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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

Javier Nart, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, Nedzhmi Ali, Petras Auštrevičius, Beatriz Becerra Basterrechea, Dita Charanzová, Marielle de Sarnez, Gérard Deprez, Martina Dlabajová, Nathalie Griesbeck, Marian Harkin, Filiz Hyusmenova, Ivan Jakovčić, Petr Ježek, Ilhan Kyuchyuk, Louis Michel, Urmas Paet, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Frédérique Ries, Robert Rochefort, Marietje Schaake, Jasenko Selimovic, Hannu Takkula, Pavel Telička, Hilde Vautmans, Paavo Väyrynen, Cecilia Wikström, Valentinas Mazuronis on behalf of the ALDE Group

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

Procedūra : 2017/2683(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on South Sudan


The European Parliament,

-having regard to its previous resolutions on South Sudan, in particular those of 16 January 2014 on the situation in South Sudan, 13 November 2014 on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan and 12 March 2015 on South Sudan, including recent child abduction,

-having regard to the Foreign affairs Council conclusion of 12 December 2016,

-having regard to the Statement by the Troika and EU on the security situation in South Sudan,

-having regard to the resolution S-26/1 adopted by the Human Rights Council on 14 December 2016,

-having regard to the revised Cotonou Agreement,

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

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

-having regard to the ceasefire and power sharing agreement signed under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Addis Ababa on 2 February 2015 between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar,

-having regard to the Agreement on the resolution of the conflict in the Republic of South Sudan signed in Addis Ababa on 17 and 27 August 2015,

-having regard to the joint declaration on 29 January 2017 of the African Union (AU), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations (UN), on South Sudan,

-having regard to the Statement by Adama Dieng, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, on the situation in South Sudan on 6 February 2017,

-having regard to the decision of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union’s meeting on the situation in South Sudan on 17 March 2017,

-having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of procedure,



A.whereas the youngest State of the world, the Republic of South Sudan, that was subject to one of the most murderous independence wars, is plunged back into a civil war since 15 December 2013; whereas the armed conflict pitted forces loyal to President Salva Kiir mostly drawn from his Dinka community against those loyal to former Vice-President Rieck Machar made up mainly of his Nuer community; whereas this political conflict complicated by ethnic hostilities and local struggles has left tens of thousands of dead since the civil war begun;

B.whereas fighting continued despite several ceasefire agreements amid international pressure; whereas Riek Machar returned to Juba on 18 April 2016 after having left the city during the December 2013 events; whereas a Transitional Government of National Unity was formed on 28 April 2016 on the basis of the Agreement of August 2015; whereas persistent suspicions between President Salva Kiir and his Vice-President Riek Machar led to the fighting that erupted on 8 July 2016 and is still continuing; whereas the battle has spread to many regions of the country and showed how volatile the situation in the country is;

C.whereas since the beginning of the year fighting has engulfed towns in the Greater Equatoria region where much of the violence has been motivated by ethnic differences and the conflict has been characterised by human rights violations, including abduction and rape of thousands of women and girls, massacre of civilians by both Government and opposition forces;

D.whereas reports from fleeing civilians interviewed by the Human Rights Division of the UN paints a horrifying picture of the violence of troops turning up and embarking on killing sprees, including the slitting of civilians' throats; whereas several villages were burned in Unity state as well as in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Central Equatoria and Western Equatoria states; whereas government soldiers conducted an attack in mid-February 2017 on the UN compound in Malakal (Upper Nile), killing at least 30 civilians and injuring many more; whereas another UN operating base in Leer (Unity state South Sudan) was attacked overnight on 3 to 4 May 2017;

E.whereas the UN’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide warned of genocide after visiting areas of fighting in November 2016;

F.whereas Amnesty International published on 27 May 2016 a report which describes the dire conditions of government detainees locked in shipping containers used as ad-hoc prisons; whereas these conditions have led to the death of dozens of prisoners;

