MENU

JMEC-Chair-Statement-to-UNSC

JMEC

STATEMENT

BY
H.E. FESTUS G. MOGAE CHAIRPERSON OF JMEC

TO THE

UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL

ON THE STATUS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE

AGREEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF THE CONFLICT IN THE

REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN

23 JANUARY 2017

NEW YORK

President of the Security Council;
Members of the Council;

1. I thank you for this opportunity to address you on the situation in the Republic of South Sudan, and on the status of implementation of the ARCSS. In accordance with your earlier guidance, Mr. President, I will give you an update on the peace process and the work of JMEC, including current needs and impediments to moving forward. I shall conclude with a few recommendations to the Council.

Mr. President,
Members of the Council,
2. We note with cautious optimism that our worst fears of further violence over Christmas did not, on the whole, materialise. South Sudan is not peaceful by any means, but the incidence of violent conflict does appear to be slowly diminishing.

3. 2017 has started with numerous disinformation campaigns in the media (deliberate of otherwise) concerning the deployment of the Regional Protection Force and the various intentions of the Troika. These have all proved to be baseless and untrue but a highly unwelcome distraction all the same.

4. Since the outbreak of violence last July and the resulting disruption to the implementation of the Agreement, our efforts have been focused on rescuing the Peace Agreement and upholding the peace process – namely reconstituting many of the agreement institutions and Transitional Security Arrangement mechanisms, which partially disintegrated following the flight from Juba of Dr. Riek Machar and  key opposition members of the TGoNU.

5. In particular, we have prioritised the restitution of the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission (JMCC), Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), Strategic Defense and Security Review (SDSR) board, Joint Operations Command (JOC) and the Joint Integrated Police (JIP).

6. However, the current processes continues to face severe challenges, ranging from diminished representation, growing insecurity in the country, and growing opposition, threats and proposals of renegotiation from the estranged and newly emerging Parties. The overall political and security situation in South Sudan therefore remains fragile and precarious.

Mr. President;
Members of the Council;

7. Politically, the current TGoNU under the leadership of H.E Salva Kiir Maryadit and General Taban  Deng Gai, have demonstrated a     great

deal of determination to forge ahead with the implementation of the Peace Agreement, and have significantly improved their interaction with JMEC and the region. However, I have also received continued challenge and reproach from Dr. Riek Machar Teny (former FVP) and the other estranged opposition party members who challenge the credibility of the current process.

8. JMEC is of the firm conviction that the Peace Agreement provides the best and currently the only framework through which to drive dialogue and engagement and remains the only viable means  through which to maintain any form of momentum and deliver a sustainable peace.

9. However hard, we must continue our commitment to support the Institutions and mechanisms contained in the Agreement and the implementation of its provisions.

10. The JMEC members have all expressed their concern with regard to the inclusiveness of the current TGoNU. JMEC acknowledges the lack of genuine representation of the SPLA/IO and maintains that inclusivity and representation within the political process and representation of all Parties within essential Institutions and Mechanisms of the Peace Agreement must be re-established as quickly as possible.

11. A means must be found to re-engage those Parties who disengaged in July last year, but WITHOUT bringing the entire process to a halt and creating a vacuum and instability that will only lead to greater instability and chaos, and plays into the hands of those who wish to bring the Agreement down.

12. At the very end of last year, JMEC rightly welcomed the launch, by
H.E. President Salva Kiir, of the much-needed National Dialogue initiative. In my considered opinion, we should seize upon this initiative and ensure that it includes a high-level political process to encourage the return of all the estranged former members of the TGoNU to the peace process. This can be done without renegotiating the Agreement, and without halting the current momentum demonstrated by the TGoNU, and would give the national dialogue initiative more credibility and impetus.

13. As Members may know, the number of States in South Sudan was further expanded from 28 to 35 by Presidential decree a week ago. The move has been widely condemned by Opposition Parties and civil society groups.

14. Upon the original expansion of the States from 10 to 28 in December 2015, an agreement was reached by both Parties to establish a Boundaries Commission and await their recommendations.

15. Furthermore Chapter Six of the Peace Agreement clearly sets out the parameters of a Constitutional review process which “promotes peoples participation in the governance of the country through democratic, free and fair elections and the devolution of powers and resources to the states and counties.”

16. It is JMEC’s view that the Boundaries Commission and Constitutional review should be progressed to conclusion prior to any unilateral State restructuring, as this simply complicates and obstructs implementation of the Agreement.

Mr. President,
Members of the Council,

17. Overall, the security situation has largely remained unchanged for the past few months. The level of violence has diminished slightly but fighting continues across the country, with most clashes taking place between small units of the government and members of the opposition and other armed groups and criminals.

18. In Juba, which enjoyed its quietest Christmas since December 2013, the TGoNU instituted a successful cordon and search programme throughout the city during the holiday period and seized a reported 1,200+ weapons.

19. The Equatoria regions remain a flash point for both TGoNU, Opposition and Other Armed Groups. The net result has, as always, been that the civilian and innocent population suffers loss of life and property.

20. Clashes between warring Shuluck generals in the North resulted in General Oliny defeating and killing two other Generals, Tanginye and Okiech, in what appears to have been a ‘power play’ between them.

