Motion for a resolution - B7-0018/2014Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in South Sudan

13.1.2014 - (2014/2512(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Louis Michel, Niccolò Rinaldi, Graham Watson, Jelko Kacin, Liam Aylward, Marielle de Sarnez, Marietje Schaake, Sarah Ludford, Kristiina Ojuland, Hannu Takkula, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen, Robert Rochefort on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0018/2014

Procedure : 2014/2512(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in South Sudan


The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its resolution of 13 June 2012 on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan[1],

–   having regard to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1966 Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

–   having regard to Partnership Agreement 2000/483/EC between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States of the other part, signed in Cotonou (Benin) on 23 June 2000 and revised successively in 2005 and 2010,

–   having regard to the Global Peace Agreement of 2005,

–   having regard to the Addis Agreements of 27 September 2012,

–   having regard to the statements by Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, of 24 December 2013 and 2 January 2014 on the situation in South Sudan,

–   having regard to the statements of 16 December and 28 December 2013 by the High Representative’s spokesperson on the situation in South Sudan,

–   having regard to the local EU statement of 20 December 2013 on the current conflict in South Sudan,

–   having regard to the UN Security Council’s declarations of 17, 20 and 30 December 2013 on the situation in South Sudan,

–   having regard to UN Security Council resolution 2132 (2013) of 24 December 2013 on South Sudan,

–   having regard to the statement of 4 January 2014 by the African Union Commission Chairperson, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, on the situation in the South Sudan,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the government of South Sudan has struggled to establish a functioning state since declaring independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011; whereas after rumours about a planned coup surfaced in Juba in late 2012, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir issued a series of decrees making major changes to the senior leadership of South Sudan’s government and military, and to his party, without a broad consensus;

B.  whereas on 23 July 2013, President Kiir, who belongs to the Dinka tribe, dissolved the whole cabinet and dismissed Vice-President Riek Machar, who is Nuer; whereas in November 2013, President Kiir disbanded all of the top-level organs of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM), including the Political Bureau, the National Convention and the National Liberation Council;

C. whereas on 14 December 2013, senior members of the SPLM Political Bureau, including the party’s deputy chairman Riek Machar pulled out of a National Liberation Council meeting citing a ‘lack of dialogue spirit’;

D. whereas on 15 December 2013, military clashes occurred between presidential guards in military barracks in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and President Kiir accused Riek Machar of an attempt to seize power;

E.  whereas on 16 December 2013 fighting started spreading beyond Juba to the region around Jonglei;

F.  whereas, since September 2011, i.e. before the deterioration of the situation in mid-December 2013, Sudanese government forces have been bombing indiscriminately across Blue Nile State, spreading palpable fear among civilians who live there;

G. whereas on 19 December 2013, a Nuer militia led by Peter Gadet, the defected former 8th Division commander, claimed control of Bor, the capital of Jonglei State; whereas at the end of December 2013 and at the beginning of January 2014 the city of Bor was captured and recaptured by representatives of both the army and the rebels, and whereas since 4 January the army has been battling to wrest the city back;

H. whereas on 21 December 2013, the government confirmed that it had lost control of Bentiu, capital of the key oil-producing Unity State, to General James Koang, a Nuer commander loyal to Machar, although Machar denied it; whereas amid the eruption of violence along ethnic lines in South Sudan, UN investigators discovered a mass grave in Bentiu, a rebel-held city, and, according to the government minister of information, Michael Makuei Lueth, the rebels can be held responsible for the killings;

I.   whereas conflict spread to oil areas and, at the end of December 2013, five of the ten states in South Sudan had reported fighting, including Jonglei, Unity, Upper Nile and Central Equatoria, and ethnically targeted violence was also reported throughout the country; whereas on 2 January 2014, President Salva Kiir declared a state of emergency in Unity and Jonglei, two states in which rebels loyal to Machar control the capitals;

J.   whereas on 24 December 2013, the rebels entered the city of Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State, which supplied all of South Sudan’s crude oil, and whereas on 27 December the army said it had taken back full control over the city;

K. whereas on 30 December 2013, South Sudanese government troops clashed with ethnic White Army militiamen and other rebel factions loyal to Machar near the flashpoint city of Bor, and a rebel spokesman denied that Machar controls the White Army militiamen; whereas, although the conflict began as a political power struggle, it has taken on an ethnic dimension and includes evidence of ethnically targeted killings, according to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS);

L.  whereas recently there have been attacks against Nuba people, unlawful killings, mass rapes and arbitrary arrests of civilians living in the Nuba Mountains; whereas during the last two weeks of December 2013, Sudanese government militias and armed forces, supported by security elements, attacked many areas around Kadugli and Dillanj, thousands of civilians fled their homes and unlawful killings and mass rapes of women were reported;

M. whereas on 5 January 2014, representatives of President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar met in Ethiopia to start peace talks which focused on a ceasefire and the release of political prisoners; whereas despite these talks, fighting continues; whereas the main bone of contention is the release of prisoners accused of plotting a coup d’état in mid-December;

N. whereas on 3 September 2013, a summit was organised between the presidents of Sudan and South Sudan in Khartoum; whereas both parties renewed their commitments to proceed with the implementation of the Addis Agreements of 27 September 2012, under the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel chaired by President Mbeki, and to work to resolve other outstanding issues, including the final status of Abyei and border-related issues; whereas these talks are a positive step towards the stabilisation of South Sudan;

