Monthly Archives: May 2016

NATO plans to station rotating force near Russia border

Iran Press TV

Iran Press TV

Tue May 31, 2016 4:37AM

NATO has announced plans to station a rotating force near the border with Russia amid allegations made by members of the Western military alliance concerning the “potential threat” of Russian aggression.

“NATO has decided to increase our forward presence in the eastern part of the alliance and we have decided that this enhanced forward presence is going to be a multinational presence and it’s going to be a rotational presence,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters on Monday after a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw.

“We have not made the final decisions on the exact numbers and exact locations because these decisions will be made by heads of state and government at our summit here in Warsaw in a few weeks. But we are now working on the concrete proposals we have received from our strategic commanders, from our military planners,” the NATO chief stated.

Stoltenberg added that NATO military planners have proposed the deployment of “several battalions” in different European countries, namely the Baltics and Poland.

“I can say that there will be more NATO presence in Poland, the exact numbers, it’s something we will have to announce when we have made the final decisions.”

Meanwhile, Russian Permanent Representative to NATO Alexander Grushko said on Monday that the Western military contingent is trying to move confrontational schemes to the Black Sea, and Moscow will use all means at its disposal to neutralize them.

He also denounced NATO’s contradictory behavior toward Russia and its persistence on a strategy of “containing” Moscow despite repeated calls for political dialogue.

“Today, NATO is trying to move confrontational schemes to the Black Sea. Recently, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the transformation of the Black Sea into the ‘Russian lake’ was not acceptable,” Grushko told the Russian-language daily newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta in an exclusive interview.

“But everyone in NATO knows that the Black Sea will never become a ‘NATO lake,’ and we will take all necessary measures in order to neutralize possible threats and attempts to exert pressure on Russia from the south.”

Ties between NATO and Russia have been tense for the last two years over a crisis in Ukraine, where the government and its Western allies keep accusing Moscow of having a hand in the turmoil in the east. The Kremlin strongly rejects the claims.

Russia has also criticized NATO’s expansionist policy to include countries in the Western Balkan region, saying the move directly harms Russia’s strategic interests in the area.

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Amnesty International: Afghan IDP Problem Grows Despite Government Promises

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May 31, 2016
by Eugen Tomiuc

The number of Afghans forced to flee conflict and relocate inside their own country has more than doubled in the past three years, to 1.2 million people, according to Amnesty International.

The London-based rights group says in its latest report that the figures, when combined with the 2.6 million Afghans living as refugees abroad, means that “almost every family in Afghanistan has experienced being driven from their homes at some point” over the past 40 years.

The report, My Children Will Die This Winter: Afghanistan’s Broken Promise To The Displaced, found that internally displaced people (IDPs) in Afghanistan suffer from a lack of suitable shelter, severe food and water shortages, almost nonexistent health care, and virtually no opportunities for education or employment.

“While the world’s attention seems to have moved on from Afghanistan, we risk forgetting the plight of those left behind by the conflict,” Champa Patel, South Asia director at Amnesty International, said ahead of the report’s publication.

The last several years have seen an increasingly unstable security situation in Afghanistan, especially after international troops departed at the end of 2014. The departure left Afghan security forces in charge of fighting a resurgent Taliban.

Many of the civilians caught up in the ensuing violence have fled, often settling in displacement camps within their own country.

Speaking about 2016 alone, Amnesty South Asia researcher Olof Blomqvist says that “we’re talking about almost 1,000 people every day.”

Ministry ‘Incompetent, Corrupt’

The report is based on interviews with more than 100 displaced individuals in camps and settlements in Herat, Kabul, and Mazar-e Sharif.

It says that the situation in IDP camps is nothing short of desperate, and it has been worsening since the beginning of the year because of the influx of displaced people.

“It’s really people who have been forced away from their homes by one horrific situation that have ended up in another situation that is just as horrific because there is no one there to protect them or to protect their human rights or to provide enough aid as they need,” Blomqvist says.

Amnesty notes that the plight of displaced Afghans has worsened despite pledges by successive Afghan governments to remedy the situation and the development of a new policy to deal with displaced persons.

The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation is singled out for criticism, with Amnesty saying the body has been confronted with accusations ranging from widespread corruption to sheer incompetence.

“It needs resources and it needs quality personnel, it needs expertise to implement the policy, but because of its history of very serious corruption allegations many people, both in the Afghan government and among international actors, are quite hesitant actually to provide these resources to the ministry,” Blomqvist tells RFE/RL.

‘Poorest Of The Poor’

Besides living in mud huts or tarpaulin tents, with no water or sanitation, many displaced persons are under threat of forced eviction.

“They [IDPs] face pretty frequent harassment from both the government and private actors — the so-called land mafia — who usually are a mix of certain local strongmen and warlords,” Blomqvist says.

In one incident, two people were killed last year in a protest when armed men came to bulldoze the Chaman-e Babrak IDP camp in Kabul. No investigation was carried out and no one has been held to account.

Amid a rise in anti-immigration stances in Europe amid an ongoing refugee crisis, some have pointed to the fact that Afghans, unlike Syrians or Iraqis, come from a country that was “pacified” by Western troops and aid.

However, Amnesty’s Blomqvist warns that this is “a very dangerous narrative being propagated in the West, in all NATO countries, that the Afghan war has been a success, that NATO and international troops are leaving behind a peaceful, well-functioning country, which, obviously, couldn’t be further from the truth.”

He warns that, in the short term, “most likely we’re going to see the conflict expanding.”

Amnesty’s report concludes that key international players have to do more to “ensure that the human rights of those displaced are met, and lend more weight, expertise, and resources to the implementation of [Afghanistan’s] IDP policy.”

Blomqvist also says that, unlike many Afghan migrants abroad, internally displaced persons in Afghanistan “don’t have the means to pack up and leave the country, they don’t have the means to pay smugglers to take them somewhere else, but [they’re] really like the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable of the most vulnerable.”

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/afghanistan-amnesty- displaced-persons-report/27768252.html

Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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Africa: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Enhancing Judicial Accountability in Tanzania

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO): Enhancing Judicial Accountability in Tanzania

May 31, 2016


This is the initial announcement of this funding opportunity, DRLA-DRLAQM-16-083.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 19.345

Application Deadline: Thursday, June 30 at 11:30 pm EST

A. Project Description

The U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for programs to enhance judicial accountability in Tanzania. Recognizing that sociopolitical marginalization, police abuse and the lack of justice can be drivers of violent extremism, the overall goal of this program is to increase effectiveness and accountability in the judicial sector, targeting inconsistent application of the rule of law to human rights abuses linked to violent extremism. The program should enable domestic organizations to deepen their engagement with government stakeholders and strengthen their advocacy techniques, using the judiciary’s treatment of cases of human rights abuses committed by perpetrators of violent extremism as a starting point. The program should also seek to increase accountability in the judicial sector by strengthening key justice actors on both the demand and supply sides. Specific objectives should include: (1) building civil society and Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance (CHRGG) capacity on human rights monitoring, reporting and advocacy; (2) establishing a platform between the CHRGG, civil society, and judiciary for effective action; and (3) improving communication and understanding between affected communities, key stakeholders, and security and judicial actors on human rights issues.

Programs should have the potential to have immediate impact leading to long-term sustainable reforms, and should have potential for continued funding beyond DRL resources. DRL prefers innovative and creative approaches rather than projects that simply duplicate or add to efforts by other entities. This does not exclude projects that clearly build off existing successful projects in a new and innovative way from consideration. DRL also strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most vulnerable or at-risk populations.

