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16.5.2017 - (2017/2683(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

Elena Valenciano, Victor Boştinaru, Soraya Post, Jytte Guteland on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0358/2017

Procedura : 2017/2683(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on South Soudan


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on Sudan and South Sudan,

-having regard to the UN Security Council Pannel of Experts on South Sudan final report of 13 April 2017,

-having regard to the Statement by the Troika (US, UK and Norway) and the EU on the security situation in South Sudan of 8 May 2017,

-having regard to the outcome of the 34th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, 27 February – 24 March 2017,

-having regard to the European Commission Statement to the European Parliament of 1 February 2017,

-having regard to UN Security Council resolution 2327 (2016) of 16 December 2016,

-having regard to the European Council Conclusions on South Sudan of 12 December 2016,

-having regard to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs humanitarian report of 9 May 2017,

-having regard to the IGAD Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) of 17 August 2015,

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

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

-having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,


A. Whereas South Sudan has been embroiled in a civil war for over three years which erupted 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;


B. Whereas Despite the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan in August 2015,there continues to be total disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law and a lack of accountability for violations and abuses committed in the conflict;

C. Whereas the country is facing famine and economic collapse as a result of the civil war, with over 3.6 million people forced to flee their homes and an estimated 4.9 million people food insecure;


D. Whereas at current rates, by the end of 2017 half of the country’s population will have been displaced or perished. Whereas it is unknown how many people have been killed as a result of the violence;


E. Whereas according to the most recent UN panel of experts report, the Government of South Sudan has been found to be one of the biggest perpetrators of violence and human rights abuses in the country;


F. Whereas in recent weeks large government offensives in Yuai, Waat, Tonga and Kodok states have resulted in tragic humanitarian consequences, displacing 50,000-100,000 individuals with Government forces continuing to target civilians in violation of the law of armed conflict;


G. Whereas, nearly one in every three schools in South Sudan has been destroyed, damaged, occupied or closed, impacting on the education of an entire generation of children. Whereas more than 600,000 children under age 5 are estimated to be acutely malnourished;


H. Whereas approximately 2 million children have fled the country, with the conflict causing them unbearable trauma, stress and upheaval. Whereas tens of thousands of children are estimated to be recruited by armed actors in South Sudan;


I. Whereas women and girls are systematically raped and abducted as a weapon of war, with a UN survey finding that 70 per cent of women living in IDP camps of Juba had been raped, the vast majority by police or soldiers;


J. Whereas due to instability in neighbouring countries, South Sudan is also hosting approximately 270,000 refugees from Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and the Central African Republic (CAR);


K. Whereas in June 2016 the World Health Organisation declared a Cholera outbreak affecting thousands, which is reported to have spread further in recent weeks;


L. Whereas the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (ARCSS) stipulates that the mandate of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) should end following elections in August 2018;


M. Whereas according to UN reports the Ukraine has transferred helicopters machine guns, and provided military logistical assistance to armed factions in South Sudan. Whereas Uganda has also been accused of allowing the transfer of arms in particular allowing Israeli weapons exported by Israel to Uganda in 2007 to be sold to the South Sudanese National Security Service;


N. Whereas the protracted nature of the conflict has allowed the emergence of new armed groups and the militarization of society;


O. Whereas on 21 Feb 2017 the European Commission announced an emergency aid package worth €82 million following the outbreak of famine. Whereas the EU is one of the biggest donors to the country providing more than 40% of all humanitarian financing to support life-saving programmes in 2016.

1.Expresses its deep concern about the ongoing conflict in South Sudan. Calls for an immediate end all military operations and once again reminds President Salva Kiir, as well as the former Vice President Riek Machar, of their obligations under the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan. Calls on President Kiir to implement immediately his commitment to a unilateral ceasefire as conveyed to IGAD heads of state on 25 March 2017.


2.Calls for the immediate and complete cessation by all parties to armed conflict of all acts of sexual violence against civilians especially against women and girls. Recalls that rape as a weapon of war constitutes a war crime punishable under international law. Demands that the Government of South Sudan affords protection to all vulnerable groups and brings to justice and ends impunity amongst the police and military.


3.Denounces all attacks on civilians and humanitarian workers which are disrupting lifesaving aid and supplies. Underlines that there can be no military solution to the conflict and that the Government of South Sudan must ensure that there is a meaningful ceasefire which shows a genuine commitment to peace and stability. Believes that a commitment to peace must go beyond simply a cessation of hostilities, and include withdrawing troops; disbanding ethnic militias; allowing unhindered humanitarian assistance; and releasing political detainees.


4.Expresses its deepest concern about the grave humanitarian situation throughout the country which continues to deteriorate, calls therefore once again on the EU and its Member States to increase humanitarian aid to relieve the famine, and press the government of south Sudan to ensure humanitarian aid supply routes remain open.


5.Deplores the recruitment of children into armed conflict by all sides in South Sudan. Underlines that recruitment of children by parties to a conflict is a war crime, for which commanders must be held criminally responsible. Warns that an entire generation of young people are now at risk from experiencing severe trauma, severe upheaval and receiving no education. Calls on EU humanitarian and development programming to assist in providing basic education and long term rehabilitation and counselling. Strongly condemns the use of education facilities for military operations.


6.Calls on the EAS and the High Representative to use all of the available resources to involve the UN, AU and IGAD to launch a new political process to achieve a sustained ceasefire and full implementation of the security and governance chapters of the peace agreement.


7.Takes the view that the African Union, supported by the EU must take an active role in mediating a political solution to lasting peace in South Sudan, including by devoting more resources to the AU envoy Alpha Oumar Konare. Supports calls for an international conference to be organised by the AU Commission, including the UN and IGAD to unify and reconcile international efforts to end the war in South Sudan.


8.Underlines with urgency the need to establish a hybrid court for South Sudan, involving the adoption of legal statutes by the AU, and assistance with resources from the UN and EU. Recalls that this is part of the 2016 peace agreement and should therefore not be open to renegotiation.


9.Insists that in order to be meaningful and inclusive, the process of national dialogue should meet clear benchmarks including neutral leadership, the inclusion of opposition groups, and south Sudanese citizens outside of the country.


10.Condemns all attempts to restrict freedom of expression, which is a basic human right and part of genuine political debate. Deplores the killings of humanitarian aid workers, civil society representative and journalists and demands that those who commit such crimes are brought to justice. Calls for the immediate release of all political prisoners.


11.Regrets that the United Nations Security Council’s failed to approve a resolution on 23 December 2016 that would have imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan and placed a travel ban and asset freeze on three senior South Sudanese leaders. Calls on the EU to pursue an international arms embargo against South Sudan which should be effectively enforced. Expects the EU and its Members States to enforce its arms embargo against South Sudan and commence formal talks with the the Ukraine, and any other country which may be in contravention of the embargo.


12.Calls for the use of targeted sanctions on any key political or military figure in the government or opposition who perpetrates the conflict or commits human righst abuses, as part of an EU strategy to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid, preserve a ceasefire and deliver a renewed political process to implement the peace agreement.


13.Believes that due to recurring conflict, insecurity, the mass displacement of people and the current political environment does not allow for the holding of credible and peaceful elections at this time, recalls that the mandate of the Transitional Government of National Unity runs until June 2018.


14.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, IGAD, the Human Rights Commissioner of South Sudan, the National Legislative Assembly of South Sudan, the African Union’s institutions, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly and the UN Secretary-General