WASHINGTON, February 10, 2014 – We are deeply concerned by reports of violations by both the Government of South Sudan and anti-government forces of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement that was signed in Addis Ababa on January 23. We urge the redeployment or phased withdrawal of foreign forces invited by either side, and warn of the serious consequences which could result from any regionalization of this conflict.
We welcome the arrival in Juba of the first component of the team that will eventually monitor and verify the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities agreement. We strongly urge the Government of South Sudan to facilitate its important work, which will provide both sides with a mechanism to report any breaches of the agreement.
We look forward to the beginning of the IGAD-led political dialogue and inclusive reconciliation process. We urge the government of South Sudan to support these efforts and to release the remaining four political detainees. The expeditious release and transfer of all of the detainees would reduce tension and build confidence in an inclusive reconciliation process.
We also call on the government of South Sudan to fully cooperate with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). It is imperative that the government ensure that any assaults on and threats against UNMISS facilities and personnel immediately cease. The Mission’s ability to carry out its mandate is critical to establish peace and meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of South Sudan.