The human rights situation in South Sudan is still dire despite the fact that over 20 months of civil war in the country have come to an end, the IGAD-Plus group stressed after a high-level meeting on South Sudan.
IGAD, an eight-country trade bloc in Africa, as well as the United States, the United Kingdom, China, EU member-states and other countries held a meeting on South Sudan on September 2015.
On Friday, the IGAD-Plus group issued a statement welcoming the South Sudan peace agreement reached in August and signed by the country’s opposition in September, warning, however that “the human rights situation in South Sudan remains of extreme concern.”
IGAD-Plus stressed that the signatories of the agreement need to commit themselves to serving their people and assisting them in rebuilding their lives after the civil war.
“About 2.2 million people have been uprooted by the conflict, of which nearly 1.4 million are internally displaced, including over 200,000 at UN bases. Over 630,000 have sought refuge in neighboring countries and about 4.6 million people face acute food insecurity,” IGAD-Plus said.
IGAD-Plus stressed that the implementation of the peace agreement is crucial for vital areas of governance in South Sudan, its security and reconstruction.
“We call upon the signatories to the Agreement to start planning the establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity,” the IGAD-Plus said in its Friday statement, adding that the peace agreement “provides a unique opportunity for the people of South Sudan to resume the process of rebuilding their nation and transitioning from war to peace.”
In December 2013 South Sudan President Salva Kiir accused then-Vice President Riek Machar of plotting a coup, which sparked clashes between government forces and rebel groups.
In August, South Sudan President Salva Kiir signed a peace agreement with the country’s opposition faction after the United Nations threatened to act immediately if Kiir did not sign the deal. Members of the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly and the Liberation Council of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in Opposition, led by Machar, endorsed the Agreement on September 10.