Addis Ababa, 16 February 2018:
- The South Sudanese Parties and Stakeholders have been meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from the 5th to the 16th of February, 2018 for the Second Phase of the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) on the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, 2015 (ARCSS).
- The Forum was convened by IGAD to make the necessary adjustments to the ARCSS, to ensure its full and inclusive implementation with realistic timelines, and in order to put the peace process back on track and ultimately to restore a durable peace to South Sudan.
The deliberations during the Second Phase of the HLRF
- During this Phase of the Forum, the Parties have engaged intensively and deliberated diligently, with the help of the facilitators, enabling them to reach broad consensus on a number of issues, including key principles for guiding the deliberations of the Forum.
- The Parties have also agreed on several adjustments to be made to the ARCSS, particularly on responsibility-sharing and the security aspects: they have initialled these areas of agreement, which are attached to this Joint Statement.
- Based on its consultations with the parties, the Facilitation presented two consolidated texts of adjustments to Chapter I and Chapter II of the ARCSS, upon which the Parties are continuing their deliberations. The Forum will resume on a later date. This will enable the Parties to continue their intensive engagements and consultations on all of the outstanding issues, especially on responsibility sharing and the key security arrangements necessary for ending the conflict.
- In the days ahead, the Chairperson and Members of IGAD Council of Minister will engage the South Sudanese Parties and intensify their efforts to assist the Parties to make the necessary compromises that will resolve the outstanding issues. The IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan, Ambassador Ismail Wais and the IGAD Facilitators will undertake specific missions related to this endeavour. On the basis of these consultations, the Forum will be reconvened to complete the deliberations.
Recommitment to the Cessation of Hostilities
- On 21 December 2017, the Parties signed the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access, by which they committed themselves to cease all hostilities as a first step to ending the war in South Sudan, and revitalizing the implementation of the ARCSS. The Parties pledge, solemnly, to continue to honour all their commitments and to abide by the letter and the spirit of the Agreement and, in that regard, to submit their compliance to scrutiny.
- Accordingly, the Parties will continue their cooperation with the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism as it monitors and verifies the implementation of the cessation of hostilities.
- As they continue their engagements, the Parties are deeply conscious of the need to bring to an end the suffering of the people of South Sudan. They therefore reaffirm their commitment to the Revitalization of the ARCSS, and pledge that they will refrain from any actions that might undermine the successful completion of the Revitalization process.
The Parties will continue to cooperate with IGAD in their urgent quest for lasting solutions for South Sudan.