The action of UNMISS remains indispensable to ensure the protection of civilians in South Sudan [fr]




= Translation from French =

New York, 15 September 2020

Thank you Mr. President,

I too would like to thank the Special representative Mr. David Shearer, Mr. Marc Lowcock and Ms. Nyachangkuoth Rambang Tai for their insightful briefings.

I would like to emphasise three points in particular: the indispensable furtherance of an inclusive peace process, the continuous increase in intercommunal violence and the response which must imperatively be given to humanitarian needs in South Sudan.

France calls on the Transitional Government to continue its efforts decisively to implement the Revitalised Agreement. The agreement on the allocation of gubernatorial and state positions of the 17th of June and the appointment of almost all of them are important steps forward. These steps must be followed by the appointment of the governor of the Upper Nile and by the constitution of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly. France recalls that the full participation of women and youth must, in this regard, be effective and significant.

Concrete progress must be made as well on the other chapters of the transition, particularly on the reform of the security sector and the fight against impunity through the establishment of a hybrid court, but also on full respect for Human rights and fundamental freedoms for all citizens. Without justice and good governance there can be no lasting peace.

Furthermore, continued fighting between signatory and non-signatory groups of the peace agreement in violation of their commitment to respect the ceasefire represents a grave threat on the peace process.

Secondly, the increase in intercommunal violence, particularly in Jongleï, is a subject of major concern. The vicious circle between violence and impunity fuels Human rights violations, in particular those targeting women and children. The increase in sexual and gender based violence is unacceptable and must be met with a firm legislative and judiciary response. We welcome the adoption last February of the action plan on children affected by armed conflict and call for its full implementation. France calls furthermore on the authorities of South Sudan to observe a moratorium on the application of the death penalty with a view to its definitive abolition. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, France underlines the necessity for all actors in South Sudan to fully implement the ceasefire demanded by Security Council resolution 2532.

In this context, the action of UNMISS remains indispensable to ensure the protection of civilians located in protection sites but also of those outside of them. I would like to recall that UNMISS must be able to move freely in order to be able to implement its mandate. A full respect of the status-of-forces agreement provisions must, in this regard, be ensured.

As you recalled Mr. Lowcock, the humanitarian situation in South Sudan remains dramatic and is only worsening. Over 1.6 million people have been forced to flee within their own country and nearly 2.2 million have taken refuge in neighbouring countries. Hunger affects 6 million people in South Sudan. It is therefore urgent that all parties facilitate, in accordance with international humanitarian law, the swift, safe and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Moreover, the murders of humanitarian workers in Jongleï, Central Equatoria and Lakes are intolerable and must be investigated in order to fight relentlessly against the impunity of such acts. I commend the responsiveness of UNMISS which announced the establishment of temporary bases in the county of Lobonok in response to renewed armed attacks against civilians and humanitarian convoys. The protection of civilians, including humanitarian and medical personnel, must be an absolute priority.

Finally, I would like to recall the full support of France for the entire UNMISS personnel as well as for humanitarian and medical actors present in South Sudan. Their courage and determination contribute, day after day, to peace.

Thank you.

Dernière modification : 17/09/2020

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