On 8 December, the United Nations Security Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Hervé Ladsous, Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union and Special Representative to the African Union Haile Menkerios, and Acting United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) Force Commander Major-General Halefom Moges on the situation in Sudan and South Sudan under resolution 2046 (2012) and the situation in Abyei.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the 4 November visit to Khartoum by South Sudan President Salva Kiir for talks with Sudan President Omer al-Bashir. The Council members also welcomed the stated commitment of both Presidents to implementation of 27 September 2012 Cooperation Agreements, particularly on security matters, and the establishment of a humanitarian corridor from Sudan to facilitate the provision of humanitarian assistance to the affected populations in South Sudan, but noted with concern that there has been no further progress on the agreements since November 2013. They called upon the Government of Sudan and the Government of South Sudan to hold a high-level security committee meeting as soon as possible, and to fully implement the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JVBMM), in accordance with Security Council resolution 2046 (2012) and the 24 April 2012 African Union Peace and Security Council Roadmap, Joint Political and Security Mechanism, and other agreed joint mechanisms to ensure the security and transparency of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ), including the “14 Mile Area”.
The members of the Security Council reiterated their grave concern about the dire humanitarian situation resulting from continued fighting in the South Kordofan and Blue Nile States in Sudan. They called on all parties to refrain from any acts of violence against civilians and to expedite safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the timely and full delivery of humanitarian aid to all civilians in urgent need of assistance.
The members of the Security Council welcomed the recent peace talks between the Government of Sudan and Sudanese rebel groups under the auspices of the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. While noting the progress made, they expressed regret at the absence of a final agreement. The members of the Security Council renewed their calls upon the Government of Sudan and SPLM-N to cease hostilities, engage in the next round of direct talks without conditions in January as planned by the AUHIP, and make the necessary concessions to reach agreement on ending the conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile States in accordance with provisions of resolution 2046 (2012).
The members of the Security Council reiterated their grave concern about the relatively calm but highly volatile security situation in Abyei Area, and the absence of progress in implementing the 20 June 2011 Agreement on Temporary Arrangements for the Security and Administration of the Abyei Area as reported by the Secretary-General, while condemning the recent deadly attacks on civilians. They welcomed the 5 December appointment of the South Sudan Co-Chair of the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) and urged the immediate resumption of the work of the AJOC without preconditions. Further, they reiterated their demand in resolution 2179 (2014) that Sudan and South Sudan urgently commence the establishment of the Abyei Area Administration and Council, and constitute the Abyei Police Service, to enable it to take over the policing functions through the Abyei Area, including the protection of oil infrastructure. The members of the Security Council further reiterated, in accordance with relevant resolutions, in particular resolutions 1990 (2011) and 2046 (2012), that the Abyei Area shall be demilitarized from any forces, as well as armed elements of the local communities, other than UNISFA (United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei) and the Abyei Police Service.
The members of the Security Council recalled their decision in resolution 2046 (2012) that Sudan and South Sudan shall unconditionally resume negotiations under the auspices of the AUHIP and with the support of the Chairman of IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), to reach agreement on critical issues, including final status of the Abyei Area. To this end, they urged UNISFA, the African Union, and the Federal Democratic Government of Ethiopia to work in collaboration with the Governments of Sudan and South Sudan, to use creative provisions based on mutual understanding to expedite implementation of the outstanding administrative and security elements of the June 2011 Agreement, as appropriate, in order to address the law and order vacuum in Abyei within the context of inter-communal dialogue. The members of the Security Council called for steps to enable, inter alia, the withdrawal of the Oil Police in Diffra while ensuring the security of oil installations, resuming the AJOC meetings, and resolving the dispute over the May 2013 killing of the Ngok Dinka Paramount Chief.
WARRING PARTIES IN SOUTH SUDAN MUST EMBARK ON PATH OF RECONCILIATION OR RISK
HUMANITARIAN CATASTROPHE, SENIOR OFFICIAL WARNS SECURITY COUNCIL:
Reiterating Government’s Commitment to Peace Process,
Permanent Representative Urges Armed Groups to Show ‘Seriousness and Faithfulness’
After three years of independence, South Sudan was on the “brink of a humanitarian catastrophe and a protracted internal conflict”, a senior United Nations peacekeeping official warned the Security Council this morning.
“This is a man-made crisis, and those responsible for it have been slow in resolving it,” said Edmond Mulet, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, as he briefed the 15-member body on the Secretary-General’s 25 July report on South Sudan (document S/2014/537) and recent developments in the strife-torn African country following the report’s publication.
With both sides — the South Sudanese Government and the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A) in Opposition — believing they could achieve their aims through military means, the situation on the ground remained precarious, and the conflict risked spreading to other parts of the country, he stressed. The Security Council’s visit next week to South Sudan was particularly timely, and should serve to caution both sides about the negative consequences of impeding the peace process.