Activities that typically are not considered competitive include:

• The provision of large amounts of humanitarian assistance;

• English language instruction;

• Development of high-tech computer or communications software and/or hardware;

• Purely academic exchanges or fellowships;

• External exchanges or fellowships lasting longer than six months;

• Off-shore activities that are not clearly linked to in-country initiatives and impact or that do not relate to security concerns;

• Theoretical explorations of human rights or democracy issues, including projects aimed primarily at research and evaluation that do not incorporate training or capacity-building for local civil society;

• Micro-loans or similar small business development initiatives;

• Activities that go beyond an organization’s demonstrated competence, or fail to provide clear evidence of the ability of the applicant to achieve the stated impact;

• Initiatives directed towards a diaspora community rather than current residents of targeted countries.

The authority for this funding opportunity is found in the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (FAA).

B. Federal Award Information

DRL anticipates having approximately $594,059 available to support approximately one successful application submitted in response to this NOFO, subject to the availability of funding.

DRL may issue one or more awards resulting from this NOFO to the applicant(s) whose application(s) conforming to this NOFO are the most responsive to the objectives set forth in this NOFO. The U.S. government may (a) reject any or all applications, (b) accept other than the lowest cost application, (c) accept more than one application, (d) accept alternate applications, and (e) waive informalities and minor irregularities in applications received.

The U.S. government may make award(s) on the basis of initial applications received, without discussions or negotiations. Therefore, each initial application should contain the applicant's best terms from a cost and technical standpoint. The U.S. government reserves the right (though it is not under obligation to do so), however, to enter into discussions with one or more applicants in order to obtain clarifications, additional detail, or to suggest refinements in the project description, budget, or other aspects of an application.

Applications should not request significantly more or less than $594,059. Applicants should include an anticipated start date between August and September 2016 and the period of performance should be between 16 and 24 months.

DRL anticipates awarding either a grant or cooperative agreement depending on the application’s risk factor, or the needs of the program, which is determined by the grant officer for applications that are successful. If it is determined to award a cooperative agreement, DRL expects to be substantially involved during the implementation of the cooperative agreement. Examples of substantial involvement can include:

1) Approval of the Recipient’s annual work plans, including: planned activities for the following year, travel plans, planned expenditures, event planning, and changes to any activity to be carried out under the cooperative agreement;

2) Approval of sub-award Recipients, concurrence on the substantive provisions of the sub-awards, and coordination with other cooperating agencies;

3) Other approvals that will be included in the award agreement.

C. Eligibility Information

C.1 Eligible Applicants

DRL welcomes applications from U.S.-based and foreign-based non-profit organizations/nongovernment organizations (NGO) and public international organizations; private, public, or state institutions of higher education; and for-profit organizations or businesses. DRL’s preference is to work with non-profit entities; however, there may be occasions when a for-profit entity is best suited.

For-profit entities should be aware that its application may be subject to additional review following the panel selection process and that the Department of State generally prohibits profit under its assistance awards to for-profit or commercial organizations. Profit is defined as any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs. The allowability of costs incurred by commercial organizations is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) at 48 CFR 30, Cost Accounting Standards Administration, and 48 CFR 31 Contract Cost Principles and Procedures. Project income earned by the recipient must be deducted from the total project allowable cost in determining the net allowable costs on which the federal share of costs is based.

C.2 Cost Sharing or Matching

Providing cost sharing, matching, or cost participation is not an eligibility requirement for this NOFO.

C.3 Other

Applicants must have existing, or the capacity to develop, active partnerships with thematic or in‑country partners, entities and relevant stakeholders including industry and NGOs and have demonstrable experience in administering successful and preferably similar projects. DRL encourages applications from foreign-based NGOs headquartered in the geographic regions/countries relevant to this NOFO. Applicants may form consortia and submit a combined application. However, one organization should be designated as the lead applicant with the other members as sub-award partners. DRL reserves the right to request additional background information on applicants that do not have previous experience administering federal grant awards, and these applicants may be subject to limited funding on a pilot basis.

DRL is committed to an anti-discrimination policy in all of its projects and activities. DRL welcomes applications irrespective of an applicant’s race, ethnicity, color, creed, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, or other status. DRL encourages applications from organizations working with the most at risk and vulnerable communities, including women, youth, persons with disabilities, members of ethnic or religious minority groups, and LGBTI persons.

Any applicant listed on the Excluded Parties List System in the System for Award Management (SAM) (www.sam.gov) is not eligible to apply for an assistance award in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR,1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR,1989 Comp., p. 235), “Debarment and Suspension.” Additionally no entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM can participate in any activities under an award. All applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Excluded Parties List System in SAM to ensure that no ineligible entity is included.

D. Application and Submission Information

D.1 Address to Request Application Package

Applicants can find application forms, kits, or other materials needed to apply on www.grants.gov and www.grantsolutions.gov under the announcement title “Enhancing Judicial Accountability in Tanzania” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-16-083.” Please contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if requesting reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities or for security reasons. Please note: reasonable accommodations do not include deadline extensions.

D.2 Content and Form of Application Submission

For all application documents, please ensure:

1) All documents are in English and all costs are in U.S. dollars. If an original document within the application is in another language, an English translation must be provided (please note: the Department of State, as indicated in 2 CFR 200.111, requires that English is the official language of all award documents. If any documents are provided in both English and a foreign language, the English language version is the controlling version);

2) All pages are numbered, including budgets and attachments;

3) All documents are formatted to 8 ½ x 11 paper; and,

4) All documents are single-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins. Captions and footnotes may be 10 point Times New Roman font. Font sizes in charts and tables, including the budget, can be reformatted to fit within 1 page width.

Complete applications must include the following:

1. Completed and signed SF-424, SF-424A, and SF-424B, as directed on GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov; completed and signed SF-LLL, “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities”(if applicable) (which can be found with the solicitation on GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov and on the DRL website at: http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm); and your organization’s most recent audit (A-133 audit, if applicable, or standard audit).

2. Table of Contents (not to exceed one [1] page in Microsoft Word) that includes a page numbered contents page, including any attachments.

3. Executive Summary (not to exceed two [2] pages in Microsoft Word) that includes:

a) The target country/countries and thematic area;

b) Name and contact information for the project’s main point of contact;

c) The total amount of funding requested and project length;

d) A statement of work or synopsis of the project, including a concise breakdown of the project’s objectives, activities, and expected results; and,

e) A brief statement on how the project is innovative, sustainable, and will have a demonstrated impact.

4. Proposal Narrative (not to exceed ten [10] pages in Microsoft Word). Please note the ten page limit does not include the Table of Contents, Executive Summary, Attachments, Detailed Budget, Budget Narrative, or Negotiated Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (NICRA). Applicants are encouraged to submit multiple documents in a single Microsoft Word or Adobe file, (i.e., Table of Contents, Executive Summary, and Proposal Narrative in one file).

5. Detailed Line-Item Budget (in Microsoft Excel) that includes three [3] columns including the request to DRL, any cost sharing contribution, and total budget (see below for more information on budget format). A summary budget should also be included using the OMB approved budget categories (see SF-424A as a sample). Costs must be in U.S. dollars. Detailed line-item budgets for sub-awardees should be included in additional tabs within the excel workbook.

