The United Nations indicates the possibility of significant progress South Sudan crisis

Nicholas Haysom reported,

Significant progress has been made in implementing the revitalized peace agreement in South Sudan. This came during his speech at a session of the Security Council on the situation in the country.

The UN official referred to the adoption of basic laws such as the constitution-making law and the ratification of the road map by the Transitional National Legislative Council, and Parliament has resumed its work. He welcomed President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s directive that members of parliament continue to work until a road map is reached, instead of suspending parliament sessions.

The representative of the Secretary-General reported the completion of the graduation of the first batch of the unified forces, stressing the need to put the final touches on the final stages of deployment in order for this force to represent a true national army.

He added that, during his meeting with President Salva Kiir, Vice President Machar and other national leaders, he stressed the need to make consistent progress on the road map that the parties committed to a few months ago.
An opportunity to exchange opinions

The head of the UNMIS mission called on the concerned parties to deal with the road map not as a formal exercise, but rather as a qualitative process that allows laying the foundations for an independent democratic state.

He praised the Government of National Unity for the achievement of the Sixth Governors Conference that was held in Juba and found support from the United Nations, noting that this platform provided an opportunity to exchange views on sound governance and the relationship between the center and the parties. He said that the UNMIS mission called for the involvement of civil society in the next round.
Armed conflicts cause the displacement of civilians

With the approaching dry season, the UN official expressed his concern about the outbreak of skirmishes between armed militias that are causing the displacement of civilians in northern Jonglei and Upper Nile, and the violence is also exacerbated by the violence in North Warrap, as well as the violence between farmers and herders.

He expressed grave concern about the situation in Upper Nile State, warning of further deterioration. He said the violence in the region had taken an ethnic dimension. Mr. Haysom condemned human rights violations and abuses that included killings, conflict-related sexual violence, looting and large-scale displacement. added:

“Thousands of civilians have been displaced to the areas where the UNMIS mission is present in Kodok and Malakal. UNMIS is coordinating with partners on the ground to receive the new arrivals and reaching out politically at the state level to highlight this conflict and encourage (the parties) to resolve it.”

He noted that UNMIS convened a meeting of international partners on December 2 to address the ongoing violence, and issued a public statement calling on the government to intervene and urging the various parties to stop violence and human rights violations.

He warned those responsible for this conflict that they would be held accountable.

Mr. Haysom drew attention to the funding constraints of the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism established under the Peace Agreement which is currently investigating the violence in Upper Nile.
Displaced South Sudanese in Malakal load their remaining belongings into a UNHCR pickup truck for transport to a site for internally displaced persons.

Historic visit of Pope Francis

On the other hand, the representative of the Secretary-General welcomed the upcoming visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to South Sudan in the first week of February, expressing his hope that this visit would promote peace and understanding among the political leaders in South Sudan.
Pave the way for the elections

In turn, Major General Charles Tay Gitwe, the interim chair of the reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, said that the joint committee called on the transitional government to prepare a road map that includes a strategy to implement the main tasks in the agreement.

He added that the transitional government has prepared a road map that outlines the path to democratic and peaceful elections, which was approved by the Transitional National Legislative Council. The document includes a number of key tasks and timelines that will allow for the organization of peaceful, democratic and credible elections in December 2024.
From the archives: This South Sudanese widow, whose husband was killed the day after the birth of their youngest child, has become the sole breadwinner for her family.

The importance of drafting a constitution

Major General Charles Taye Getwe stressed the importance of working within the constitution in order to guide the elections at the end of the transitional period, noting that some progress had been made in this field. He called on the Security Council to keep the peace process under review and to consider regular visits to South Sudan as a gesture of solidarity.

He said that IGAD and the European Union responded positively to the calls made by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee to increase communication with South Sudan and added:

“We must strengthen our efforts and speak with one voice in order to implement the road map in letter and spirit within the set dates. The revitalized agreement to settle the conflict in South Sudan still represents the best opportunity for peace in South Sudan.”
Natural disasters pose an existential threat

The representative of South Sudan, Ambassador Akwe Bona Malwal, said that the parties to the revitalized peace agreement are committed to implementing the agreement, despite the challenges they face in implementing it.

He added that the humanitarian situation resulting from natural disasters and conflict comes on top of the main challenges facing the country, noting that the impact resulting from natural conditions constitutes an existential threat to his country.

Ambassador Malwal described the situation in his country as terrible, calling on the international community to help his country’s government to face the repercussions of the floods, adding that the government has allocated $10 million to support efforts to mitigate the effects of the floods.

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