Statement by Ambassador Sven Jürgenson at UN Security Council meeting on UNMISS

I want to thank SRSG Haysom, Ms Saeed, and Ambassador Pham for their briefings.

I would like to start by commending the improved overall communication between the Government and UNMISS and the positive actions by the Government to advance the transitional justice agenda. We hope that the establishment of the Hybrid Court as well as the Compensation and Reparations Authority will follow suit, as stipulated in the Peace Agreement.

For the entirety of our membership in the Security Council, we have been asking for the swifter implementation of the peace agreement. It is still delayed and this eventually makes the leaders lose credibility. The reunification of armed forces, provided in the Peace Agreement and crucial to a stable South Sudan, is totally stalled due to the huge level of mistrust among the political actors of the country and the militia led conflicts. We need to see more positive developments in reality, not just on paper. To the contrary, of what some believe, delays in the graduation of the Necessary Unified Forces are not related to the arms embargo. There are provisions in the resolution, which allow the government to move on with the implementation of the peace agreement.

Although the parliament was inaugurated on August 30th, it has made minimal progress so far, which in turn delays the passage of critical legislation. Parliament’s work is of crucial importance, if South Sudan is to have free, fair and credible elections. With regards to future elections, the crackdown on civic space and the harassment of human rights activists are unacceptable. All Civil Societies must be able to express their views freely and without fear of retaliation.

We remain concerned about the extrajudicial executions carried out in Warrap and Lakes. We call on the government to investigate these killings and we call them to do it in compliance with its international obligations under international human rights law. We need to see improvements to the human rights situation in the country, especially concerning conflict-related sexual violence.

The humanitarian situation, sadly, is catastrophic, with over 60% of the population in need of humanitarian aid. The country is experiencing its worst food crisis since its independence, with thousands of people facing famine-like conditions in several areas of the country. Record floods and the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 further exacerbate this dire situation. We continue to call for the government to better protect the humanitarian workers, as they are fighting for the lives of many South Sudanese.

To conclude, I want to thank Nicholas Haysom, UNMISS and all the United Nations agencies for their invaluable work in South Sudan. Moreover, my thanks also go to Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield and United States for their penholdership and also Ambassador Qui and his team for the impeccable leadership in the South Sudan Sanctions Committee.

I thank you.