After more than a year of conflict and protracted negotiations, it is high time for the leaders on both sides to start putting the interest of their people first and work genuinely towards peace and prosperity.
The forthcoming African Union and IGAD summits will be crucial to make effective preparations for the formation of a Government of National Unity. This is the only way to avert an escalation of violence and further regionalisation of the conflict.
The EU commends the IGAD led peace efforts; it is the stability of the whole region which is at stake. It welcomes other partners' efforts in support of IGAD including from China. The recent Arusha agreement reunifying the SPLM party is a complementary positive step that can give momentum.
The unity of the international community is essential to compel the parties to make the necessary compromise for peace. The EU has welcomed IGAD and AU's warnings that if the two sides continue to fail to agree on a deal, sanctions will need to be taken, including an arms embargo and measures to ensure that the oil wealth of the country is not spent on arms.
Furthermore, the EU looks forward to the outcome of the African Union Peace and Security Council on how the African Union Commission of Inquiry report should contribute towards peace, accountability and reconciliation in South Sudan.
The EU remains engaged and ready to support concrete steps and commitments leading to sustainable peace in South Sudan.