Motion for a resolution - B7-0020/2014Motion 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

Cristian Dan Preda, Filip Kaczmarek, Gay Mitchell, Davor Ivo Stier, Mariya Gabriel, Eija-Riitta Korhola, Tunne Kelam, Sergio Paolo Francesco Silvestris, Monica Luisa Macovei, Elena Băsescu, Eduard Kukan, Philippe Boulland, Arnaud Danjean, Roberta Angelilli, Sari Essayah, Joachim Zeller on behalf of the PPE 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 previous resolutions on South Sudan and Sudan,

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

–   having regard to the Council conclusions of 22 July 2013 on Sudan and South Sudan,

–   having regard to UN Security Council resolutions 2132 (2013) of 24 December 2013 and 2126 (2013) of 25 November 2013,

–   having regard to the statement from the Executive Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) of 19 December 2013,

–   having regard to the talks on the situation in South Sudan, called for by the African Union Peace and Security Council (PSC), notably at its Banjul meeting of 30 December 2013, and by the Summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held in Nairobi on 27 December 2013,

–   having regard to the press statement issued on behalf of the African Union by the Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, on 4 January 2014,

–   having regard to the statement of 8 January 2014 issued by the IGAD special envoys after their visit to Juba in order to unblock the talks between the government and the rebel side,

–   having regard to the Sudanese Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005,

–   having regard to the Roadmap for Sudan and South Sudan set out in the communiqué issued by the African Union Peace and Security Council on 24 April 2012, which is fully supported by the EU,

–   having regard to the revised Cotonou Agreement,

–   having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

–   having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,

–   having regards to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,

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

A. whereas on 15 December 2013 fighting began in South Sudan between government troops and a loose alliance of ethnic militia forces and mutinous army commanders;

B.  whereas the conflict started after Salva Kiir, the country’s president and a member of the Dinka ethnic group, accused his sacked vice-president, Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, of plotting a coup d’état against him; whereas Riek Machar has denied attempting a coup;

C. whereas fighters loyal to former vice-president Machar have concentrated their fighting in oil-rich states in the country’s northeastern state of Jonglei, spreading to parts of Juba and the northern states of Unity and Upper Nile; whereas fighting intensified on the ground as the army moved on the rebel-held town of Bor, capital of Jonglei state;

D. whereas mass extrajudicial killings, the targeting of individuals on the basis of their ethnicity and arbitrary detentions have been documented, with at least three mass graves identified on 6 January 2014;

E.  whereas the conflict has left nearly 1 000 dead, while more than 200 000 people have been displaced or have fled the country, mostly to Uganda and Kenya;

F.  whereas Eastern African neighbours, including Kenya and Ethiopia, have pressed both sides to seek peace; whereas Uganda, at the request of President Kiir, has sent 1 200 troops and military hardware to secure installations such as the airport and state houses;

G. whereas South Sudan’s oil production fell by 45 000 barrels per day (some 20 %) to 200 000 bpd after oilfields in its northern Unity state were shut down as a result of fighting;

H. whereas on 7 January 2014 the government and rebel parties held their first face-to-face meeting in Addis Ababa, raising hopes of a ceasefire; whereas, however, these talks appear to be deadlocked over the government’s imprisonment of 11 alleged coup plotters;

I.   whereas the rebels are insisting on the release of 11 senior politicians close to Machar arrested over the alleged coup, so that they can participate in the talks; whereas President Kiir has said that they could take part in the regionally brokered talks if the discussions were moved from Ethiopia to Juba, so that they could return to their places of detention at night, as they would be released according to the country’s judicial process; whereas rebels have rejected this offer; whereas the detainees have stated that their status as detainees should not be an impediment to reaching an agreement on a cessation of hostilities;

J.   whereas US envoy Donald Booth and envoys from South Sudan’s neighbours met on 11 January 2014 with Riek Machar to try to incorporate the proposals of both sides into a draft ceasefire document;

K. whereas, despite the ongoing peace talks, instability, fighting and the mobilisation of armed forces have continued; whereas governmental forces are currently trying to reconquer the town of Bor, the last state capital still in rebel hands;

