August 26, 2017, Senior Political Official, Briefing Security Council, Urges Immediate Peace Talks, Compromise to Avert ‘Impending Abyss’ in South Sudan
REPORTfrom UN Security Council Published on 24 Aug 2017 —View Original
8030TH MEETING (AM)
Noting that “little meaningful progress” had been made in implementing South Sudan’s landmark 2015 peace agreement, a senior United Nations peacekeeping official called on the warring parties today urgently to embark on peaceful negotiations and compromise to “bring the country back from the impending abyss”.
El Ghassim Wane, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, briefing the Security Council via video-conference from Juba, said more work was needed to implement the peace accord — known formally as the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan — which had marked its second anniversary last week. Calling on the Council to express itself “strongly, unanimously and unreservedly” in support of that effort, he noted that the country’s political, security and humanitarian situation remained a cause for serious concern, with continuing clashes between armed militias and negative impacts on the provision of humanitarian aid to a population in dire need.
Nicholas Haysom, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Sudan and South Sudan, also expressed concern about the security situation and the trajectory and depth of the crisis. Calling for a clear commitment to an inclusive and credible peace process, he described several recent international and regional support efforts — including Uganda’s initiative to reunify factions of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement and Kenya’s initiative to host opposition parties — which had achieved varying levels of success. Also gaining some momentum was the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) effort to convene a High-Level Forum to revitalize the peace accord, in which both the Government and opposition groups were participating, he said.
Festus Mogae, Chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission and former President of Botswana, also briefed via video link, echoing the importance of the High‑Level Revitalization Forum as well as that of IGAD’s related “One Voice Initiative”. Recalling that the 2015 peace agreement had been signed amid high expectations, he said “from day one” its implementation had been hindered by lack of compromise, leading to a spate of violence in July 2016. He also echoed concerns about South Sudan’s deteriorating humanitarian situation and described initial “confusion” in the deployment of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) Regional Protection Force, urging the Government to resolve such issues and allow for the Force’s prompt deployment in line with Council resolution 2304 (2016).
Several Council members then took the floor, with some expressing regret that the situation in South Sudan had not improved since the Council last addressed it in July.
Uruguay’s representative reiterated his delegation’s concern that the country’s leaders were responsible for the crisis, which continued to have a negative impact on the civilian population. What was most important was that population’s protection, he stressed, urging all parties to cease hostilities and commit in good faith to the dialogue process. Regarding the Regional Protection Force, he noted the slow progress in its deployment and reiterated his country’s call for all parties to abide by the measures set forth in resolution 2327 (2016) and remove all restrictions on UNMISS personnel.
Kazakhstan’s representative welcomed the arrival of the Force, adding that his delegation looked forward to the deployment of additional troops and echoing calls for the Government to alleviate all impediments to its full deployment. Voicing concern that continuing violence was negatively impacting internally displaced persons — most of whom were women and children — he said attacks against humanitarian personnel must stop so that access to famine-affected areas.