South Sudanese peace guarantors of the Troika countries have issued a joint statement expressing their disappointment with the continuation of fighting in the country, and called on President Salva Kiir to implement his pledged unilateral ceasefire.
“The members of the TROIKA (UK, U.S. and Norway) and the European Union (EU) are deeply troubled by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. These actions stand in direct conflict with the government’s stated aim of a political solution to the conflict, and severely undermine the prospect of any credible national dialogue,” said the statement.
“TROIKA and EU call on President Kiir to implement his commitment to a unilateral ceasefire as conveyed to IGAD heads of state on 25 March with immediate effect,” it further stressed.
The statement echoed concerns highlighted recently by the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat and Chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission Festus Mogae on increased violence, and strongly endorsed their call to end all military operations immediately.
The Troika pointed out that opposition attacks on civilians were disrupting lifesaving aid and commercial trade.
The Troika countries said large offensives by government troops in Yuai, Waat, Tonga and Kodok have displaced between 50,000 and 100,000 individuals in recent weeks.
“Government forces continue to target civilians in violation of the law of armed conflict,” said.
The statement went on to emphasise the importance of a unilateral ceasefire, adding that military action would not bring a solution to the over three-year armed conflict.
The three countries the government must ensure that there is a meaningful ceasefire which shows a genuine commitment to peace and stability.
“Such a commitment must go beyond simply a cessation of hostilities, and include withdrawing troops, disbanding ethnic militias, helping, not hindering humanitarian assistance and releasing political detainees,” the communique added.