Text: H.R.2989 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/08/2015)

[Congressional Bills 114th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 2989 Introduced in House (IH)]

  1st Session
                                H. R. 2989

   To encourage the warring parties of South Sudan to resolve their 
              conflict peacefully, and for other purposes.



                              July 8, 2015

 Mr. Rooney of Florida (for himself, Mr. Capuano, Mr. McCaul, Ms. Lee, 
and Mr. Fortenberry) introduced the following bill; which was referred 
 to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committee 
  on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the 
  Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall 
           within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


                                 A BILL

   To encourage the warring parties of South Sudan to resolve their 
              conflict peacefully, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``South Sudan Peace Promotion and 
Accountability Act of 2015''.


    (a) Findings.--Congress finds the following:
            (1) In December 2013, tensions between political leaders 
        sparked a new civil conflict in South Sudan that has killed 
        tens of thousands, displaced an estimated two million people, 
        including over 500,000 refugees, and left 4.6 million people--
        40 percent of the population--facing the threat of extreme 
        hunger and in need of immediate humanitarian assistance.
            (2) Since the United States helped broker the 2005 
        Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ultimately set the 
        framework for the 2011 South Sudan referendum in which the 
        people of South Sudan chose independence, the United States has 
        remained the leading donor to South Sudan.
            (3) The warring parties have repeatedly impeded and 
        interfered with the delivery of humanitarian assistance and 
        threatened aid workers, showing little regard for the dire 
        conditions facing the people of South Sudan.
            (4) The warring parties have often defied international 
        humanitarian and human rights law, committing acts of sexual 
        violence, recruiting and using children as soldiers, and 
        targeting and killing civilians based on their ethnicity or 
        perceived allegiances, among other atrocities.
            (5) While representatives of the warring parties agreed in 
        the January 21, 2015, Arusha Communique that they bear full 
        responsibility for South Sudan's crisis and that those 
        individuals responsible for atrocities should be held 
        accountable, no party to the conflict has taken credible steps 
        to hold any senior civilian or military leader to account, and 
        instead continue to commit atrocities with impunity.
            (6) Eight commitments and recommitments to cease 
        hostilities have been broken, and the most recent round of 
        peace talks held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the auspices 
        of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) from 
        January 2014 through March 5, 2015, failed to bring meaningful 
        progress to end the war.
            (7) The African Union (AU) has joined the Intergovernmental 
        Authority on Development (IGAD) in pursuing other options to 
        bring peace in South Sudan, including discussion of targeted 
        sanctions on individuals in South Sudan who continue to 
        undermine the peace process.
            (8) Regional actors and other external entities continue to 
        undermine the peace process through various means, including 
        through the transfer of arms and other support to the warring 
        parties, and through the presence of foreign forces 
        participating in the conflict.
            (9) The proliferation of small arms in South Sudan 
        continues to fuel the killing of innocent civilians and is 
        instrumental in undermining the peace process.
            (10) Attempts to establish peace and stability in South 
        Sudan have not resulted in a comprehensive peace agreement, 
        including mediation supported by IGAD and initiatives to 
        address divisions within the Sudan People's Liberation Movement 
        (SPLM) by Tanzania and South Africa.
            (11) On March 3, 2015, the United Nations Security Council 
        (UNSC) adopted Security Council Resolution 2206 which condemned 
        the flagrant violations of the various cessation of hostilities 
        agreements, underscored its willingness to impose targeted 
        sanctions against those responsible for actions or policies 
        that threatened South Sudan's peace, security, or stability, 
        requested that the United Nations Secretary General form a 
        panel of experts to identify responsible individuals or 
        entities, and indicated a willingness to consider an arms 
        embargo in the future.
            (12) On April 3, 2014, President Obama signed Executive 
        Order 13664, which allows for additional targeted sanctions and 
        a visa ban against those individuals whose actions threaten the 
        peace, security or stability of South Sudan, obstruct the peace 
        talks and processes, undermine democratic institutions, or 
        commit human rights abuses. The Administration has already 
        designated four individuals under this order, two from the 
        Government of South Sudan and two from the opposition. Canada 
        and the European Union have implemented similar regimes.
            (13) On May 29, 2015, the Government of South Sudan 
        expelled the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, Toby 
        Lanzer, who was tasked with overseeing the vast humanitarian 
        operation in South Sudan.
            (14) The date July 9, 2015, should signify and celebrate 
        South Sudan's independence and peaceful recovery from decades 
        of war, yet the violence against children in South Sudan has 
        reached a new level of brutality. Children are being 
        aggressively recruited into armed groups on both sides of the 
        conflict and forced to participate in a conflict not of their 
        making. The psychological and physical effects on these 
        children must be recognized and addressed and this violence 
        against the innocent must stop immediately.
    (b) Statement of Congress.--Congress--
            (1) recognizes that there has been a dramatic failure of 
        leadership in South Sudan that has left South Sudanese 
