The following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, and the Kingdom of Norway.
The formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity in February was a major step forward in South Sudan’s peace process. Since then, a new challenge has emerged, not just for South Sudan, but for all of us. COVID-19 is a truly global challenge that will have far-reaching political and economic impacts. The Troika will continue to support South Sudan in its response.
We are deeply concerned at the increased levels of violence across South Sudan. This causes immense suffering for the people of South Sudan, puts in jeopardy any gains that have been made, and has implications across the region. In Jonglei, the vacuum created by the lack of governance has exacerbated cycles of intercommunal violence. In Central Equatoria, the ceasefire signed in January between the government and non-signatory groups has broken down and we have seen heavy fighting between forces in recent weeks, with villages destroyed and their communities displaced. Shocking reports of sexual violence against women and girls continue. We are concerned with the impact of the fighting on humanitarian access.
Now is the moment for the President and Vice Presidents, supported by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the guarantors of the peace agreement, to agree on the selection of governors and to move forward to govern together for the benefit of the people of South Sudan. Any further delay creates uncertainty that undermines the transition process, slows the fight against COVID-19, and holds back efforts to end the violence that now threatens the hard-won peace.