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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on South Sudan, including recent child abductions

10.3.2015 - (2015/2603(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Petr Ježek, Ivo Vajgl, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Urmas Paet, Nathalie Griesbeck, Juan Carlos Girauta Vidal, Hilde Vautmans, Martina Dlabajová, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Marietje Schaake, Dita Charanzová, Javier Nart, Petras Auštrevičius, Gérard Deprez, Marielle de Sarnez, Ivan Jakovčić, Louis Michel, Jozo Radoš, Robert Rochefort, Pavel Telička, Antanas Guoga, Fredrick Federley, Johannes Cornelis van Baalen on behalf of the ALDE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0241/2015

Postup : 2015/2603(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on South Sudan, including recent child abductions


The European Parliament,


- having regard to its previous resolutions on South Sudan, in particular that of 5 November 2015 on the situation in South Sudan,


- having regard to the statement by the spokesperson for the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), Federica Mogherini, of 23 January 2015 on the South Sudan peace process,


- having regard to the statement by the spokesperson for the VP/HR of 4 February 2015 on the lack of progress in the South Sudan peace process,


- having regard to the statements by the spokesperson for the VP/HR of 22 February 2015 on South Sudan's peace talks and abductions of young children,


- having regard to Council Decision 2014/449/CFSP of 10 July 2014 concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in South Sudan and the Council Conclusions on South Sudan on 15 December 2014,


- having regard to the Council Conclusions on South Sudan of 15 December 2014,


- having regard to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 2155 (2014) and 2206 (2015) laying groundwork for targeted sanctions on those blocking peace in South Sudan,


- having regard to the interim report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the human rights situation in South Sudan, distributed for discussion by the panel for the 27th session of the UN Human Rights Council,


- having regard to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) South Sudan Crisis Situation Report No 75 of 20 February 2015,


- having regard to the UNICEF South Sudan Humanitarian Situation Report No 53 of 13-26 February 2015,


- having regard to the UNICEF statement of 21 February 2015 condemning new child abductions by armed groups in South Sudan,


- having regard to the talks on the situation in South Sudan which took place at the mini‑summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held in Juba on 22 October 2014,



- having regard to the on-going face to face talks in Addis Ababa between the two rival leaders, President Sava Kiir Mayardit and former Vice President and rebel commander Riek Machar Teny,


- 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 interim report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, presented on 26-27 June 2014 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea,


- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,


- having regard to UN Convention on the Rights of the Child,


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


- having regard to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,


- having regard to the EU Guidelines on International Humanitarian Law,


- having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,



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


B. whereas a democratic political solution should be found to the current conflict, paving the way for democratically agreed institutions to rebuild the state which came into being after the independence referendum; whereas civil society has demanded a peaceful political solution to the problem;


C. whereas the parties to the conflict in South Sudan initiated negotiations on 7 January 2014 in Addis Ababa, under the auspices of IGAD;; whereas, despite the ongoing peace talks, instability, fighting and the mobilisation of armed forces continued;


D. whereas Council Decision 2014/449/CFSP imposes entry restrictions on, and freezing of the funds and economic resources of, persons obstructing the political process in South Sudan, including by acts of violence or violations of ceasefire agreements, as well as persons responsible for serious violations of human rights in South Sudan; whereas an existing arms embargo against South Sudan remains in place;


E. whereas UN Security Council Resolution 2155 (2014) expresses deep concern over the large-scale displacement of persons and the deepening humanitarian crisis;


F. whereas UN Security Council Resolution 2206 (2015) of 3 March 2015 creates a framework for targeted sanctions should the parties fail to reach a peace deal by the 5 March deadline,


G. whereas on the 1 of February 2015, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit and rebel commander Riek Machar Tiny signed a deal that could pave the way to power-sharing, edging closer to an end to a 15-month conflict that has ravaged the world's newest country; whereas South Sudan's leaders have given their commitment to resolve all outstanding issues, including power sharing, no later than 5 March; whereas government and rebels missed the deadline of 5 March and the peace talks have been extended indefinitely, whereas IGAD's chief mediator said the UN and the AU may now play a direct role in the negotiations,


H. whereas, according to the OCHA, more than 1.5 million people remain internally displaced in South Sudan, and around 500 000 have fled South Sudan and are seeking refuge in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda; whereas children are particularly vulnerable in the context of the civil war, and whereas over 800 000 children have been displaced and 12 000 have been recruited as child soldiers; whereas in February 2015 hundreds boys were forcibly recruited in South Sudan to serve in armed groups; whereas UNICEF and partners secured the release of approximately 550 children from the South Sudan Democratic Army (SSDA) Cobra Faction led by David Yau Yau;


I. whereas the overall situation in South Sudan remains tense and unpredictable; whereas active hostilities pose serious challenges to humanitarian operations; whereas violence and displacement have resulted in the loss of livelihoods, particularly food sources, and whereas this has resulted in high levels of food insecurity;


J. whereas, following a UN request for assistance, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated on 4 January 2014 to support South Sudan with in-kind assistance through the provision of shelter, medical equipment, medicines, welfare supplies and food;


K. whereas the ongoing violence in South Sudan has an unbearable humanitarian cost, with UN estimates of USD 1.8 billion in humanitarian aid being needed in 2014; whereas the UN has declared the situation in South Sudan a level 3 emergency, the worst level of humanitarian crisis, and whereas the country ranks second in ECHO’s Global Vulnerability and Crisis Assessment Final Index (after the Central African Republic);


