A delegation of the AU Peace and Security Council (PSC), led by Bankole Adeoye, permanent representative of Nigeria and chairperson of the PSC for this month, is on a five-day visit to South Sudan to urge South Sudanese parties to commit to the resolution of the civil war that erupted in mid-December 2013, the AU said in a statement.
The PSC mission followed the visit by the chairperson of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, to South Africa, where he met South Sudan opposition leader, Riek Machar.
The delegation is expected to interact with all South Sudanese stakeholders, African and international actors, to assess the challenges that are still impeding the implementation of the 2015 agreement on the resolution of the South Sudan conflict.
Deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, the PSC delegation will visit the city of Malakal as part of its field mission.
The Nigerian embassy in Ethiopia said the field mission is taking place in the context of expressing the solidarity and total support of the African Union towards finding lasting peace in war-torn South Sudan.
The embassy, in a statement, further said the AU delegation visiting South Sudan will pay special attention to adequate response and solutions to the humanitarian situation in a country where estimated millions of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees in neighbouring countries are in urgent need of life-saving assistance. It also added that the PSC will also endeavour to find solutions to the political and unfolding economic challenges, while engaging the government and opposition parties along with the civil society.
“In particular, the PSC is expected to call on all parties to adhere to the provisions of the cessation of hostilities agreement signed on 21 December 2017 in Addis Ababa and witnessed by Nigeria and other member states on the AU high level ad hoc committee on South Sudan,” partly reads the embassy statement.
“The field mission will further take stock of the outcome of the two phases of the IGAD led High Level Revitalization Forum under the auspices of the regional economic community Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) so far held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in December 2017 and February 2018,” it further stressed.
South Sudan has been mired in conflict between the government of President Salva Kiir and rebels led by Machar, the country’s former first vice-president since mid-December 2013. The conflict has killed tens of thousands and displaced almost over 2 million people from their homes, including over a million refugees who have fled into neighbouring nations.