Reports of the Secretary-General on the Sudan and South Sudan - Security Council, 9219th meeting

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13-Dec-2022 01:41:30
Underscoring progress in South Sudan’s revitalized peace agreement, Security Council urges country to meet agreed timeframes, tackle renewed violence.

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Council Members Also Emphasize Need to Pave Way for Credible Elections, Address Sexual, Gender-Based Violence.

The road map for South Sudan must be implemented within stipulated timeframes, speakers told the Security Council, as the 15-member body also debated progress achieved in implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement and underscored the importance of strong and unified armed forces for the country’s institutional development.

Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), recognized noticeable progress in implementation of the Revitalized Peace Agreement. Graduation of the first phase of the Necessary Unified Forces is largely complete, he added, stressing the need for them to serve as a national army. Commending the review of the National Elections Act completed by the National Constitutional Amendment Committee, he expressed regret that implementation of quotas for women and persons with disabilities remains unresolved.

Noting the ethnic dimension of violence in Upper Nile State, he urged the Government of South Sudan to intervene, underscoring that credible elections cannot take place in such an environment. Highlighting efforts of the Mission to address sexual and gender-based violence, he reported joint collaboration with international stakeholders on community violence reduction projects. In 2022, United Nations Police (UNPOL) supported over 26 police community relations committees, while UNMISS cooperated with the Trilateral Task Force, European Union and Troika. The road map, he said, is a “second mortgage on the Revitalized Peace Agreement — one which must be repaid in good faith and within the stipulated timeframes”.

Michel Xavier Biang (Gabon), Chair of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) concerning South Sudan, briefed the Council about the Committee’s activities in 2022, noting that informal consultations were held on six occasions and several presentations and briefings were conducted with relevant stakeholders and experts. Since the beginning of 2022, the Committee received two exemption requests related to the arms embargo and three requests concerning the travel ban and asset freeze measures, all of which were granted.

Charles Tai Gituai, Interim Chairperson of the reconstituted Joint-Monitoring and Evaluation Commission for South Sudan, emphasized that a fully implemented road map is necessary to ensure the conduct of democratic elections in 2024. Noting that the Transitional National Legislature has passed certain bills, he outlined several outstanding governance tasks. Detailing security arrangements and humanitarian assistance, he urged Member States to provide political, technical and logistical support to the Transitional Government and appealed to the Council to consider undertaking regular visits to South Sudan.

In the ensuing debate, highlighting the increase in cases of gender-based and sexual violence, many speakers called for an inclusive dialogue and accountability for alleged perpetrators and expressed concern over food insecurity and safety of humanitarian workers. They also underscored the importance of creating conditions for civil society participation in implementation of the road map and upcoming elections.

The representative of Norway identified a lack of shared understanding of the situation in South Sudan as a key challenge to early Council action. Noting that, since its independence, the country has been caught in a cycle of broken promises followed by armed conflict, she emphasized the importance of actual commitment from the Government to implement the peace agreement.

The United States’ representative joined other speakers in lamenting that the country’s leadership decided to extend the transition period for another two years, calling the political commitment of the transitional leaders into question. He also noted that the arms embargo prevents the Government from obtaining military equipment needed for defence.

The delegate of the Russian Federation underscored the importance of effective national armed forces, calling on Council members to listen to Juba’s legitimate wishes for sanctions relief, which enjoy the support of South Sudan’s African neighbours. She also highlighted the country’s readiness to help resolve the situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Ghana’s delegate, speaking also for Gabon and Kenya, said that the arms embargo impedes training and equipping South Sudan’s security forces, calling for it to be lifted. In view of the deteriorating humanitarian and economic situations, he underscored the importance of development efforts to address root causes of conflict and insecurity.

South Sudan’s delegate said that extension of the transition period for two years has begun to bear results for graduation of the Necessary Unified Forces, which are ready to be deployed in due course. Turning to the “unfairly imposed” arms embargo, he underscored the compromised ability of his Government to effectively provide security, also underscoring that it must have better armed forces to respond to any external aggression.

Noting that the overall security situation is relatively peaceful after the formation of Governments in areas affected by subnational conflicts, he called the international community to come to South Sudan’s aid regarding the deteriorating humanitarian situation, while also pointing out devastation and destruction triggered by climate change.

Also speaking were the representatives of Brazil, United Kingdom, Mexico, France, Albania, China, United Arab Emirates, Ireland and India.

The meeting began at 3:04 p.m. and ended at 4:45 p.m.

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