L. whereas state-building and efforts to overcome fragility require a long-term perspective and solid, predictable and stable engagement on the part of the international community;


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


2. Expresses its deep concern at the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, which could destabilise the whole East African region; is especially worried about the ethnic dimension of the conflict; stresses that seeking power by means of violence or division along ethnic lines is contrary to the democratic rule of law and contravenes international law; including serious violations such as forced recruitment and other grave violations of the rights of the child;

3. Calls on President Salva Kiir Mayardit and opposition leader Dr Riek Machar Teny not to miss another opportunity to deliver on their commitments;

4. Insists that all South Sudanese people have a stake in their nation’s future and that IGAD, with the backing of the AU and the UNSC must continue to support the active participation of South Sudanese Churches, women, youth and civil society in the peace process to ensure their needs and aspirations are heard and they can play an active role in shaping the rebuilding of their country,


5. Urges both parties to the conflict to reach an agreement and fully supports the ongoing negotiation process, calling for an unconditional, complete and immediate ceasefire and end to all hostilities and to the immediate cessation of the recruitment and mobilisation of civilians, calls on efforts to find a way to achieve lasting peace and stability; urges the government and the rebel sides to engage in unconditional and all-inclusive political talks in good faith with a view to the successful conclusion of the negotiations; welcomes the efforts of the African Union and of IGAD to promote inclusive dialogue and mediation;


6. Supports repeated IGAD and AU warnings that if the two sides continue to violate the ceasefire mechanism or fail to finalise a political agreement, appropriate sanctions will need to be adopted by the international community and the IGAD region should take the necessary measures to directly intervene in South Sudan to protect civilians and restore peace and stability;


7. Notes that every additional day that passes increases the risk of renewed conflict and worsens the already dreadful humanitarian situation of the long suffering people of South Sudan; strongly condemns the abduction of possibly hundreds of children in February in Wau Shilluk to become child soldiers which is yet another illustration of the complete disregard by the parties for respect of fundamental human rights; calls for the unconditional release of all abducted children;


8. Condemns the reported human rights violations and abuses, calls on all parties immediately to end all human rights abuses and violations, including those affecting children, refugees and displaced persons, women, people belonging to vulnerable groups, and journalists, and calls for those responsible for human rights abuses and violations to be held accountable;

9. Urges all the parties concerned to respect international humanitarian and human rights law, to grant access and protection to humanitarian agencies coming to the assistance of the suffering civilian population and to open humanitarian corridors for the delivery of supplies and equipment;


10. Welcomes the release of 547 child soldiers on January, calls on the European Commission to adequately fund programmes for the reintegration and rehabilitation of former child soldiers and to support the joint UN/UNICEF campaign “Children, not soldiers” which seeks to end and prevent the recruitment and use of children by national security forces by 2016 in seven countries, including South Sudan


11. Welcomes the national launch of the ‘back to learning’ initiative that took place on 19 February in Juba with the participation of more than 40.000 children, parents and teachers and highlights the importance of bringing the 200.000 children forced out of school due to the conflict back into the education system; emphasises the strategic importance of education as a factor to stabilize communities and build long-term stability and peaceful coexistence;


12. Calls on all neighbours of South Sudan and on regional powers to work closely together to improve the security situation in the country and the wider region, and to find a way towards a peaceful, lasting political solution to the current crisis;


13. Calls for a comprehensive arms embargo against all parties to the conflict to be adopted at regional and international levels; such an embargo should last until there is no substantial risk that weapons, ammunitions and other military equipment and technology sent to South Sudan will be used to commit violations of human rights and humanitarian law;


14. Stresses the need to ensure accountability, reconciliation and healing processes take root in South Sudan, underlines that holding perpetrators accountable is part of the answer to end impunity and bring peace; deeply regrets the AU PSC decision on February not to publish the AU Commission of Inquiry report and strongly calls on the AU PSC to release this crucial report as soon as possible so that its recommendation on accountability, reconciliation and healing can be implemented without further delay;


15. Welcomes the decision of the UN Security Council to create a sanction regime framework for South Sudan which ensures that those who violate the peace process and those who commit atrocities face the consequences of their actions .; calls for the imposition of sanctions that directly affect key members of the parties to the conflict, as outlined in the IGAD resolution of 7 November 2014, and, in order to strengthen their impact, encourages regional and international partners to adopt similar measures, such as visa bans and asset freezes;


16. Calls for the establishment of a contact group to help secure peace in South Sudan involving key players in South Sudan as a way to reinforce the work of IGAD and ensure international cohesion;


17. Calls on the international community to pay the utmost attention to the alarming situation in South Sudan and to honour its political and funding commitments to South Sudan and the region and to mobilise resources in order to respond immediately to the worsening humanitarian situation in South Sudan and to contribute to efforts toward justice and accountability in the longer term with the aim of deterring future serious crimes by parties to the conflict;

18. Calls on the Government of South Sudan to fulfil its responsibility to provide for its people and encourage international donors to increase support for the aid effort, and given the scale of the need and urgency, calls on the International Community to convene a new international donor conference for South Sudan when all conditions for peace are met and a mechanism of proper distribution of revenues is established.


19. Stresses that the post-conflict transition is likely to take years and to require a sustained and long-term commitment from the international community;


20. 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 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 institutions of the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the UN Secretary-General.