South Sudan: peace will only be sustainable if it is inclusive [fr]
Statement by Ms Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council - 17 December 2019
I wish to begin by thanking Mr. Shearer, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, for his briefing and particularly for his commitment and that of his team on the ground. I also thank Ambassador Wronecka for her briefing and her work as Chair of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015), concerning South Sudan.There is an urgent need to form a transitional Government. The postponement from 7 November to 20 February must be the last. It is indeed essential to stay the course set out under the Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan. That is our only option. The announcement made this morning must therefore be acted upon.France calls on the South Sudanese Government and the opposition to use the next 65 days to create the conditions necessary for the formation of a Government of national unity. The tasks to be completed are known. Some can be achieved immediately. In that regard, we are pleased that the $40 million required to implement the agreement have been provided to the National Pre-transitional Committee. It is now necessary to expedite the practical implementation of those funds while ensuring accountability for the expenditure.
The Government must also issue a passport to Riek Machar and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development must clarify his status and guarantee him freedom of movement.France encourages the parties to show political will and not to allow certain issues to delay the formation of the Government of national unity. We are aware that the issue of internal borders lies at the heart of the conflict. That issue may not be resolved definitively in the immediate future. In the short term, it is important that the parties demonstrate a spirit of compromise and agree at least on the number of states and a negotiation mechanism. The parties also need to continue making headway in the implementation of security arrangements. Furthermore, both Government and opposition officials must reaffirm their commitment to upholding the ceasefire, which must be a top priority as the lives of millions of civilians depend upon it.
We are acutely aware that the humanitarian situation remains tragic, having been exacerbated by floods that have affected more than 900,000 people since November. I would recall that it befalls all parties to guarantee safe and unhindered access to all those in need of humanitarian assistance, which involves the protection of humanitarian and medical personnel as well as civilian infrastructure. It is also essential to continue the fight against sexual violence and the recruitment of child soldiers. The establishment of the hybrid court under the agreement would help to combat impunity and reduce the scale of the violence. In that connection, I would like to ask Mr. Shearer how soon that could happen.Moreover, peace will be sustainable only if it is inclusive.
The active and meaningful participation of women and respect for the quotas provided for in the agreement are crucial. An inclusive peace also requires an open political space. However, the recent incidences of violations of the freedom of expression and violence against journalists are very worrisome.The guarantors of the Revitalized Peace Agreement and the stakeholders in the region should continue in their endeavours. In fact, only concerted regional pressure will encourage the parties to make the necessary concessions. In that regard, France congratulates the Sudan on its assumption of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) chairmanship.
We encourage the Sudanese authorities to remain fully mobilized on this issue. Our appeal also concerns the Ugandan authorities, which have a crucial role to play in ensuring compliance with the new pre-transitional timeline. It is important that the new monitoring mechanism announced by IGAD can be set up as soon as possible and that the group of five African States mandated by the African Union to support IGAD’s mediation efforts in South Sudan be able to do so fully. The Council as a whole must reflect on the best way for the United Nations to support regional efforts. The good offices and technical expertise provided by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan are valuable and should be continued.In conclusion, the Council has put in place a sanctions regime that allows us to list any individual who may hinder the smooth conduct of the peace process. It is important that the Council use the full range of tools and leverage at its disposal in order to ensure that the peace process is not disrupted.