Statement on the Crisis in South Sudan

By Citizens for Peace and Justice

Expressing our alarm and concern with the ongoing violence, continued killing, loss of innocent lives and destruction of property in South Sudan since 15 December 2013,
Affirming our moral responsibility to take a stance and be a positive force for peace and justice,
Offering our deepest sympathies to those who have lost loved ones in the violence,
Recognizing that what started as a political dispute within the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) has now become a crisis engulfing the whole country,

January 15, 2014 (SSNA) — We, concerned citizens of South Sudan, drawn from civil society, churches, academia, think tanks and national NGOs, hereby agree to the following statement:

The violence has brought into question the legitimacy of current institutions of governance in South Sudan and has undermined any claims that the parties to the conflict have to being the custodians of the people’s interest.

There is no military solution.

The failure of key institutions, including the executive, legislature, judiciary and army, has contributed to the crisis.

Since 2005, fundamental issues of governance and civil rights have been neglected. These include the national constitution, elections, freedom of expression, accountability, justice, reconciliation and security sector reform.

We therefore resolve that:

1. The peace process should be expanded to include voices from all sectors of South Sudanese society and to address the fundamental governance issues that allowed the conflict to proliferate so quickly.
2. All parties must commit to an immediate ceasefire and guarantee humanitarian access.
3. All parties must abide by international humanitarian and human rights law.
4. All parties must ensure the safety of civilians in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps and areas under their control.
5. All parties must be held accountable for their actions and justice must be delivered for the victims and survivors of the violence.
6. A citizen-driven national dialogue should be initiated to address the critical challenges facing the South Sudanese people in their efforts to develop a democratic state and to promote reconciliation and healing.
7. The indefinite detention without charge of South Sudanese political figures is a violation of South Sudanese and international law. Political detainees must either be charged and provided with legal representation or released.
8. The current mediations being brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and states involved in the mediations should remain neutral to all parties.
9. Foreign governments should refrain from providing military assistance to any of the parties involved in the conflict as this will only contribute to the suffering of our people and should not be allowed.

In recognition of the above findings and resolutions, we the Citizens for Peace and Justice commit ourselves to extending and continuing the dialogue with our fellow South Sudanese in the pursuit of a peaceful and just resolution to the conflict in our country.


Agyedho Adwok, Citizen
John Apuruot Akec, Academics and Researchers Forum for Development
Zacharia Diing Akol, The Sudd Institute
Anyieth D’Awol, The Roots Project
David Kwol Deng, South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)
Robert Deng, University of Juba
Bol Gatkuoth, Citizen
Samuel Lony Geng, Citizen
Rev. Both Reath Luong, Nuer Peace Council
Jok Madut Jok, The Sudd Institute
Lona James Elia Luduro, Voices for Change (VFC)
Machien Luoi, Citizen
Athiaan Majak Malou, Citizen
Don Bosco Malish, Citizen
Lorna Merekaje, South Sudan Domestic Elections Monitoring Program (SSuDEMoP)
Leben Nelson Moro, Citizen
Chuol Gew Nhial, Citizen
Abuor Gordon Nhial, Citizen
Rev. James Ninrew, Nuer Peace Council
Rev. George Riek, Citizen
Rev. Peter Tibi, Reconcile
Angelo Ugwaag, Citizen
Samson Wassara, Citizen

David K. Deng, Esq.
Director, Research Department
South Sudan Law Society (SSLS)

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