Statement in Response to the Bipartisan Resolution in Support of South Sudan’s Peace Process and Transition to Democratic Rule
In response to the introduction of a bipartisan Senate resolution on October 22, 2019 in support of South Sudan’s peace process, Mercy Corps’ Director of Policy & Advocacy, Richmond Blake, says:
Mercy Corps welcomes the introduction of a bipartisan Senate Resolution (S. Res. 371) by U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Todd Young (R-IN) in support of South Sudan’s peace process and efforts to transition to democratic rule.
With less than three weeks until the November 12th deadline for the formation of a government of national unity, the Resolution comes at a pivotal time and reaffirms U.S. commitment to the people of South Sudan.
The Resolution calls on the parties to adhere to the cessation of hostilities and form an inclusive transitional national government. It also directs the U.S. government to support this process by maintaining life-saving humanitarian aid, providing assistance to address communal and gender-based violence, and monitoring human rights abuses and corruption, taking decisive sanctions action against violators.
We also welcome efforts this week by the UK, U.S. and Norway in the form of a Troika statement to exert pressure on the parties to the peace agreement to take urgent, concrete steps to ensure the success of the transitional government.
Now is the time to urgently redouble diplomatic efforts to support a peaceful resolution of the revitalized peace agreement’s outstanding issues as swiftly as possible. Failure to reach a political solution and form an inclusive, sustainable government of national unity could trigger a return to large-scale violence and undermine regional stability.
For the past six years, the South Sudanese people have lived with the violence of civil war, and it has taken a significant humanitarian toll: 400,000 people have been killed, 1.9 million have been internally displaced, and 2.3 million have fled the country. Over seven million people— about two thirds of the population— are in need of aid. The South Sudanese people cannot afford to wait any longer for peace.