L.  whereas on 8 January 2014 several dozen people held a peace march in Juba, denouncing the fighting between the president and the deposed vice-president’s camps;

M. whereas the humanitarian situation is extremely worrying as there is very little access to the people in need; whereas the fighting and attacks on aid workers and assets, have also prevented humanitarian workers from moving in to offer help;

N. whereas, following a UN request for assistance, the Union Civil Protection Mechanism was activated on 4 January 2014 to support South Sudan with in-kind assistance in the provision of shelter, medical material, medicine, welfare material and food;

O. whereas the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2132 (2013) on 24 December 2013 authorising a reinforcement of 5 500 troops and 440 policemen to increase the overall force levels of the UN mission in South Sudan;

P.  whereas the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has launched a consolidated appeal for USD 166 million to respond to the crisis and assist an estimated 628 000 people from January to March 2014; whereas the top priorities are camp management, food and livelihoods, health, shelter, protection, water, sanitation and hygiene, and the ongoing response to refugees already living in South Sudan;

Q. whereas the Commission is supporting life-saving actions, with nearly EUR 160 million in humanitarian aid allocated in 2012-2013; whereas it is also making EUR 50 million available in 2014 to respond to the unfolding and intensifying humanitarian crisis in the country;

R.  whereas the International Criminal Court has issued two arrest warrants against President al-Bashir, accusing him of responsibility for war crimes, crimes against humanity and acts of genocide committed by Sudanese forces and their allied Janjaweed militia in Darfur, Sudan;

1.  Strongly condemns the latest outburst of fighting in South Sudan and calls on all parties to lay down their weapons and immediately end the violence which has caused deaths, injuries and damage among the civilian population since the beginning of the crisis in December 2013;

2.  Expresses its strong concern about the recent escalation of violence in South Sudan, which has serious political, economic, social and humanitarian consequences in the already fragile and volatile country; is especially worried about the ethnic dimension of the conflict; stresses that seeking power by violence or division along ethnic lines is contrary to the democratic rule of law and contravenes international law;

3.  Condemns the reported human rights violations and abuses by all parties, including armed groups and national security forces, and underlines the fact that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law must be held accountable;

4.  Call on the government and the rebel sides to settle their differences peacefully, show good will and agree on an unconditional ceasefire and an end to hostilities in order to reduce tensions and ease the already dire situation of the population;

5.  Welcomes the mediation efforts undertaken by the IGAD envoys and their commitment to take all the steps required to facilitate a successful conclusion of the negotiations between the leaders of South Sudan; fully supports the ongoing negotiations in Addis Ababa and, in this connection, urges the government and the rebel sides to engage in unconditional, inclusive and holistic political talks in good faith and to cooperate fully with the IGAD special envoys;

6.  Urges the Government of Sudan to introduce the necessary political and economic reforms in order to address to the country’s mismanagement, chronic poverty, rising levels of corruption and insecurity;

7.  Welcomes the African Union Peace and Security Council’s decision to establish a commission to investigate human rights violations and other abuses and recommend ways and means of ensuring accountability, reconciliation and healing among all communities

8.  Encourages all neighbours of South Sudan to work closely together in order to improve the security situation in the region; stresses that cooperation with Sudan in particular would represent an improvement in ties, after the civil war foes came close to conflict again in disputes over oil fees and the border in the early part of 2012;

9.  Calls on South Sudan’s leaders to allow humanitarian workers to do their job and provide them with the security they require to immediately respond to the basic needs of the population and prevent a humanitarian tragedy in South Sudan;

10. Calls on the Commission, the Member States and the international community to honour their funding commitments to the region and mobilise resources in order to respond immediately to the worsening humanitarian situation in South Sudan and, in particular, address the severe shortages in food and water, emergency shelter and protection;

11. Urges South Sudan to ratify the Cotonou Agreement between the EU and ACP states, in order to make the EU’s long-term commitment to South Sudan’s development effective;

12. Welcomes the decision to reinforce the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) with additional military, police, logistics and civilian staff; stresses however, that it is the state’s primary responsibility to protect civilians;

13. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Government of South Sudan, the Human Rights Commissioner of South Sudan, the National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan, the African Union’s institutions, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the UN Secretary-General.