G.whereas the civil war had internally displaced 1.9 million people and 1.6 million fled outside the country, mainly in Ethiopia, Sudan, DR Congo and Uganda according to UNHCR;

H.whereas the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in South Sudan, said on 19 April 2017 that 82 aid workers had been killed in the violence since December 2015 ; whereas the repeated attacks on civilians and the burning of the homes and food they needed to survive rendered them destitute forced to seek shelter in Protection of Civilians camps in the bases of the UNMISS; whereas aid supplies had been looted in Jonglei, Kajo-Keiji, Yei, Wau Shilluk and Mayendit areas in February and March;

I.whereas famine has been declared in several parts of South Sudan and UN agencies warned on 20 February 2017 that three years of civil war and collapsing economy have left 100 000 people facing starvation; whereas 1 million people are on the verge of famine according to WFP, and at least 4.9 million, more than 40% of the population, are in need of urgent food and nutrition assistance, according to an Integrated Food Security Phase Classification update released on 20 February 2017 by the government, humanitarian organisations and the WFP and the FAO and the UNICEF;

J.whereas President. Salva Kiir announced a National Dialogue Initiative on 14 December 2016 and reiterate his decision at the opening of the second session of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly on 21 February 2017 ;


1.reminds the Government of its obligation to protect the rights of all South Sudanese and bring an end to the desperate suffering of the people; calls on the countries in the region, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Member States and the Council of the African Union to speak with one voice in placing pressure on the Government;

2.urges the government of South Sudan to release all detainees kept in shipping containers to put an end to the horrific conditions of detention; underlines that civilian detainees should only be held in civilian detention facilities and tried by civilian courts,

3.expresses its deep concern about the continuing spread of fighting and the inter-communal violence escalating into mass atrocities, and the dire humanitarian situation in the country; strongly condemns all reported human rights violations and abuses in South Sudan, notably the alarming reports of rapes and other forms of gender-based violence committed against women and girls; condemns in the strongest terms the use of child soldiers by both the government and the opposition in the conflict;

4.reproves the destruction of villages; underscores the pressing need for accountability for any human rights violations and requires both government and opposition to investigate and prosecute human rights abuses; recommends that the State ensure that all victims of human rights violation and abuses, as well as violation of international humanitarian law, have access to an effective remedy, just and fair reparation, including compensation and rehabilitation;

5.condemns the sectarial tribal violence that both the forces of President Salva Kiir and those of the ex-vice president Riek Machar make use of and act by using famine as a weapon against adversary tribes;

6.expresses its profound worry at the failure of the parties to fully adhere to their commitments to implement the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict; calls for an immediate cessation of hostilities and concrete steps toward peace; calls on President Salva Kiir to implement immediately his commitment to unilateral ceasefire as conveyed to IGAD heads of state on 25 March 2017; calls on all the leaders to show their commitment to justice and accountability by reaching out to the African Union Commission tasked with setting up a hybrid court for South Sudan to try the most serious crimes;

7.condemns all restrictions and attacks on humanitarian personnel and their facilities; urges all the leaders involved in the ongoing armed conflict to do more to demonstrate commitment to their people’s well-being by granting unrestricted humanitarian access and facilitating delivery of aid to the populations in need;

8.calls for an arms embargo in the region and requests an UN active interposition force that allows food self-sufficiency of the tribes or populations and the urgent distribution of international humanitarian help;

9.echoes the commitment of the AU, IGAD, and the UN to the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), and to further strengthen and enhance international cooperation in support of the South Sudan peace process;

10.emphasizes that there is no military solution to the conflict; welcomes the proclaimed National Dialogue; stresses that the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan must remain the cornerstone of efforts, and while a National Dialogue could offer a way forward, it must include representatives from all parties to the conflict and other South Sudanese stakeholders, including women’s representatives, to be legitimate and effective;

11.calls on the international community to sustain and increase its humanitarian assistance to South Sudan to face famine affected areas, the acute malnutrition and the rising food insecurity across the country;

12. 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.