African Union (AU) Commission chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has welcomed an agreement reached between the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) of South Sudan and the United Nations on all outstanding issues concerning the deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF).
In a Monday press release, the chairperson underscored the fact that the RPF would create a conducive political environment for the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCISS) of August 2015.
Dlamini-Zuma further urged all South Sudanese stakeholders to fully cooperate with the RPF and desist from engaging in activities that may set back the progress made.
The chairperson requested the (TGoNU), work with the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), chaired by Festus Mogae, former president of Botswana, to ensure scrupulous adherence to the transitional security arrangements.
She further reaffirmed the complete support of the AU through, among others, the AU high representative for South Sudan, Alpha Oumar Konare, former president of Mali.
The chairperson also commended IGAD and the larger international community for their tireless efforts to return the country to security, stability and development and encouraged them to continue doing so until South Sudan attains full peace and stability.
These positive developments, however, followed several recent massacres that a South Sudan opposition group, the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM), allege were carried out by the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) in Equatoria region under President Salva Kiir’s leadership.
The group in a statement sent to the Sudan Tribune said the recent wave of massacres carried out against innocent civilians in Equatoria’s Kalipapa village, Pukuka village, and the armed clashes in Mogi and Salori areas surrounding Torit town were perpetrated by SPLA soldiers.
“We hold president Salva Kiir responsible for the recent massacres in Equatoria,” said Hakim Dario, the PDM chairperson.
Dario added that the massacres were carried out following inflammatory speeches made by Kiir in September.
The group urged the international community and the US government to condemn TGoNU, Kiir and his tribal backers of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE).
“We call on Salva Kiir to resign to allow a more inclusive TGoNU to be formed in a more inclusive ARCISS implementation,” Dario added.
The United Nations (UN) special advisor on the prevention of genocide Adama Dieng recently warned of the high risk of genocide being carried out in South Sudan and put forward a number of recommendations to prevent this taking place.
These recommendations included imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan, establishing a hybrid court, strengthening the UN Mission in South Sudan’s (UNMISS) capacity to protect, monitor, investigate, document and report incidences against civilians, widen targeted sanctions against South Sudanese individuals inciting ethnic hatred and pressure the TGoNU to provide necessary humanitarian access.
It further requested the UN to report on individuals inciting ethnic violence on social media and to prevent international and regional banks providing financial incentives that helped to finance the conflict.
Meanwhile, the UN human rights council (UNHCR) stated that a new wave of refugees, 44 000 in the first two weeks of November alone, were fleeing Eastern and Central Equatoria, crossing the border and making their way to camps in Kenya and Uganda.