The situation in South Sudan; the efforts being made by the government and the EU to help bring an end to the conflict
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will report on the situation in South Sudan; the efforts being made by the government and the EU to help bring an end to the conflict; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
* For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 11th July, 2017.
Ref No: 32297/17
(Minister of State, Mr. Ciaran Cannon T.D.)
I remain seriously concerned about the situation in South Sudan, where fighting continues to drive displacement, acute hunger and grave human rights abuses.
Despite the announcement of the National Dialogue in December 2016, fighting has increased in recent months. The conflict itself has fragmented, increasingly on ethnic lines. Ireland and our EU partners have repeatedly condemned the violence and I am especially concerned by recent reports of blockages to aid deliveries in the Equatoria region.
To resolve the political crisis and ensure unhindered humanitarian access, sustained collective effort is required regionally and internationally, including by the UN, the African Union, and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). I therefore welcome the recent meetings of the IGAD Heads of State and Council of Ministers which demonstrated renewed efforts to seek an inclusive political solution to the conflict.
Ireland and our EU partners have maintained our focus on South Sudan. At EU level, Council Conclusions adopted at the Foreign Affairs Council in December 2016 called on the South Sudanese leadership to uphold its duty to protect its citizens. EU efforts to stem the flow of weapons and resources fuelling the conflict have included the imposition of an arms embargo and restrictive measures against individuals obstructing the peace process.
We have repeatedly highlighted the gross violations of human rights occurring in South Sudan, including at the recent session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2017. At a Special Session of the Council in December 2016, Ireland supported the renewal of the mandate of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, and called for the maintenance of international support for the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
Ireland has provided almost €48 million in humanitarian assistance for the South Sudan crisis since 2012, including assistance for South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries. So far this year, we have provided €9.2 million. Ireland is also providing support through core funding and other contributions to UN agencies and organizations, the Red Cross, and NGO pooled funds, all of which are providing assistance on the ground. International donors have provided over $990 million in humanitarian assistance for the South Sudan crisis since January this year, with the European Union, including the European Commission and Member States, contributing over $300 million.