“The parties must reach an agreement, without a further delay, on how to end the conflict and embark on the path of reconciliation,” he emphasized. Those responsible for serious human rights violations must be held accountable and both sides must ensure unhindered, safe access by road, air and river for United Nations and humanitarian personnel.
He noted that talks had just resumed on 4 August between the South Sudanese Government and the SPLM/A in Opposition, and were being mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in an effort to sort out issues of security and humanitarian access; political transition and the creation of a Government of National Unity; justice, reconciliation and healing; and the parameters of a new Constitution, he said. IGAD member States would also need to decide on the terms of applying sanctions against those who undermined the peace process, should the need arise.
Giving an overview of recent developments, he said that the ceasefire agreements, signed by the parties on 23 January, 9 May and 10 June, had been violated. The first major incident occurred on 20 July when SPLM/A in Opposition forces attacked Government positions in Nassir, Upper Nile State. Fighting for Nassir ensued until 26 July, when the SPLM/A in Opposition retreated.
Skirmishes had also occurred in Rensk, also in Upper Nile State, and in Ayod, Jonglei State, he said. On 16 July, in Aweil, Northern Bahr El Ghazal State, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) received reports of clashes between Government security positions and approximately 200 Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) deserters that had abandoned their posts over lack of salary payments. On 2 August, clashes erupted between the Maban Defence Force, a local militia, and some 20 SPLA deserters of Nuer ethnicity.
Since the fighting began, United Nations personnel and aid workers had moved to the compounds of United Nations agencies and intergovernmental organizations for protection, and non-essential staff were been airlifted out, he said. Thousands of civilians had sought refuge in a refugee camp near the airstrip. A Quick Reaction Force with four armoured personnel carriers was en route to the area and another platoon size force was being deployed by air.
In addition, the deployment of more troops authorized under resolution 2155 (2014) was well under way, he said. As of 4 August, fully 3,525 of the 5,500 surge troops had been deployed. The remaining contingents — an infantry battalion, three military utility helicopters, three additional aircraft and a tactical helicopter unit — were expected to be sent by October. The United Nations had also identified police-contributing countries for the deployment of four Formed Police Units comprising of 660 personnel.
The humanitarian operation in South Sudan was the largest within a single country, he said, with the Mission hosting more than 95,000 internally displaced persons at its site, far more than its intended capacity. Heavy rains had severely flooded large areas of the UNMISS sites in Bentiu and Malakal, exacerbating already challenging health and sanitation conditions. With the slow pace of the peace process, displacement was likely to continue.
“The status quo, therefore, is not sustainable and alternative options must be explored,” he said, stressing that UNMISS’ capacity and funding fell far short of overwhelming needs. Aid had reached some 2.4 million people, but efforts had been hampered by insecurity, obstructed access, insufficient and delayed funding, and delayed logistic, human resources and political constraints.
The Mission had begun discussions with United Nations agencies and humanitarian partners to better delineate roles and responsibilities so that it could focus on its core mandate set forth in resolution 2155 (2014), he said. Meantime, UNMISS continued to encourage internally displaced persons to relocate to newly constructed sites in order to alleviate overcrowding at the existing ones.
Joseph Moum Malok ( South Sudan) reiterated his Government’s commitment to the peace process and its determination to reach a final settlement through negotiations. President Salva Kiir Mayardit had expressed willingness to form an interim or transitional Government in order to promote constitutional reform, national peace, and reconciliation and accountability mechanisms.
“We can’t afford to prolong the current situation,” he said, calling on the rebel groups to show “seriousness and faithfulness” in the negotiations and on the international community to remind them of the importance of adhering to the previous ceasefire agreements, which the rebels had violated repeatedly.
Furthermore, the international community must be mindful of the Government’s lack of technical capability needed to swiftly undertake forensic and legal proceedings, he said, expressing regret over UNMISS’ stalled efforts to build capacity of the organized forces and other rule of law institutions.
The meeting began at 10 a.m. and ended at 10:20 a.m.
We can all just see that the UN Security Council used ten minutes on a matter which themselves describes as a possible humanitarian catastrophe. Is that all the lives is worth for the UN? They fear that SPLM going back to the former days of SPLA. An they say the action comes from the opposition. The matter is how to solve the crisis and the effect of it. Endgame should matter, and isn’t that the mandate and honor of UNAMISS. They are supposed to have 5,500 surge troops, by 4. July, but they had gotten 3,525. So we can wonder if they will get the funding for the UNAMISS, when their missing nearly 2000 surge troops to their operation. If this isn’t sad piece of history, I don’t know history. Especially when it’s already filled with the sadness of the MONUC (2000-2010 in DRC) and UNAMIR (1993-1996). If you wonder why I add those into play? Well, then you should read some on them and see what I am saying without saying it. Hope that UNAMISS will have another fate then UNAMIR and MONUC.