O. whereas more and more civilians are fleeing to neighbouring countries; whereas according to Toby Lanzer, Humanitarian Coordinator in South Sudan, over the past two weeks violence has driven some 200 000 people from their homes and affected many hundreds of thousands of people indirectly; whereas on 18 December 2013 the UN reported that 13 000 people were taking refuge from the fighting in its two compounds in Juba; whereas this crisis risks affecting a much wider region that is already prone to instability, and the international response being carried out on the ground needs to take that fact into account at all times;

P.  whereas the African Union (AU) is carrying out mediation with a view to putting an end to the crisis in South Sudan; whereas the AU and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) have, on many occasions, called for an immediate ceasefire in South Sudan;

Q. whereas the UN has stepped up its presence on the ground, including the deployment of three helicopters in early January 2014 to the South Sudanese capital of Juba to help reinforce United Nations peacekeeping bases in the country; whereas this effort is part of a Security Council-authorised plan to double UNMISS’s armed strength to nearly 14 000 in an effort to protect civilians affected by the three weeks of ongoing fighting between pro- and anti-government troops;

R.  whereas 62 000 civilians in South Sudan are currently under the protection of UN peacekeepers in the UN bases;

S.  whereas the EU has substantially increased its development assistance to meet South Sudan’s needs; whereas on 23 December 2013, the EU announced that it would be providing EUR 50 million for humanitarian action in South Sudan to cover basic needs and because the overall situation has been acknowledged as one of today’s worst humanitarian crises; whereas this brings EU humanitarian assistance to EUR 170 million to date in the financial years 2013 and 2014;

T.  whereas the mandate of the European Union Aviation Security Mission in South Sudan (EUAVSEC) lasted until January 2014; whereas this mission aimed to secure Juba’s international airport;

1.  Expresses its deep concern regarding the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan resulting from the political dispute and subsequent violence caused by the country’s political leaders; points out that this seriously threatens stability and long-term security in South Sudan, as well as the stability of the region as a whole;

2.  Strongly condemns atrocities committed against innocent civilians of different communities by elements from both sides and reported human rights violations and abuses by all parties, including armed groups and national security forces; strongly condemns the attack on 19 December 2013 against the UNMISS camp in Akobo, which caused the death of two Indian soldiers and injured another, as well as causing the deaths of at least 20 people seeking protection from UNMISS; condemns and emphasises that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law must be held accountable and prosecuted; strongly condemns the attacks against oil installations, which caused heavy casualties among oil workers, and calls on all parties to ensure the safety of economic infrastructure and the safety of employees; welcomes the AU’s decision to establish a Commission to investigate human rights violations and other abuses;

3.  Calls for an immediate end to the harassment and unlawful arrest of members of the opposition for the lawful and peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression and assembly;

4.  Reaffirms its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Republic of South Sudan;

5.  Appeals to both parties to adhere to the Constitution and respect the institutions established by the Constitution;

6.  Notes that South Sudan is endowed with many oil resources and that these represent a potential source of tension;

7.  Condemns the fighting and targeted violence against civilians and specific ethnic and other communities occurring across the country that have resulted in hundreds of deaths and casualties, more than 300 000 displaced persons, and 30 000 refugees in neighbouring countries (Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan); is worried that the conflict has turned into an ethnic conflict between different factions in South Sudan and could lead to a civil war;

8.  Is worried about the humanitarian situation in the country, particularly for those South Sudanese nationals who have been displaced or have become refugees in neighbouring countries; calls on all parties to ensure safe and unhindered access to humanitarian organisations;

9.  Is extremely concerned that South Sudan risks spiralling into a disaster for both its own people and the stability of the region, as regards the possibility of military action by both Sudan and South Sudan with a view to controlling strategic oil sites; points out that the situation in South Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region;

10. Welcomes the opening of South Sudan peace talks and encourages those involved to pursue their talks under the auspices of IGAD; calls for a an immediate agreement on a ceasefire, monitoring and humanitarian access;

11. Insists that a comprehensive political solution, including agreement on a ceasefire and the release of political prisoners, is vital for finding solutions to the crisis and paving the way for the sustainable development of South Sudan;

12. Encourages the Government of the Republic of South Sudan to make a gesture of goodwill by immediately releasing all arrested politicians who are not involved in the ongoing fighting so that they can effectively participate in the peaceful settlement of the conflict;

13. Encourages neighbouring countries, regional organisations and the international community to pursue their efforts to end the violence; expresses its support for IGAD mediation; welcomes the work of UN Special Representative and head of UNMISS, Hilde Johnson, and the work of the AU, and welcomes the strengthening of UNMISS’s human rights investigation capacities with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights;

14. Welcomes the humanitarian aid provided, in particular by the EU, the AU and the UN to the people affected by the conflict and by displacement in South Sudan, and calls on those institutions and on other international and regional partners actively to support South Soudan’s reconstruction and the peace-building process; calls on the South Sudanese authorities to work with all regional and international partners in order to stabilise the country;

15. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the UN Security Council, the UN Secretary-General, the institutions of the African Union, the Economic Community of Central African States, the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the Member States of the European Union.