South Sudan : We call for accelerated implementation of the revitalized peace agreement

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I thank Nicholas Haysom and Lilian Riziq for their interventions. I welcome the participation of South Sudan in this meeting as well.

I would like to emphasize three points:

Firstly, we call for accelerating the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement. We have taken note of the extension of the transitional period for another two years. This decision was unavoidable as it was unrealistic to hold elections by the end of the year. It should be used to catch up with the delayed implementation of the 2018 peace agreement.

We welcome the adoption of the roadmap, which sets out clear priorities and deadlines. I refer in particular to the implementation of security arrangements, the constitutional process and the preparation for future elections at the earliest possible stage.

The integration of 21,000 combatants into the security forces is an important step. These efforts must continue in order to complete the integration of all combatants from the signatory armed groups and lead to their deployment on the ground.

Secondly, it is essential to create the appropriate conditions for the implementation of the roadmap. We encourage the authorities to allocate the necessary budgetary resources. It is also essential to put in place a legislative and constitutional framework as provided in the revitalized peace agreement.

The participation of civil society, in particular women and youth, will be crucial for the credibility of the peace process. The presentation by Lilian Riziq today demonstrates this. We regret the limited involvement of civil society in the discussions on the roadmap. We are concerned about the restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly, which are essential in the run-up to the elections. We are also extremely concerned about the facts you have told us about sexual violence. In this respect, the work undertaken to define the remit of the security forces must be finalized as soon as possible.

Finally, we encourage the regional actors to continue their support, in conjunction with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. In particular, we reiterate our support for the work of the mechanisms for monitoring the Peace Agreement and the ceasefire, set up under the auspices of IGAD.

Thirdly, the authorities must fulfil their prerogatives to protect civilians and humanitarian workers. UNMISS has just produced a report that clearly establishes the facts and responsibilities for the atrocities committed between February and May in Unity State, including the unspeakable sexual violence.

The perpetrators must be brought to justice and sanctioned by this Council. Obstacles to the freedom of movement of UNMISS have again increased in recent months. We call on the authorities to resume the cooperation with the mission, which has produced encouraging results in the past.

Finally, we condemn the attacks on humanitarian workers and the administrative harassment of UN and NGO staff. In response to the emergency, the European Union has increased its humanitarian assistance to South Sudan to €77.2 million in 2022. This is in addition to the €208 million in development cooperation aid planned until 2024.

Thank you.

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