The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, welcomes the signing of the Agreement on Outstanding Issues of Governance, in Khartoum, on 5 August 2018.
“This constitutes an important step in ending the conflict in South Sudan and the suffering inflicted on its people,” he said.
The Chairperson urges the South Sudanese parties to sustain the momentum arising from the signed agreement, by continuing to demonstrate the required spirit of compromise and implementing in good faith the commitments they have made.
He said the people of South Sudan have suffered far too long, and their aspirations for lasting peace and security can no longer be deferred.
He also congratulates President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and the other leaders of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), for their tireless efforts and determination in the quest for peace, security and reconciliation in South Sudan.
He takes note of the decision by the IGAD leaders to entrust President al-Bashir with the continuation of the mediation process, with the view to completing the remaining steps in the revitalization of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the African Union’s support to the IGAD-led process.
The High-Level ad hoc Committee on South Sudan, led by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and comprising the Heads of State of Algeria, Chad, Nigeria and Rwanda, as well as the African Union High Representative for South Sudan, former President Alpha Oumar Konaré of Mali, will remain actively engaged to assist the ongoing process, in whatever way deemed appropriate.
The UN Human Rights Commission noted on February 2018 that children have been recruited by all sides in the conflict and forced to kill civilians; in many cases they have watched loved ones raped or killed.
Children are also thought to make up a quarter of the sexual violence victims in a conflict where rape has reached grotesque levels. If the fighting continues unabated, only one in thirteen South Sudanese will finish primary education, blighting a whole generation.
The Commission’s report chronicles appalling instances of cruelty against civilians who have had their eyes gouged out, their throats slit or been castrated.