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Updated On: Sunday, November 19 2017

Security Council Briefed on South Sudan

Content by: South-South News

25 August 2017, New York, USA | South-South News — A top United Nations peacekeeping official said the conflict in South Sudan is a “man-made” conflict for which the country’s leaders bear a “direct” responsibility adding that those same leaders could bring the country back from the “impending abyss” through genuine political will.

El Ghassim Wane, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told the Security Council on August 24, that while the National Dialogue could improve the political environment through open discussion of critical national issues, it cannot be a substitute for a negotiated peace agreement which could end the conflict. Wane added that it is crucial that the leaders of South Sudan hear the international community’s unified demand of what is expected of them.

The UN Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom, said battlefield fortunes continue to inform the calculus of both the South Sudanese Government and its opponents. He said the Government is creating an appearance of reconciliation efforts linked to the National Dialogue initiative to lay the ground for elections in 2018. He stressed that the prevailing insecurity, displacement, and the lack of a reasonably level political playing field militate against organizing credible elections within a year and could contribute to deepening and extending the conflict.

Haysom said the National Dialogue, the SPLM reunification process, and IGAD's Peace Agreement Revitalization forum, would at first instance appear to undermine each other, however they have the potential to be complementarity. For this to happen, he said these initiatives “should neither adopt the agenda of the other nor overload the agenda of competing initiatives with their own.”

Festus Mogae, Chairperson Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), said two years after the signing of the Peace Agreement, “there has been little meaningful progress in its implementation.” Mogae expressed his support for the IGAD revitalization process adding that for it to succeed, “there is need for demonstrable political will by the parties and estranged groups to be inclusive and to accommodate one another politically, rather than defeat each other militarily.” Mogue stressed that there should be clear “consequences for intransigent groups, spoilers, and violators.”

South Sudanese ambassador, Akuei Bona Malwal, said his Government’s understand is that the upcoming revitalization process is “merely to maintain the focus and momentum of the parties rather than renegotiate the Agreement.” Malwal addressed the recent violence in Maiwut State by saying that when the President declared a unilateral ceasefire in the country, it was not a blank check for the rebels to continue their attacks on the local population. He said provocations and hit and run attacks by the opposition led to the South Sudanese army capturing the Pagak rebel headquarters. He stressed that the situation there is calmer than before and life was returning to normality.

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