The European Union Delegation, the Heads of Missions of Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, The United Kingdom and the Heads of Mission of Canada, of Japan, of Norway, of Switzerland and of the United States of America issue the following statement in South Sudan:
The Heads of Missions are deeply concerned about the spread of violence in Unity State and Upper Nile. The ongoing military offensives constitute blatant violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CHA) signed by the Government of South Sudan and the SPLM/A-in Opposition. The Heads of Missions urge the warring Parties in the strongest possible terms to end the fighting and killing immediately, both to respect the CHA and stop the terrible humanitarian consequences.
Military activities during recent weeks in the two States have forced up to 100,000 people to flee their homes. Humanitarian actors have also been forced to leave areas which already were extremely fragile and volatile. The result is that an estimated 650 000 people are left without life-saving aid at the onset of the rainy season. The Heads of Missions are especially disturbed by reports coming from the conflict ravaged areas about gross human rights violations, often targeting children and women. The situation is unacceptable and must be stopped. Those responsible for violations of human rights and other humanitarian crimes must be held to account. We urge all fighting parties to lay down arms, ensure the safety and security of civilians and humanitarian aid workers, and provide unhindered access for humanitarian aid. The only way forward is for all parties to immediately return to the negotiating table to resolve the crisis.