November 30, 2022 (KHARTOUM) – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has expressed concerns over the ongoing communal conflict in South Sudan’s Upper Nile state, warning it could re-ignite a wider national conflict.
This warning came during the 48th ordinary session of the IGAD Council of Ministers chaired by Sudan’s Acting Foreign Affairs minister, Ali El-Sadig in Khartoum.
Tensions and sporadic violence between different groups that started in these areas in August 2022 have resulted in the displacement of thousands of people, as well as the harassment and killings of others, and the destruction of property.
The IGAD Council of Ministers, in a communique issued on November 30, urged South Sudan government to redouble efforts to resolve the conflict through dialogue and implementation of relevant transitional security arrangement provisions.
The IGAD Council of Minister also resolved to undertake a joint Ministerial visit to South Sudan to review the current status of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and hold bi-annual extra-ordinary Council meetings to review progress of implementation.
The meeting further called upon member states, regional and international community to mobilise and avail in-kind and financial support by convening the chiefs of defense from member states to assess the immediate logistical and material needs of ceasefire monitoring body (CTSAMVM), as well as wider resource mobilization by working with the AU and UN to fast-track the establishment of the Special Reconstruction Fund and South Sudan pledging conference
This decision, it noted, comes in the wake of the withdrawal of support by the United States of America from supporting monitoring mechanisms in South Sudan.
Meanwhile, the IGAD Council of Ministers called for lifting of all sanctions hampering humanitarian and development in the region. It further urged all partners to refrain from conditional provision of humanitarian support.
In May 2022, the Security Council extended for a year the sanctions regime imposed on South Sudan, including the arms embargo, travel ban and financial measures, even as some of its members questioned the effectiveness of those measures.