        civilians in a protracted and unacceptable state of suffering, 
        and that the United States stands in solidarity with the people 
        of South Sudan as they call for peace;
            (2) urges all parties involved in the conflict to 
        immediately cease all violence and work towards a negotiated, 
        publicly transparent settlement developed through diplomacy and 
        reconciliation, and urges that this process be inclusive to 
        South Sudanese civil society, including women and traditional 
        leaders, to bring about peace and stability in South Sudan;
            (3) stresses the need to adequately communicate to the 
        South Sudanese people the proposed process for the 
        establishment of a transitional government to carry South Sudan 
        through the development of a fully inclusive national dialogue, 
        constitutional and internal government reform, national peace 
        and reconciliation efforts, and eventually an inclusive, 
        credible process towards national elections;
            (4) stresses the need for the Administration to continue to 
        promote freedoms of association and expression in South Sudan, 
        and to support the growth of effective, resilient, and 
        empowered civil society organizations, particularly those 
        organizations that are transparent, representative, and promote 
        the active inclusion and participation of women and girls;
            (5) expresses concern over the March 23, 2015, decision of 
        the Parliament of South Sudan to extend by three years the 
        terms of President Kiir and other elected officials, and urges 
        the Government of South Sudan to ensure that this does not 
        curtail the urgent need for a negotiated peace agreement with 
        the opposition and a transitional government of national unity 
        as had been committed to by both parties in IGAD negotiations 
        on May 9, 2014;
            (6) welcomes the efforts by the Administration to push for 
        the public release of the full report by the AU Commission of 
        Inquiry (CoI) in South Sudan, and emphasizes the positive 
        impact the release of this report, and resulting prosecutions 
        of those individuals determined responsible for conflict or 
        human rights crimes, would have for accountability, justice, 
        and closure for the people of South Sudan;
            (7) calls on the United States Permanent Representative to 
        the United Nations to promote human rights monitoring carried 
        out by United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and 
        advocate for publicly releasing reports on the human rights 
        situation in South Sudan on a regular basis;
            (8) approves of the ongoing efforts by the Administration 
        to use the necessary tools, as outlined in Security Council 
        Resolution 2206, to increase pressure on the warring parties to 
        come to the negotiating table following the failure of the 
        parties to meet the March 5, 2015, IGAD deadline in Addis 
        Ababa, Ethiopia;
            (9) supports the ongoing efforts by the United States 
        Permanent Representative to the United Nations to use the 
        voice, vote, and influence of the United States at the United 
        Nations to work with regional countries and like-minded 
        countries to fully implement Security Council Resolution 2206;
            (10) applauds the United Nations Security Council and the 
        Department of the Treasury for imposing sanctions on 
        individuals on both sides of the conflict in South Sudan and 
        supports the efforts of the Department of the Treasury and the 
        Department of State to identify candidates for designation 
        under Executive Order 13664;
            (11) urges the Department of the Treasury to prioritize 
        investigative actions that uncover the illicit financial flows 
        fueling the ongoing violence and contributing to the extended 
        humanitarian suffering of the people caught in the conflict;
            (12) supports the establishment of a credible, independent 
        hybrid judicial court or investigation by the International 
        Criminal Court or other credible judicial court and for all 
        parties in South Sudan to deliberate in a peaceful manner for 
        transitional justice and a truth and reconciliation commission;
            (13) urges the Administration to continue to offer and 
        further expand support for resilience and development 
        programming in parts of South Sudan less affected by conflict 
        or otherwise suited for such programming in order to preserve 
        and expand where possible the fragile gains in health, 
        education, agricultural productivity, and economic development;
            (14) applauds the work of the United Nations peacekeeping 
        mission, which by sheltering over 100,000 people within its 
        compounds has saved thousands of live, as well as the 
        continuous humanitarian and human rights work in the region 
        from many national and international nongovernmental 
        organizations (NGOs), civil society organizations, faith-based 
        groups, and international organizations, and calls on all 
        parties to the conflict to respect and support the unfettered 
        access of humanitarian organizations to provide aid to all 
        civilian populations during humanitarian crises;
            (15) condemns the expulsion of Toby Lanzer, the United 
        Nations Humanitarian Coordinator by the Government of South 
        Sudan at a time when the humanitarian crisis continues to grow;
            (16) urges all parties to respect the neutrality of UNMISS 
        sites and expresses the need for the Administration to work 
        with the Government of South Sudan on its compliance with its 
        Status of Forces Agreement with UNMISS to ensure it is 
        respecting, supporting and protecting the work of UNMISS 
        personnel as they endeavor to protect internally displaced 
        people sheltering at UNMISS bases and those individuals outside 
        these bases who are displaced by the ongoing fighting; and
            (17) expresses the need for the Administration to 
        capitalize on opportunities to engage in dialogue at the 
        highest levels with like-minded members of the international 
        community to further promote positive engagement in South Sudan 
        to bring about a reform process that addresses the root causes 
        of this conflict.


