The United States joins the Intergovernmental Authority for Development and the African Union in condemning in the strongest terms the continued fighting in the Equatorian region and other areas of South Sudan. We call for an immediate halt to combat operations and full compliance with the ceasefire declared on July 11 and in the peace agreement. Those taking actions threatening the peace, security, or stability of South Sudan, and those responsible for attacks on civilians or UN premises, may be subject to sanctions under UN Security Council Resolution 2206 (2015).
The short-sighted actions of South Sudan’s leaders in recent weeks have exacerbated an already intolerable humanitarian crisis; large portions of the country are facing crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity. The people of South Sudan should have the opportunity to build their country and pursue their aspirations in peace. Instead, they are facing the further untold suffering of continued conflict.
Recent weeks have featured well-documented reports of civilian killings and a surge in the number of government soldiers in uniform raping and gang raping women and girls who have taken refuge in UN Protection of Civilian sites. The U.N. has documented at least 120 cases of sexual violence in the last two weeks. Those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other violations of international humanitarian law – including those who order or incite violence, or encourage or contribute to the commission of crimes – will be held accountable. We remind all parties that the peace agreement provides that the Hybrid Court for South Sudan will have jurisdiction over violations of international law committed during the Transitional Period, including those committed during the ongoing violence.
Source: U.S. State Department.