As the briefers have outlined
In the last couple of weeks, we have seen that tangible progress in implementing the peace agreement is indeed possible.
Particularly in two specific areas:
First, we welcome the critical graduation of the first batch of necessary unified forces.
Truly unified security forces are key to reducing violence and conflict, and to providing peace and security.
The next step will now be to graduate and deploy forces across the country, ensure that they have access to food and medicine, and are paid their salaries consistently.
And second, we support the government’s commitment to a roadmap.
We strongly believe however that the roadmap would have benefitted from a broad-based and inclusive process.
The government could have used the roadmap process to build a greater consensus and domestic support base.
With only 5 months left of the original transitional period, South Sudan’s leaders must now deliver the results they have promised- in accordance with the timelines in the roadmap, and by dedicating sufficient resources.
The people of South Sudan also need to see progress on other promises- such as public financial management reform, fighting corruption, as well as the development of a new constitution and institutions needed for elections.
The processes ahead will only be successful if there is true civic and political space, and freedom.
Opening civic space is a precondition for the successful implementation of the Peace Agreement.
Attempts to silence civil society activists and the media run counter to the spirit of the Peace Agreement and democratic governance.
Also, to deliver on the timelines in the new roadmap, stronger enforcement mechanisms and sustained efforts from the region is needed, included from IGAD and the African Union.
The level of violence- including sexual violence and recruitment and use of children by armed forces and groups- remains unacceptably high.
We are deeply concerned by the findings of the joint UNMISS and OHCHR investigations into human rights violations and abuses, and violations of IHL, in southern Unity State.
We are also deeply worried by the prevailing high level of violence in Upper Nile.
State and national authorities should intervene urgently to de-escalate the situation, and protect civilian lives.
We urge the Government to investigate these situations, and hold perpetrators accountable.
We commend UNMISS and UN Women for launching three women’s networks in the police, military, and prison services in July.
Promoting human rights and gender mainstreaming in security sector reform is vital for fostering a climate of accountability, and advancing effective peacebuilding.
Sub-national violence destroys livelihoods and forces people to flee their homes.
Violence also deepens human suffering, food insecurity, and is limiting humanitarian access across South Sudan. We reiterate that it is the Government’s responsibility to protect civilians, including children.
This is a critical component of securing sustainable political peace.
All this takes place against the backdrop of South Sudan experiencing record floods for the fourth year now.
Further demonstrating that climate-related security risks must be integrated into efforts to manage: communal natural resources, and conflicts over land ownership and rights.
We commend UNMISS’ efforts to promote dialogue, peaceful coexistence, and reconciliation at local levels.
And we believe there is a role for UNMISS in supporting the Government’s capacity to adapt to climate change.
We acknowledge recent progress in the implementation of the peace agreement.
We now strongly encourage a sense of urgency to implement other outstanding tasks, and show a recommitment to the timelines of the agreement as adjusted by the roadmap.