21. The onset of the annual dry season heralds a ‘traditional’ round of inter-tribal and inter-community clashes associated with pastoralist related issues and affords criminal gangs access to main roads in order to rob civilians of property and a high number of cattle.

22. For the past four months, JMEC has consistently and persistently called for a complete cessation of violent conflict and the full restoration of the ceasefire. We will continue to take every opportunity, public and private, to urge all Parties to denounce violence and return to the table and re-engage in peaceful dialogue.

23. It is totally unacceptable that some of these armed groups are targeting civilians and particular communities in what appears to be a combination of revenge killings and a struggle for territorial control. I have appealed to the TGoNU before, and now appeal to this Council to take whatever steps are necessary to halt these senseless killings.
24. The recent media storm over the deployment of the Regional Protection Force was as unfortunate and unnecessary distraction. Whatever the motivation, we are pleased that no meaningful damage has been done to the deployment process and we understand arrangements are continuing.

25. JMEC has no active role in the deployment of the RPF, but supports the immediate deployment wholeheartedly on the grounds that it is a critical component in establishing a safe, neutral and secure environment within Juba that is conducive to full inclusivity within the political process and implementation of the peace agreement. Just as importantly it will allow the TGoNU to redeploy the bulk of the army currently stationed in Juba to other parts of the country to restore security.

Mr. President,
Members of the Council,

26. On economic matters, we must also report a dire situation.
27. Up to 95 per cent of the population depend on agriculture, herding and fishing for income and consumption levels. Despite favorable weather conditions and above average planting in 2016, large scale displacement  and  insecurity  have  reduced  harvests  in  the Grater

Equatoria region and food insecurity is high. In November 2016, 3.7 million were estimated to be affected.

28. In Northern regions, where there has been a significant stream of refugees into Sudan, harvests are also expected to be below average. As a consequence of these developments, food insecurity is expected to increase markedly in the first part of 2017.

29. The negative outlook for agriculture and security translates into difficulties in transporting goods, higher commodity prices and reduced purchasing power in urban areas.

Mr. President,
Members of the Council,

30. Finally, on the important issue of accountability and justice, there appears to be some movement in the right direction. A Technical Committee for the National Consultative Process for the Establishment of Commission for Truth Reconciliation and Healing (CTRH) has been established and was launched on 15 December  2016 by the Ministry of Justice.

31. The Technical Committee comprises all stakeholders, including government, women, youth, faith based and civil society groups. I am also looking forward to receiving a briefing from the African Union

Commission next week on progress towards the establishment of the Hybrid Court for South Sudan.

Mr. President,
Members of the Council,

32. I therefore conclude my statement by making the following recommendations, for your consideration. I recommend:

I. That the Security Council welcome the President’s National Dialogue initiative, as a roadmap to ensure full inclusivity in the TGoNU and a return full implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan;
II. That the Security Council call upon all South Sudanese people, in particular the estranged Parties formerly within the TGoNU to denounce violence and engage in the political process to  restore full implementation of the ARCSS;
III. That the Security Council condemn the continuing violence in different parts of South Sudan, including targeted killings of civilians in the greater Equatoria region, and renewed fighting  in parts of Upper Nile and Unity States;
IV. That the Security Council takes necessary steps to fast track the immediate deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF)  to Juba to provide a safe, neutral and secure environment conducive to full inclusivity within the implementation of the Peace Agreement.

V. That the Security Council urges member States of the United Nations to provide financial and other support for the immediate establishment and operationalization of key TSA institutions and mechanisms, and other Transitional Institutions necessary to promote accountability, justice, democracy and economic development in South Sudan.
VI. That the Security Council urges the Transitional Government of National Unity to develop and submit a revised implementation matrix, and expeditiously reconstitute all the Agreement Institutions and Implementation mechanisms in a genuinely inclusive manner, and to embark on full implementation of the ARCSS.

Mr. President;
Members of the Council;

33. Whilst the Peace Agreement was undoubtedly compromised by the events of July 2016, I reitrerate our conviction that the ARCSS provides the best and most viable means through which to restore peace, justice and democratic governance in the Republic of South Sudan.

34. In 2017, the most effective vehicle for real progress and full cooperation between the UN, AU, IGAD and the international partners, will be JMEC and the determined delivery of the ARCSS.

35. Implementing the Agreement delivers security, proper governance structures, a constitutional review and access to justice. Achieiving inclusivity and re-engaging estranged Parties to the Agreement must be done in parallel, not in series.

36. JMEC appeals to the UN Security Council to remain actively seized of the situation in South Sudan and to ensure that the TGoNU and all the parties live up to their responsibility.

Thank you.

 

 

 

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in the “Documents Page” are solely the opinions of the writers. The veracity of any claims made are the responsibility of the author’s and are not necessarily endorsed by The Malakal Post. The Malakal Post, reserves the right to edit articles before publication. If you would like to submit an opinion article or analysis, please email your article at: info@malakalpost.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

OPINIONS

CONTACT INFORMATION

map

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Striving to be the most accurate, most thorough and most interesting source of South Sudan news; to be the primary source of information for, by and about the South Sudan.

ABOUT US