase of any agreement.

We note that there has been some reduction in fighting, the most serious confidence-building measure of all.  Sustained peace is a necessary condition for the legitimacy of a transitional arrangement.  In furtherance of this, we call on our regional partners to uphold the United Nations Security Council arms embargo and on their financial institutions to ensure that the proceeds from corrupt and war-making activities do not flow through their jurisdictions.  We now expect to see a change in the situation on the ground, beginning with a further significant reduction in violence, and all parties taking measures to allow full humanitarian access. 

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