6. Budget Narrative (in Microsoft Word) that includes substantive explanations and justifications for each line item in the detailed budget spreadsheet, as well as the source and a description of all cost-share offered. For ease of review, DRL recommends applicants order the budget narrative as presented in the detailed budget. Personnel costs should include a clarification of the roles and responsibilities of key staff, base salary, and percentage of time devoted to the project. The budget narrative should provide additional information that might not be readily apparent in the detailed-line item budget, not simply repeat what is represented numerically in the budget, i.e. salaries are for salaries or travel is for travel. Please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

7. Attachments (not to exceed fourteen [14] pages total, preferably in Microsoft Word) that include the following in order:

a) Logic model – Page 1-2: Please see DRL’s Proposal Submission Instructions (PSI) for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

b) Risk Assessment – Page 3: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

c) Narrative of Monitoring and Evaluation Plan – Pages 4-5: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information.

d) Monitoring and Evaluation Performance Indicator Table – Pages 6-9: Please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information. This section can be up to four pages long if necessary.

e) Roles and responsibilities of key project personnel – Page 10: Please include short bios that highlight relevant professional experience. This relates to the organization’s capacity. Given the limited space, CVs are not recommended for submission.

f) Timeline of the overall proposal – Page 11: Components should include activities, evaluation efforts, and project closeout.

g) Additional optional attachments – Page 12-14: Attachments may include further timeline information, letters of support, memorandums of understanding/agreement, etc. Letters of support and MOUs must be specific to the projects implementation (e.g. from proposed partners or sub-award recipients) and will not count towards the page limit.

8. If your organization has a NICRA and includes NICRA charges in the budget, your latest NICRA should be included as a .pdf file. This document will not be reviewed by the panelists, but rather used by project and grant staff if the submission is recommended for funding and therefore does not count against the submission page limitations. If your proposal involves sub-awards to organizations charging indirect costs, please submit the applicable NICRA also as a .pdf file (see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, for more information on indirect cost rates). If your organization does not have a NICRA per 2 CFR 200. 414(f) the organization can elect to charge the de minimis rate of 10% of the modified total direct costs as defined in 2 CFR 200.68. The budget narrative should indicate what costs will be covered using the 10% de minimis rate.

Please note: DRL retains the right to ask for additional documents not included in this NOFO. Additionally, to ensure all applications receive a balanced evaluation, the DRL Review Panel will review the first page of the requested section up to the page limit and no further. DRL encourages organizations to use the given space effectively.

Additional information that successful applicants must submit after notification of intent to make a Federal award, but prior to issuance of a Federal award, may include:

1) Written responses and any revised application documents addressing any conditions or recommendations from the DRL Review Panel;

2) Completion of the Department’s Financial Management Survey, if receiving DRL funding for the first time;

3) Submission of required documents to register in the Payment Management System managed by the Department of Health and Human Services if receiving DRL funding for the first time, unless an exemption is provided;

4) Other requested information or documents included in the notification of intent to make a Federal award or subsequent communications prior to issuance of a Federal award.

D.3 Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

Applicants must have an active registration in SAM (www.sam.gov) prior to submitting an application, must prove a valid Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number, formerly referred to as a DUNS number, and must continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by the U.S. government.

The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is one of the data elements mandated by Public Law 109-282, the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA), for all Federal awards. SAM is the Federal government's primary database for complying with FFATA reporting requirements. OMB designated SAM as the central repository to facilitate applicant and recipient use of a single public website that consolidates data on all federal financial assistance. Under the law, it is mandatory to obtain a UEI number and register in SAM.

SAM requires all entities to renew their registration once a year in order to maintain an active registration status in SAM. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure it has an active registration in SAM and to also maintain its active registration in SAM.

No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance or can participate in any activities in accordance with the OMB guidelines at 2 CFR 180 that implement Executive Orders 12549 (3 CFR Part 1986 Comp., p. 189) and 12689 (3 CFR Part 1989 Comp., p. 235).

DRL may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable UEI and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time DRL is ready to make an award, DRL may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

An exemption from this requirement may be permitted on a case-by-case basis if:

1. An applicant is a foreign organization located outside of the U.S., does not currently have a UEI, and the Department determines that acquiring one is impractical given the geographic location; or

2. If the applicant’s identity must be protected due to possible endangerment of their mission, their organization’s status, their employees, or individuals being served by the applicant.

Please note: foreign organizations will be required to register with the NATO Support Agency (NSPA) to receive a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code in order to register in SAM. NSPA will forward your registration request to the applicable National Codification Bureau (NCB) if your organization is located in a NATO or Tier 2 Sponsored Non-NATO Nation. (As of January 2015, NATO nations included Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States of America; and Tier 2 nations included Australia, Austria, Brazil, Finland, Israel, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Serbia, and Singapore.)

NSPA and/or the appropriate NCB forwards all NCAGE code information to all Allied Committee 135 (AC/135) nations, which as of January 2015 also included Afghanistan, Argentina, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Montenegro, Oman, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand, Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates. All organizations are strongly advised to take this into consideration when assessing whether registration may result in possible endangerment.

D.4 Submission Dates and Times

Applications are due no later than 11:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST), on Thursday, June 30, 2016 on www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov under the announcement title “Enhancing Judicial Accountability in Tanzania,” funding opportunity number “DRLA-DRLAQM-16-083.”

Grants.gov and Grantsolutions.gov automatically logs the date and time an application submission is made, and the Department of State will use this information to determine whether an application has been submitted on time. Late applications are neither reviewed nor considered unless the DRL point of contact listed in section G is contacted prior to the deadline and is provided with evidence of system errors caused by www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov that is outside of the applicants’ control and is the sole reason for a late submission. Applicants should not expect a notification upon DRL receiving their application.

If ultimately provided with a notification of intent to make a Federal award, applicants typically have two to three weeks to provide additional information and documents requested in the notification of intent. The deadlines may vary in each notification of intent and applicants must adhere to the stated deadline in the notification of intent.

D.5 Funding Restrictions

DRL will not consider applications that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization. No entity listed on the Excluded Parties List System in SAM is eligible for any assistance.

Project activities that provide training or other assistance to foreign militaries or paramilitary groups or individuals will not be considered for DRL funding given purpose limitations on funding.

Restrictions may apply to any proposed assistance to police or other law enforcement. Among these, pursuant to section 620M of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended(FAA), no assistance provided through this funding opportunity may be furnished to any unit of the security forces of a foreign country when there is credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights. In accordance with the requirements of section 620M of the FAA, also known as the Leahy law, project beneficiaries or participants from a foreign government’s security forces may need to be vetted by the Department before the provision of any assistance.

Federal awards generally will not allow reimbursement of pre-Federal award costs; however, the grants officer may approve pre awards cost on a case by case basis. Generally, construction costs are not allowed under DRL awards. For additional information, please see DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in December 2015.

D.6 Other

All application submissions must be made electronically via www.grants.gov or www.grantsolutions.gov. Both systems require registration by the applying organization. Please note: the Grants.gov registration process can take 10 business days or longer, even if all registration steps are completed in a timely manner.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that it has an active registration in GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov and that an application has been received by GrantSolutions.gov or Grants.gov in its entirety. DRL bears no responsibility for applicants not being registered before the due date or for data errors resulting from transmission or conversion processes.

GrantSolutions.gov is highly recommended for submission of all applications and is DRL’s preferred choice for receiving applications.

