EU condemn speed of R-ARCSS implementation, demands urgency
In a letter sent by High Representative Josep Borrell on behalf of the European Union (EU), the organisation has criticised the speed and methods of the implementation of the R-ARCSS in South Sudan.
The EU assert that 'too little progress' has taken place, and that instability persists across the country. The letter 'expects the South Sudanese Government to pursue and accelerate the implementation of the Peace Agreement'.
Particular mention is given to the humanitarian situation in the country, specifically the need to remove obstacles to the implementation of International Humanitarian Law and life saving emergency assistance. 'All efforts must be made to assist the population and protect civilians from violence and human rights violations', it says.
The delay in the formation of Necessary Unified Forces is also raised, and the impact of troop instability and military defections on civilians and the ceasefire made clear.
Perceived threats to peace and stability are a continuous theme in the letter, as repeated references to the need for accountability, democratic elections and parliamentary unity form the basis of the EU's call for accelerated implementation.
On this basis, the EU announced it welcomed the government's decision to implement the judicial aspects of the peace agreement, such as the Hybrid Court.
The importance of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are underscored. In this respect, the EU condemns those denials of access and restricted engagement that has accompanied their work in certain parts of the country.
The letter ends with a commitment to future EU-South Sudan partnership, and a pledge to continue offering assistance to the South Sudanese people in their aspiration for peace and prosperity. Yet, it is made clear that this move must come primarily from authorities in the country.
'Decision makers in South Sudan can and should do more to fulfil their promises of peace and development and to address the socioeconomic, political and environmental challenges of the country and its people', the letter reads.