CEPO calls for the release of prisoners of war by warring parties as per the CoH agreement

Posted: January 28, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël in CEPO, Junub Sudan

AU Summit: Release of Prisoners as per the South Sudan Cessation of Hostilities Agreement – article #9

Edmund Yakani

MR. EDMUND YAKANI BERIZILIOUS is the Executive Director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), a Juba-based South Sudanese civil society organization.

January 28, 2018 (SSB) — The African Union Heads of States and Governments Summit, is currently taking place in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.Community Empowerment for Progress Organization was grateful for the Statements issued yesterday by: the IGAD Council of Ministers; the United Nations Secretary-General; the Joint IGAD-AU-UN Consultative Meeting, regarding the current peace process of South Sudan.

CEPO is urging the AU Summit to urgently take action for the effective implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement’s(CoHA) – article #9, which calls for the release of all political detainees currently being held by the warring parties, and the signatories to the CoHA.

This action by the warring parties would be a genuine indicator of the South Sudanese warring parties’ goodwill to undertake in meaningful consultations and dialogue at the upcoming second session of the High-Level Revitalization Forum to be held in Ethiopia during February 2018.

Mr. Edmund Yakani, Executive Director of CEPO, says that the“ South Sudanese Civil Society is hereby informing the AU Summit about the delayed release of all South Sudanese Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War, as per the provisions of the 21st December CoHA”.  Action on this provision of the CoHA, will additionally permit the Guarantors and the Witnesses to the South Sudan peace process, to quickly ascertain whether the warring parties are serious in partaking in a meaningful and genuine process within the HLRF’s next session.

All Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War should be released into the custody of the International Committee for the Red Cross, or into the custody of an International humanitaire organisation operating within the area of detention, before the second session of the HLRF commences on the 5th February 2018.“None of the warring Parties have any justifiable reasons for continuing to detain their Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War, after having signed the CoHA on the 21st December 2017”, Mr. Yakani stressed.

Finally, CEPO is calling upon the AU Summit to state formally and unequivocally within its final Communiqué on the South Sudan peace process that the release of all of the Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War that are still in detention, is a practical step that requires the immédiate action of all of the warring parties. The release of the Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War, will represent a clear commitment by the warring parties and South Sudan’s Leaders, as to their genuine desire to attain real and genuine peace within their country, so as to end the current suffering being felt daily by the millions of innocent South Sudanese children, women and men.

“The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) is a non-profit, civil society, South Sudanese organization, registered by the Ministry of Justice on 17th November 2010. The organization was initially formed in Khartoum in 1999 and consisted of mostly University students, but its scope broadened after it was established in Juba, Southern Sudan as a separate entity. Presently, CEPO is engaged in the areas of Peace and conflict mitigation, human rights, rule of law, livelihood, governance and democratic transformation. MR. EDMUND YAKANI BERIZILIOUS is the Executive Director of CEPO.”

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