Faxed, couriered, or emailed documents will not be accepted. Reasonable accommodations may, in appropriate circumstances, be provided to applicants with disabilities or for security reasons.

Applicants must follow all formatting instructions in the applicable solicitation and these instructions.

GrantSolutions.gov Applications
All applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications via www.grantsolutions.gov.

Applicants using GrantSolutions.gov for the first time should complete their “New Organization Registration” as soon as possible. This process must be completed before an application can be submitted. Registration with GrantSolutions.gov usually occurs directly after an applicant submits their registration. To register with GrantSolutions.gov, click “Login to GrantSolutions” and follow the “First Time Users” link to the “New Organization Registration Page.” There are different ways to register your organization, click on the link that fits best.

Upon completion of a successful electronic application submission, the GrantSolutions system will provide the applicant with a confirmation page indicating the date and time (Eastern Time) of the electronic application submission as well as an official Application Number. This confirmation page will also provide a listing of all items that constitute the final application submission. Please save this page for your records.

GrantSolutions.gov Help Desk:
For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov accounts and technical issues related to the system, please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays.

Grants.gov Applications
Applicants who do not submit applications via GrantSolutions.gov may submit via www.grants.gov. It is DRL’s preference that applications be submitted through GrantSolutions.gov.

Please be advised that completing all the necessary registration steps for obtaining a username and password from Grants.gov can take more than two weeks

Please refer to the Grants.gov website for definitions of various "application statuses" and the difference between a submission receipt and a submission validation. Applicants will receive a validation e-mail from Grants.gov upon the successful submission of an application. Validation of an electronic submission via Grants.gov can take up to two business days.

Grants.gov Helpdesk:

For assistance with Grants.gov, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

Should an applicant experience technical issues, contacted the applicable helpdesk, and is not receiving timely assistance (e.g. if you have not received a response after 2 days of contacting the helpdesk), you may contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G, who may assist in contacting the appropriate helpdesk but an applicant should document their efforts in contacting the help desk. Also, applicants may contact the DRL point of contact listed in section G if experiencing technical issues with grants.gov or grantsolutions.gov that may result in a late submission.

E. Application Review Information

E.1 Criteria

Evaluators will judge each application individually against the following criteria, listed below in order of importance, and not against competing applications.

Quality of Project Idea

Applications should be responsive to the NOFO, appropriate in the country/regional context, and should exhibit originality, substance, precision, and relevance to DRL’s mission of promoting human rights and democracy. DRL prioritizes innovative and creative approaches rather than projects that simply duplicate or add to efforts by other entities. This does not exclude projects that clearly build off existing successful projects in a new and innovative way from consideration. In countries where similar activities are already taking place, an explanation should be provided as to how new activities will not duplicate or merely add to existing activities and how these efforts will be coordinated.

Project Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives

A strong application will include a clear articulation of how the proposed project activities contribute to the overall project objectives, and each activity will be clearly developed and detailed. A comprehensive monthly work plan should demonstrate substantive undertakings and the logistical capacity of the organization. Objectives should be ambitious, yet measurable results-focused and achievable in a reasonable time frame. A complete application must include a logic model to demonstrate how the project will have an impact on its proposed objectives. Applications should address how the project will engage relevant stakeholders and should identify local partners as appropriate. If local partners have been identified, DRL strongly encourages applicants to submit letters of support from proposed in-country partners. Additionally, applicants should describe the division of labor among the direct applicant and any local partners. If applicable, applications should identify target areas for activities, target participant groups or selection criteria for participants, and the specific roles of sub-awardees, among other pertinent details. In particularly challenging operating environments, applications should include contingency plans for overcoming potential difficulties in executing the original work plan and address any operational or programmatic security concerns and how they will be addressed.

Institution’s Record and Capacity

DRL will consider the past performance of prior recipients and the demonstrated potential of new applicants. Applications should demonstrate an institutional record of successful democracy and human rights projects, including responsible fiscal management and full compliance with all reporting requirements for past grants. Proposed personnel and institutional resources should be adequate and appropriate to achieve the project's objectives.

Inclusive Projecting

DRL strives to ensure its projects advance the rights and uphold the dignity of the most at risk and vulnerable populations, including women, youth, people with disabilities, members of racial and ethnic or religious minorities, and LGBTI persons. To the extent possible, applicants should identify and address considerations to support these populations in all proposed project activities and objectives, and should provide specific means, measures, and corresponding targets to include them as appropriate. Applicants should provide strong justifications if unable to incorporate the most at risk and vulnerable populations within proposed project activities and objectives. Applications that do not include this will not be considered highly competitive in this category.

Cost Effectiveness

DRL strongly encourages applicants to clearly demonstrate project cost-effectiveness in their application, including examples of leveraging institutional and other resources. However, cost-sharing or other examples of leveraging other resources are not required and do not need to be included in the budget. Inclusion in the budget does not result in additional points awarded during the review process. Budgets however should have low and/or reasonable overhead and administration costs and applicants should provide clear explanations and justifications for these costs in relation to the work involved. All budget items should be clearly explained and justified to demonstrate its necessity, appropriateness, and its link to the project objectives.

Please note: If cost-share is included in the budget then the recipient must maintain written records to support all allowable costs that are claimed as its contribution to cost-share, as well as costs to be paid by the Federal government. Such records are subject to audit. In the event the recipient does not meet the minimum amount of cost-sharing as stipulated in the recipient’s budget, DRL’s contribution may be reduced in proportion to the recipient’s contribution.

Multiplier Effect/Sustainability

Applications should clearly delineate how elements of the project will have a multiplier effect and be sustainable beyond the life of the grant. A good multiplier effect will have an impact beyond the direct beneficiaries of the grant (e.g. participants trained under a grant go on to train other people, workshop participants use skills from a workshop to enhance a national level election that affects the entire populace). A strong sustainability plan may include demonstrating continuing impact beyond the life of a project or garnering other donor support after DRL funding ceases.

Project Monitoring and Evaluation

Complete applications will include a detailed plan (both a narrative and table) of how the project’s progress and impact will be monitored and evaluated throughout the project. Incorporating a well-designed monitoring and evaluation component into a project is one of the most efficient methods of documenting the progress and results (intended and unintended) of a project. Applications should demonstrate the capacity to provide objectives with measurable outputs and outcomes and engage in robust monitoring and assessment of project activities.

The quality of the M&E plan will be judged on the narrative explaining how both monitoring and evaluation will be carried out, who will be responsible for those related activities. Projects that are at least 24 months or more than $500,000 are strongly encouraged to include an external mid-term and/or final evaluation. Explain how an external evaluation (mid-term and/or final) will be incorporated into the project implementation plan or how the project will be systematically assessed in absence of one. Please see DRL’s PSI for Applicants, updated in July 2015, for more information on what is required in the narrative.

The M&E plan will also be rated on the M&E performance indicator table. The output and outcome-based performance indicators should not only be separated by project objectives but also should match the objectives, outcomes, and outputs detailed in the logic model. Performance indicators should be clearly defined (i.e., explained how the indicators will be measured and reported) either within the table or with a separate Performance Indicator Reference Sheet (PIRS). For each performance indicator, the table should also include baselines and yearly and cumulative targets, data collection tools, data sources, types of data disaggregation, and frequency of monitoring and evaluation; There should also be metrics to capture how project activities target the most at risk and vulnerable populations or addresses their concerns, where applicable.