    (a) Restriction.--The sanctions imposed on individuals identified 
in the Federal Register as of the date of the enactment of this Act 
related to South Sudan, and all other such individuals so identified 
after such date, specified in Executive Order No. 13664 of April 3, 
2014 (Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to South 
Sudan), as in effect on the day before such date of enactment, shall 
remain in effect until the President has certified to the appropriate 
congressional committees that such sanctions are no longer necessary.
    (b) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in this section may be construed 
to limit the authority of the President to impose additional sanctions 
pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 
1701 et seq.), relevant executive orders, regulations, or other 
provisions of law.


    (a) Report.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
        the enactment of this Act, the President shall transmit to the 
        Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives 
        and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report 
        regarding the United States engagement with South Sudan.
            (2) Contents.--The report required under paragraph (1) may 
        contain a classified annex and shall include the following:
                    (A) An update on the peace process and a 
                description of the Administration's direct support for 
                diplomatic engagement, including the United States 
                efforts to mitigate challenges that arise within the 
                negotiations, a description of those challenges, and 
                the overall diplomatic strategy to end the conflict.
                    (B) An assessment of the strengths and weaknesses 
                of the existing peace process and related regional 
                activities impacting the process, and a plan to 
                strengthen that process or to develop complementary or 
                alternative diplomatic efforts to achieve peace and 
                foster stability in South Sudan.
                    (C) An assessment of the impact of existing 
                targeted sanctions on South Sudan, including those 
                sanctions imposed under Executive Order No. 13664 and 
                subsequent actions by the Administration and 
                international community to expand targeted sanctions, 
                and the efforts made to date, including an assessment 
                of the proposed impact of and challenges associated 
                with, building an international consensus to enforce an 
                arms embargo.
                    (D) The Administration's current policy regarding 
                the export, sale, distribution, transfer, lending, or 
                gift of defense articles or defense services (as such 
                terms are defined in section 47 of the Arms Export 
                Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2794)) to the Government of the 
                Republic of South Sudan and those armed forces in 
                opposition to the Government of the Republic of South 
                    (E) A detailed description of the known sources of 
                arms and related material dispatched to the warring 
                parties since the onset of the conflict.
                    (F) A description of the efforts taken by the 
                Administration to support, develop, maintain, or expand 
                foreign assistance programming in parts of South Sudan 
                less affected by conflict or otherwise suited for such 
                    (G) An assessment of South Sudan's domestic 
                capacity to support a hybrid judicial court and the 
                options for the establishment of such a court.
    (b) Strategy.--
            (1) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the date of 
        transmission of the report required under subsection (a), the 
        President shall transmit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of 
        the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign 
        Relations of the Senate a strategy to guide future United 
        States engagement with South Sudan.
            (2) Content of strategy.--The strategy required under 
        paragraph (1) may contain a classified annex and shall include 
        the following:
                    (A) A plan to help strengthen efforts by the United 
                Nations peacekeeping mission in concert with the 
                regional and international diplomatic and donor 
                community to protect South Sudanese civilians affected 
                by the conflict, particularly women and children.
                    (B) A strategy to advance peace and reconciliation 
                efforts in the South Sudan and for supporting the rule 
                of law in affected areas.
                    (C) An interagency framework plan to coordinate and 
                review diplomatic, development, and military elements 
                of United States policy, including expended, obligated, 
                and requested funding amounts contained in annual 
                budget submissions to Congress, for South Sudan and the 
                    (D) A description of the Administration's strategy 
                to support documentation and investigation of instances 
                of human rights abuses and corruption, parties' 
                financing of the conflict, and to monitor and combat 
                illicit financial flows fueling the ongoing violence, 
                and the resources necessary to adequately support these 
                    (E) A description of ways the United States is 
                working with the United Nations to gather information 
                on events taking place on the ground in South Sudan 
                that may be attributing to instability, as well as 
                information on those individuals of South Sudan or non-
                native entities that are implicated in violations of 
                international and human rights law, and information 
                regarding the root causes of the proliferation of 
                weapons in South Sudan, and a plan for sharing 
                information with the United Nations Panel of Experts.
                    (F) A plan to assist in refugee and internally 
                displaced persons' (IDPs) voluntary return and 
                reintegration into communities once they determine 
                conditions are appropriate for return, including 
                efforts to provide support for children needing both 
                psychological and physical rehabilitation.
                    (G) A plan to pursue high-level engagement with the 
                regional and like-minded governments in order promote a 
                better environment for resolution of the crisis, to 
                halt the flow of arms from all external sources, and to 
                support the creation, implementation, and enforcement 
                of a United Nations Security Council arms embargo and 
                targeted individual sanctions on all parties to the 
                conflict in South Sudan.