STATEMENT BY AMB. MARTIN KIMANI
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE ON BEHALF OF A-3 (GABON, GHANA AND KENYA)
DURING THE BRIEFING AND CONSULTATIONS ON THE UNITED NATIONS MISSION ON SOUTH SUDAN (UNMISS)
MONDAY, 7TH 2022 (10:00AM)
Thank you, Madam President,
1. I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the A3, namely Gabon, Ghana, and Kenya.
2. We thank SRSG Nicholas Haysom, Maj. Gen. Charles Gituai, and Ms. Riya Williams Yuyada, for their briefings. We also acknowledge the presence of our brother from South Sudan, Amb. Akuei Bona.
3. The A3 statement will touch on five pertinent issues – Political situation; security situation; humanitarian and economic situation; climate and security; and, UNMISS mandate.
4. On the political front, South Sudan is at a critical juncture with only one year remaining of the transition period under the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan. The A3 welcomes the progress made since the formation of the Reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity two years ago. The recent passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2021, the launch of the screening and registration of the Necessary Unified Forces, as well as the recommitment to resume negotiations with the non-signatory groups under the Rome Initiative are commendable. We urge the non-signatory groups to take the opportunity in the next round of mediation by Saint Egidio to join the implementation of the peace process.
5. The A3 recognizes that further efforts are needed to register success during the transition period. While we remain mindful of the existing challenges, as reflected in the Secretary General’s latest report and from the briefers this morning, there are also opportunities. We therefore urge the leadership of the parties to refocus their efforts and resources to implementation of the remaining items of the Revitalized Peace Agreement. Fundamentally, the engagement and the role of IGAD, the African Union, regional leaders, as well as the support of the UN and international partners remains indispensable to the process.
6. The A3 welcomes the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council requesting a trilateral evaluation of the electoral and constitution-making needs for South Sudan. We however share the view that elections alone cannot guarantee stability without adequate implementation of the provisions of the Revitalized Peace Agreement. In this regard, the proposed South Sudan Leader’s Retreat for mutual confidence-building and for the parties to draw a roadmap for the remaining of the transition period remains critical.
7. On the security situation, Madam President, The A3 is pleased that the permanent ceasefire has held. But we remain seriously concerned by the worrying incidents of ethnic and inter-communal clashes in some parts of the country, as well as fighting among party factions. The A3 condemns these breakdowns of security and violence against civilians.
8. The Government of South Sudan has a duty to protect its civilians. We therefore urge the authorities to take steps to investigate all incidents of violence and ensure those responsible are held legally accountable.
9. The A3 further reiterates that improvements in the security situation can only be guaranteed through implementation of the transitional security arrangements. It is incumbent upon the parties to expedite the unification of the armed forces and graduation of the Necessary Unified Forces (NUF) without further delays. The A3 also commends and supports the expansion of the Community Violence Reduction programme as a critical measure of addressing some of the drivers of conflicts.
10. Third, Madam President, the A3 is deeply concerned by the deteriorating economic and humanitarian situation in South Sudan. The drought currently ravaging the Horn of Africa has compounded the devastating impacts of last season’s floods that have worsened food insecurity. We call for urgent scaling up of humanitarian support.
11. While applauding the efforts of humanitarian partners, agencies, and their workers for their continuous assistance to the people of South Sudan under these challenging circumstances, we also express concern and deplore the reported incidences of attacks, killings, and harassment of humanitarian workers. These reports, when verified, will not only be regrettable but they are, to say the least, unacceptable. We urge the Government to take appropriate measures to protect humanitarian workers and facilitate unhindered humanitarian access to all those in need.
12. The A3 also reiterate its call for the lifting of sanctions and arms embargo against South Sudan. They are counterproductive to the peace efforts and have had the unintended consequences of undermining the country’s potential for economic investments. We hope this Council and all those who have imposed unilateral coercive measures will heed the call by IGAD and the African Union in this regard.
13. Fourth, the impact of the extreme weather conditions cannot be overemphasized. It worsens the competition for resources between pastoralists and farmer communities and is a driver to the perennial low-level conflicts and insecurity in South Sudan. Therefore, developing strategies on climate change mitigation, adaptation, and building resilience should be part of the recovery efforts and the development assistance extended to South Sudan.
14. Going to the fifth item, Madam President, the A3 commend UNMISS and the TCCs for their continued commitment to the course of peace in South Sudan. In view of the cumulative progress made since the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement, the ongoing negotiations for the renewal of UNMISS mandate provides an opportunity to calibrate the mandate and make the mission more fit-for-purpose.
15. In this regard, the A3 believes that providing technical assistance, capacity building, and logistical support, to national and local institutions across the four mandated tasks of UNMISS is essential. As a multidimensional peacekeeping operation, UNMISS should live up to the purpose for which it was established, including support for state and institutional capacity building. This is critical if UNMISS is to achieve the three-year strategic vision.
16. The A3 welcomes the submission by South Sudan to engage with the UN Peacebuilding Commission. This offers a unique and resourceful opportunity to help the country advance peace consolidation, as well as transitioning to post-conflict recovery and development. We also welcome the announcement by the World Bank of USD 34 Million grant to aid in implementation of public financial management reforms in line with Chapter 4 of the Revitalized Agreement.
17. In closing, Gabon, Ghana, and Kenya, reaffirm their commitment to continue accompanying the Government and people of South Sudan in their quest for lasting peace, stability, and development.
I thank you for your attention.