E.2 Review and Selection Process

DRL strives to ensure each application receives a balanced evaluation by a DRL Review Panel. The Department’s Office of Acquisitions Management (AQM) will determine technical eligibility for all applications. All applications for a given solicitation are then reviewed against the same seven criteria, which includes quality of project idea, project planning/ability to achieve objectives, institution’s record and capacity, inclusive programming, cost effectiveness, multiplier effect/sustainability, and project monitoring and evaluation.

In most cases, the DRL Review Panel includes representatives from DRL, the appropriate Department of State regional bureau (which includes feedback from US embassies), as well as U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (which includes feedback from USAID missions). In some cases, additional panelists may participate, including from other Department of State bureaus or offices, U.S. government departments, agencies, or boards, representatives from partner governments, or representatives from entities that are in a public-private partnership with DRL. At the end of discussion on an application, the Panel votes on recommending the application for approval by the DRL Assistant Secretary. If more applications are ultimately recommended for approval than DRL has funding available for, the Panel will rank the recommended applications in priority order for consideration by the DRL Assistant Secretary. The Grants Officer Representative (GOR) for the eventual award does not vote on the panel. All Panelists must sign non-disclosure agreements and conflicts of interest agreements.

DRL Review Panels may provide conditions and recommendations on applications to enhance the proposed project, which must be addressed by the applicant before further consideration of the award. To ensure effective use of DRL funds, conditions or recommendations may include requests to increase, decrease, clarify, and/or justify costs and project activities.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

F.1 Federal Award Notices

DRL will provide a separate notification to applicants on the result of their applications. Successful applicants will receive a letter electronically via email requesting that the applicant respond to panel conditions and recommendations. This notification is not an authorization to begin activities and does not constitute formal approval or a funding commitment.

Final approval is contingent on the applicant successfully responding to the panel’s conditions and recommendations, being registered in required systems, including the U.S. government’s Payment Management System (PMS), unless an exemption is provided, and completing and providing any additional documentation requested by DRL or AQM. Final approval is also contingent on Congressional notification requirements being met and final review and approval by the Department’s warranted grants officer.

The notice of Federal award signed by the Department’s warranted grants officers is the sole authorizing document. If awarded, the notice of Federal award will be provided to the applicant’s designated Authorizing Official via Grant Solutions to be electronically counter-signed in the system.

F.2 Administrative and National Policy Requirements

The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards set forth in 2 CFR Chapter 200 (Sub-Chapters A through F) shall apply to all non-Federal entities, except for assistance awards to Individuals and Foreign Public Entities (for more information on these exceptions, see Chapters 5, Federal Assistance to Individuals, and 6, Federal Assistance to Foreign Public Entities Directive.) Sub-Chapters A through E shall apply to all foreign organizations, and Sub-Chapters A through D shall apply to all U.S. and foreign for-profit entities.

The applicant/recipient of the award and any sub-recipient under the award must comply with all applicable terms and conditions, in addition to the assurance and certifications made part of the Notice of Award. The Department’s Standard Terms and Conditions can be viewed at https://www.statebuy.state.gov/fa/Documents/2015DeptTermsAndConditionsForUSandForeignOrg.pdf.

F.3 Reporting

Applicants should be aware that DRL awards will require that all reports (financial and progress) are uploaded to the grant file in Grant Solutions on a quarterly basis. The Federal Financial Report (FFR or SF-425) is the required form for the financial reports and must be submitted in PMS as well as downloaded and then uploaded to the grant file in Grant Solutions. The progress reports uploaded to the grant file in Grant Solutions must include page one (signed and completed) of the SF-PPR (Performance and Progress Report); a narrative attachment to the SF-PPR as described below; and the SF-PPR-B: Project Indicators (or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the grants officer) for the F Framework indicators.

Narrative progress reports should reflect the focus on measuring the project’s impact on the overarching objectives and should be compiled according to the objectives, outcomes, and outputs as outlined in the award’s Scope of Work (SOW) and in the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Statement. An assessment of the overall project’s impact should be included in each progress report. Where relevant, progress reports should include the following sections:

• Relevant contextual information (limited);

• Explanation and evaluation of significant activities of the reporting period and how the activities reflect progress toward achieving objectives, including meeting benchmarks/targets as set in the M&E plan. In addition, attach the M&E plan, comparing the target and actual numbers for the indicators;

• Any tangible impact or success stories from the project, when possible;

• Copy of mid-term and/or final evaluation report(s) conducted by an external evaluator; if applicable;

• Relevant supporting documentation or products related to the project activities (such as articles, meeting lists and agendas, participant surveys, photos, manuals, etc.) as separate attachments;

• Description of how the Recipient is pursuing sustainability, including looking for sources of follow-on funding;

• Any problems/challenges in implementing the project and a corrective action plan with an updated timeline of activities;

• Reasons why established goals were not met;

• Data for the required F Framework indicator(s) for the quarter as well as aggregate data by fiscal year using the SF-PPR-B: Project Indicators or other mutually agreed upon format approved by the Grants Officer. Evaluation indicators from the Foreign Assistance Framework can be found at http://www.state.gov/f/indicators/ ;

• Proposed activities for the next quarter;

• Additional pertinent information, including analysis and explanation of cost overruns or high unit costs, if applicable.

A final narrative and financial report must also be submitted within 90 days after the expiration of the award.

Please note: delays in reporting may result in delays of payment approvals and failure to provide required reports may jeopardize the recipients’ ability to receive future U.S. government funds.

DRL reserves the right to request any additional programmatic and/or financial project information during the award period.

G. Contact Information

For technical submission questions related to this solicitation, please contact Emma Friedheim at FriedheimER@state.gov.

For assistance with GrantSolutions.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please contact Customer Support at help@grantsolutions.gov or call 1-866-577-0771 (toll charges for international callers) or 1-202-401-5282. Customer Support is available 8 AM – 6 PM EST, Monday – Friday, except federal holidays.

For assistance with Grants.gov accounts and technical issues related to using the system, please call the Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or email support@grants.gov. The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except federal holidays.

For a list of federal holidays visit:

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/#url=2015

With the exception of technical submission questions, during the solicitation period U.S. Department of State staff in Washington and overseas shall not discuss this competition with applicants until the entire proposal review process has been completed and rejection and approval letters have been transmitted.

H. Other Information

Applicants should be aware that DRL understands that some information contained in applications may be considered sensitive or proprietary and will make appropriate efforts to protect such information. However, applicants are advised that DRL cannot guarantee that such information will not be disclosed, including pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or other similar statutes.

The information in this NOFO and DRL’s PSI for Applications, as updated in July 2015, is binding and may not be modified by any DRL representative. Explanatory information provided by DRL that contradicts this language will not be binding. Issuance of the NOFO and negotiation of applications does not constitute an award commitment on the part of the U.S. government. DRL reserves the right to reduce, revise, or increase proposal budgets in accordance with the needs of the project evaluation requirements.

This NOFO will appear on www.grants.gov, www.grantsolutions.gov, and DRL’s website http://www.state.gov/j/drl/p/c12302.htm.

Background Information on DRL and general DRL funding

DRL is the foreign policy lead within the U.S. government on promoting democracy and protecting human rights globally. DRL supports projects that uphold democratic principles, support and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights, prevent atrocities, combat and prevent violent extremism, and build civil society around the world. DRL typically focuses its work in countries with egregious human rights violations, where democracy and human rights advocates are under pressure, and where governments are undemocratic or in transition.

Additional background information on DRL and its efforts can be found on www.state.gov/j/drl and www.humanrights.gov


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A video posted on Facebook of a middle-aged man making anti-Islamic comments to two Muslim women in Exeter has gone viral.

The video was posted by student Kalsoom Naqvi who was in Sidwell Street with a friend when she claims the man made comments about Muslims as they walked past. Kalsoom then decided to go back and confront him.

What happened next near the Sidwell Fish & Chips shop was captured on a mobile phone video.

By Tuesday lunchtime the video had been viewed more than 70,000 times.

Kalsoom, who has been a student in Exeter for three years, said in a post on Facebook: “Today, my friend Tayiba Hussainn and I walked past this horrible guy on our way to Sidwell Street Tesco.

“He decided to make some very funny, intelligent and educated bomb jokes (something of the sort a primary child might say): ‘I hear a trigger going off… Kaboom!’ and followed up with some racist comments telling us to ‘Go back home’, and ‘This is not your country’.

“His friend, who can be seen walking away in the video, stood by and watched at the time. My friend and I decided to return and catch some of his comments on camera.

“I just hope that people like him will think twice about humiliating themselves in broad daylight!”

When confronted by the women on the video, he is asked what his problem was with them being ‘immigrants’. The man can be heard saying: “Where are you from, ‘cos you’re not from England?”

One of the women asks him; “Where are you from?” He answers: “I’m from f*****g England, born and bred.”

They question him where he’s from, and his parents, and he replies London. He challenges the women with the same question, and Kalsoom explains she and her parents were also born in London.

The man then claims the biggest problem with the country is Muslims, who he likens to ‘cockroaches’. He challenges the girls about wearing head scarves, then denies being racist when accused by a passer-by.

He questions what people have to wear in ‘their country’.

The women explain they are English, but he waves his arms and walks away as passers-by gather round in apparent support of the women.

Kalsoom said she wanted the man in the video to post an apology on his social media accounts.

Read more: Hundreds in Exeter sign petition to ban Donald Trump from the UK

There was outpouring of support for Kalsoom in comments under her post, made after the incident on Saturday.

Zareen Zaidi said: “Unbelievable really gutsy of you hun to stand there and record this considering the situation xxx.”

Zahraa Scott said: “This is terrible. If I see that man I will give him a few choice pieces of my mind.”

Ali Chattha said: “I’ve been in a similar situation and know it doesn’t feel good. Hope you’re fine.”

Shahzaib Elahi said: “Very proud of you! That took guts to confront him. Well done.”

Charlotte Hicks said: ” I’m so proud of you guys for keeping your ground and standing up to him, so many people would be too scared and just walk on.”

Lucy Wenham said: “Kalsoom you are fabulous as ever. Important to confront and film – just stay safe too hon. Well done you. x”

Read more: Racist abuse on Exeter bus passenger – police continue to search for witnesses

Security Council Renews Sanctions against South Sudan, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2290 (2016)

‘Disappointed’ Permanent Representative Questions Text’s ‘Interference’, Motive

Expressing its deep concern at the failure of South Sudan’s leaders to end hostilities and fully implement the agreement on resolving the conflict in that country, the Security Council today renewed until 31 May 2017 a package of sanctions — including a travel ban and asset freeze — imposed by resolution 2206 (2015) on those blocking peace, security and stability.

Unanimously adopting resolution 2290 (2016) under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the Council also extended until 1 July 2017 the mandate of the Panel of Experts overseeing the sanctions, asking it to report, within 120 days, on security threats and arms transfers into South Sudan since the Transitional Government of National Unity’s formation on 29 April.

The Council condemned the continued and flagrant violations of the ceasefire provisions of the “Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan”.  It also demanded that South Sudan’s leaders fully and immediately comply with the permanent ceasefire, in accordance with their obligations under that accord, and that it allow full, safe and unhindered access to help ensure timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need.

Reiterating that there was no military solution to the conflict, the Council expressed its intention to monitor and review the situation in South Sudan at 90-day intervals, or more frequently if needed, affirming its readiness to strengthen, modify, suspend or lift the sanctions in light of developments.

Speaking after the resolution’s adoption, Petr V. Iliichev (Russian Federation) said that sanctions could not replace serious political efforts.  He recalled that his delegation had opposed expanding the sanctions regime to include an arms embargo, and emphasized that its support for the text did not imply agreement with all its provisions.

David Pressman (United States) said that, following the Transitional Government’s formation, “much, much more remains to be done”, reminding South Sudan’s leaders that there was no alternative to full and expeditious implementation of the peace agreement.  The Council would be carefully monitoring the situation going forward, he added.

Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egpyt), Council President for May, spoke in his national capacity, stressing the importance of international support for the Transitional Government, and the need for the Council to send positive and encouraging messages.

Joseph Moum Majak Ngor Malok (South Sudan) expressed “great disappointment” that the resolution failed to recognize his country’s sovereign right to govern and manage its own affairs without interference from the Security Council.  He questioned the motive behind language in the text on the arming of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), saying that the country’s stability depended on its readiness to protect itself against aggression in a region awash with weapons.  He called on the Council to engage positively with the Transitional Government as it implemented the peace agreement.

The meeting began at 10:10 a.m. and ended at 10:30 a.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2290 (2016) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions and statements on South Sudan, in particular resolutions 2057 (2012), 2109 (2013), 2132 (2013), 2155 (2014), 2187 (2014), 2206 (2015), 2241 (2015), 2252 (2015), 2271 (2016) and 2280 (2016),

Expressing grave alarm and concern regarding the conflict between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and opposition forces which emanated from internal political disputes among the country’s political and military leaders that has resulted in great human suffering, including significant loss of life, displacement of more than 2 million people, and the loss of property, further impoverishing and disadvantaging the people of South Sudan,

Welcoming the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (‘the Agreement’) as contained in S/2016/654 and further welcoming the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) on 29 April 2016 as a vital step towards the full implementation of the Agreement and also welcoming the remarks of both President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar on the need to ensure reconciliation and a spirit of cooperation,

Urging the TGNU to fully and unconditionally implement all parts of the Agreement, uphold the permanent ceasefire and address the economic crisis and dire humanitarian situation,

Welcoming the establishment of the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission and its work towards implementing ceasefire and transitional security arrangements, and the commencement of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, and noting the positive meeting and dialogue of military and police representatives in Juba at the conference held on 12-14 May 2016,

Welcoming the support of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) and the African Union through its High Representative for South Sudan, former President Alpha Oumar Konaré, for the formation of the TGNU and calling upon the TGNU to extend its full cooperation and support to the JMEC Chair, former President Festus Mogae, for implementation of the Agreement,

Strongly condemning past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including those involving targeted killings of civilians, ethnically targeted violence, extrajudicial killings, rape, and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, abductions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, violence aimed at spreading terror among the civilian population, and attacks on schools, places of worship and hospitals, as well as United Nations and associated peacekeeping personnel and objects, by all parties, including armed groups and national security forces, as well as the incitement to commit such abuses and violations, further condemning harassment and targeting of civil society, humanitarian personnel and journalists, and emphasizing that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights must be held accountable, and that South Sudan’s TGNU bears the primary responsibility to protect its population from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity,

Expressing deep concern over the large-scale displacement of persons and deepening humanitarian crisis, noting the finding in the final report of the South Sudan Panel of Experts (S/2016/70), established pursuant to paragraph 18 of resolution 2206 (2015), that obstruction of humanitarian access is wide-spread and that parts of numerous states of South Sudan are entirely blocked from humanitarian relief, stressing the responsibility borne by all parties to the conflict for the suffering of the people of South Sudan, and in this regard, recognizes that in accordance with the Agreement, the TGNU shall review the Non-Governmental Organizations Bill, and submit the legislation to a process of public consultation to ensure that such legislation is consistent with international best practice and with its commitment to create an enabling political, administrative, operational and legal environment for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and protection,

Commending United Nations humanitarian agencies and partners for their efforts to provide urgent and coordinated support to the population, calling upon all parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel, equipment and supplies to all those in need and the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance, in particular to internally displaced persons and refugees, condemning all attacks against humanitarian personnel and facilities and recalling that attacks against humanitarian personnel and depriving civilians of objects indispensable to their survival may amount to violations of international humanitarian law,

Taking note of the December 2015 UN Panel of Experts’ Report (S/2016/70), which, inter alia, notes violations of the Agreement’s permanent ceasefire by the parties, including after the signing of the Agreement, the ever-worsening humanitarian catastrophe, widespread human rights violations and abuses, and government violations of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) status-of-forces agreement, and noting the finding in the Panel of Experts Final Report that, while it is not a violation of the sanctions measures established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015), both sides have continued to acquire arms and military equipment after the signing of the Agreement and noting that such acquisitions undermine the implementation of the Agreement by facilitating violations of the permanent ceasefire,

Welcoming the resolve indicated in the IGAD Council of Ministers communiqué of 31 January 2016, urging the TGNU to abide by and take no action inconsistent with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) 30‑31 January 2016 communiqué, which was subsequently endorsed by the parties and JMEC, on the issue of the Presidential Decree on the creation of 28 new states and calling on the United Nations Security Council to support consequences in the event the South Sudanese parties fail or refuse to implement the Peace Agreement, and further welcoming its demand that the parties to the conflict take immediate action to ensure unconditional humanitarian access across the country,

Welcoming also the 29 January 2016 AU PSC communiqué which, inter alia, called on all South Sudanese parties to abide scrupulously by the terms of the Agreement and implement faithfully its provisions, called on all African Union (AU) Member States and partners to fully support the implementation of the Agreement, and urged the international community to lend support towards the implementation of the Agreement in a coordinated manner,

Welcoming the 26 September 2015 AU PSC communiqué, which, inter alia, expressed the AU’s commitment, both through the High Representative for South Sudan and the AU High-Level ad hoc Committee on South Sudan, to fully play its role in the implementation process, together with IGAD, the United Nations and other concerned international stakeholders,

Also welcoming the 22 May 2015 AU PSC press statement, which, inter alia, underlined the particular relevance of resolution 2206 (2015), in order to support the search for an inclusive and sustainable peace in South Sudan,

Recalling the AU PSC communiqués dated 12 June 2014, 5 December 2014 and 29 January 2015 which, inter alia, stressed that sanctions will be imposed against all parties that continue to obstruct the political process and undermine the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of 23 January 2014, and further recalling the AU PSC Communique dated 26 September 2015 expressing determination to impose measures against all those who would impede the implementation of the Agreement and the AU PSC communiqué dated 29 January 2016 which recalls previous AU PSC Communiques and press statements on South Sudan,

Further recalling the communiqué of the twenty-eighth Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government, which inter alia, invited collective action as appropriate by the States of IGAD to enact asset freezes and travel bans, and deny the supply of arms and ammunition and any other material that could be used in war and called on the AU PSC and United Nations Security Council, and the international community to render all possible assistance in the implementation of such action,

Welcoming the China-mediated “Five-Point Plan” that was agreed upon during the Special Consultation in Support of IGAD-led South Sudan Peace Process convened on 12 January 2015 in Khartoum, and strongly urging the TGNU to immediately implement the Five-Point Plan,

Expressing its deep appreciation for the actions taken by UNMISS peacekeepers and troop- and police-contributing countries to protect civilians, including foreign nationals, under threat of physical violence and to stabilize the security situation,

Recognizing the importance of independent and public human rights monitoring, investigation and reporting for its useful role in laying the groundwork for justice, accountability, reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities,

Taking note with interest of the reports on the human rights situation in South Sudan issued by UNMISS, the Secretary-General, and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR),

Expressing grave concern that, according to the 11 March 2016 “Report of Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Assessment Mission to Improve Human Rights, Accountability, Reconciliations and Capacity in South Sudan” and the UNMISS/OHCHR 4 December 2015 report “The State of Human Rights in the Protracted Conflict in South Sudan”, the scale, intensity and severity of human rights violations and abuses have increased with the continuation of hostilities, that there continue to be reasonable grounds to believe that violations and abuses of human rights, including those involving extrajudicial killings, rape and other acts of sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary detention, as well as violations of international humanitarian law have been committed, which may amount to war crimes and/or crimes against humanity, and stressing the urgent and imperative need to end impunity in South Sudan and to bring to justice perpetrators of such crimes,

Welcoming the release of the AU Commission of Inquiry (AU COI) report on South Sudan and the Separate Opinion, and recognizing the AU COI’s work in investigating and documenting violations and abuses of international human rights law and violations of international humanitarian law in South Sudan and expressing grave concern at the AU COI’s finding that it has reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes such as murder, outrages upon personal dignity such as rape and other acts of sexual violence, and cruel and degrading treatment, targeting of civilian objects and protected property have occurred and that violations were carried out by both sides to the conflict,

Emphasizing its hope that this and other reporting will be considered, as appropriate, by the mechanisms on transitional justice, accountability, reconciliation and healing as called for in Chapter V of the Agreement, including the hybrid court and the Commission for Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation, stressing the importance of accountability, reconciliation, and healing among all South Sudanese communities as prominent elements of a transitional agenda, while also taking note of the important role international investigations, and where appropriate, prosecutions can play with respect to holding those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity,

Strongly condemning the use of media to broadcast hate speech and transmit messages instigating sexual violence against a particular ethnic group, which has the potential to play a significant role in promoting mass violence and exacerbating conflict, and calling on the TGNU to take appropriate measures to address such activity, and further urging all parties to desist from these actions and instead contribute to promoting peace and reconciliation among the communities,

Recognizing the important role played by civil society organizations, faith leaders, women and youth in South Sudan, underscoring the importance of their participation — along with the former SPLM detainees and other political parties — to finding a sustainable solution to the crisis in the country, and concerned by efforts of some TGNU officials to limit such participation including by increased restrictions of freedom of expression,

Reaffirming all its relevant resolutions on women, peace, and security, on children and armed conflict, and the protection of civilians in armed conflict, as well as resolutions 1502 (2003) on the protection of humanitarian and United Nations personnel, resolution 2150 (2014) on the Prevention and Fight against Genocide, resolution 2151 (2014) on security sector reform, and resolution 2286 (2016) on protection of humanitarian and health-care personnel and facilities,

Recalling resolutions 1209 (1998), 2117 (2013) and 2220 (2015) and expressing grave concern at the threat to peace and security in South Sudan arising from the illicit transfer, destabilizing accumulation and misuse of small arms and light weapons and emphasizing the importance of strengthening efforts to combat the illicit circulation of such weapons,

Recalling the Informal Working Group on General issues of Sanctions report (S/2006/997) on best practices and methods, including paragraphs 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25 that discuss possible steps for clarifying methodological standards for monitoring mechanisms,

Noting the Agreement’s call for South Sudan’s political leaders to establish effective leadership and to commit themselves to the fight against corruption,

Reiterating its concern at persistent restrictions placed upon the movement and operations of UNMISS, strongly condemning the attacks by government and opposition forces and other groups on United Nations and IGAD personnel and facilities, and the detentions and kidnappings of United Nations and associated personnel and calling upon the Government of South Sudan to complete its investigations of these attacks in a swift and thorough manner and to hold those responsible to account,

Determining that the situation in South Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

Acting under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1.   Endorses the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (the ‘Agreement’);

“2.   Welcomes the formation of the TGNU on 29 April 2016 as a vital step in towards the full implementation of the Agreement;

“3.   Expresses deep concern at the failures of South Sudan’s leaders to fully implement their commitments pursuant to the Agreement, and to bring an end to the hostilities and, further, condemns the continued and flagrant violations of the ceasefire provisions of the Agreement, including violations as documented by the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Mechanism;

“4.   Demands that South Sudan’s leaders fully and immediately adhere to the permanent ceasefire in accordance with their obligations under the Agreement, and allow in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and the UN guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to help ensure timely delivery of humanitarian assistance to all those in need;

“5.   Reiterates that there is no military solution to the conflict;

Targeted Sanctions

“6.   Underscores its willingness to impose targeted sanctions in order to support the search for an inclusive and sustainable peace in South Sudan, including through the timely and full implementation of the Agreement;

“7.   Decides to renew until 31 May 2017 the travel and financial measures imposed by paragraphs 9 and 12 of resolution 2206 (2015), and reaffirms the provisions of paragraphs 10, 11, 13, 14 and 15 of resolution 2206 (2015);

“8.   Reaffirms that the provisions of paragraph 9 of resolution 2206 (2015) apply to individuals, and that the provisions of paragraph 12 of resolution 2206 (2015) apply to individuals and entities, as designated for such measures by the Committee established pursuant to paragraph 16 of resolution 2206 (2015) (‘the Committee’), as responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that threaten the peace, security or stability of South Sudan;

“9.   Underscores that such actions or policies as described in paragraph 8 above may include, but are not limited to:

(a)   Actions or policies that have the purpose or effect of expanding or extending the conflict in South Sudan or obstructing reconciliation or peace talks or processes, including breaches of the Agreement;

(b)   Actions or policies that threaten transitional agreements or undermine the political process in South Sudan;

(c)   Planning, directing, or committing acts that violate applicable international human rights law or international humanitarian law, or acts that constitute human rights abuses, in South Sudan;

(d)   The targeting of civilians, including women and children, through the commission of acts of violence (including killing, maiming, torture, or rape or other sexual and gender-based violence), abduction, enforced disappearance, forced displacement, or attacks on schools, hospitals, religious sites, or locations where civilians are seeking refuge, or through conduct that would constitute a serious abuse or violation of human rights or a violation of international humanitarian law;

(e)   The use or recruitment of children by armed groups or armed forces in the context of the armed conflict in South Sudan;

(f)   The obstruction of the activities of international peacekeeping, diplomatic, or humanitarian missions in South Sudan, including the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism or of the delivery or distribution of, or access to, humanitarian assistance;

(g)   Attacks against United Nations missions, international security presences, or other peacekeeping operations, or humanitarian personnel; or

(h)   Acting for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, an individual or entity designated by the Committee;

“10.  Reaffirms that the provisions of paragraphs 9 and 12 of resolution 2206 (2015) apply to individuals, as designated for such measures by the Committee, who are leaders of any entity, including any South Sudanese government, opposition, militia, or other group, that has, or whose members have, engaged in any of the activities described in paragraphs 8 and 9 above;

Sanctions Committee/Panel of Experts

“11.  Emphasizes the importance of holding regular consultations with concerned Member States, international and regional and subregional organizations, as well as UNMISS, as may be necessary, in particular neighbouring and regional States, in order to ensure the full implementation of the measures in this resolution, and in that regard encourages the Committee to consider, where and when appropriate, visits to selected countries by the Chair and/or Committee members;

“12.  Decides to extend until 1 July 2017 the mandate of the Panel of Experts as set out in paragraph 18 of resolution 2206 (2015) and this paragraph, expresses its intention to review the mandate and take appropriate action regarding the further extension no later than 31 May 2017, and decides that the Panel should carry out the following tasks:

(a)   Assist the Committee in carrying out its mandate as specified in this resolution, including through providing the Committee with information relevant to the potential designation of individuals and entities who may be engaging in the activities described in paragraphs 8 and 9 above;

(b)   Gather, examine and analyse information regarding the implementation of the measures decided in this resolution, in particular incidents of non‑compliance, with particular focus on the benchmarks outlined in paragraphs 15 and 16 below;

(c)   Gather, examine and analyse information regarding the supply, sale or transfer of arms and related materiel and related military or other assistance, including through illicit trafficking networks, to individuals and entities undermining implementation of the Agreement or participating in acts that violate international human rights law or international humanitarian law, as applicable;

(d)   Provide to the Council, after discussion with the Committee, an interim report by 1 December 2016, a final report by 1 May 2017, and except in the months when these reports are due, updates each month;

(e)   Also to provide to the Council a report within 120 days providing analysis of the current security threats facing the TGNU, and its needs to maintain law and order in South Sudan, as well as further analysis on the role of transfers of arms and related materiel coming into South Sudan since the formation of the TGNU with respect to implementation of the Agreement and threats to UNMISS and other UN and international humanitarian personnel;

(f)   Assist the Committee in refining and updating information on the list of individuals and entities subject to the measures imposed by this resolution, including through the provision of identifying information and additional information for the publicly-available narrative summary of reasons for listing;

“13.  Calls upon all parties and all Member States, as well as international, regional and subregional organizations to ensure cooperation with the Panel of Experts and further urges all Member States involved to ensure the safety of the members of the Panel of Experts and unhindered access, in particular to persons, documents and sites in order for the Panel of Experts to execute its mandate;

“14.  Requests the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict and the Special Representative for Sexual Violence in Conflict to share relevant information with the Committee in accordance with paragraph 7 of resolution 1960 (2010) and paragraph 9 of resolution 1998 (2011);

Review

“15.  Expresses its intent to monitor and review the situation at 90-day intervals from the adoption of this resolution or more frequently, as needed, and invites the JMEC to share relevant information with the Council, as appropriate, on its assessment of the parties’ implementation of the Agreement, adherence to the permanent ceasefire, and facilitation of humanitarian access, also expresses its intent to impose any sanctions that may be appropriate to respond to the situation, which may include an arms embargo and the designation of senior individuals responsible for actions or policies that threaten the peace, security or stability of South Sudan, including by impeding the implementation of the Agreement, or by failing to take effective and comprehensive steps to cause forces under direct or indirect control to cease military operations, acts of violence, as well as human rights violations or abuses or violations of international humanitarian law, and to enable full access for humanitarian assistance;

“16.  Affirms also that it shall be prepared to adjust the measures contained in this resolution, including by strengthening through additional measures, as well as modification, suspension or lifting of the measures, as may be needed at any time in light of the progress achieved in the peace, accountability and reconciliation process, and in light of the implementation of the Agreement and the parties’ commitments, including the ceasefire, and compliance with this and other applicable resolutions;

“17.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”