South Sudan: towards a sustainable peace [fr]
Statement by Mrs. Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council – 18 September 2018
The signing of the revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan of 2015 is encouraging, and I welcome it on behalf of France. I also commend the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and the countries of the region, as well as its Special Envoy Ismail Wais, who contributed to the finalization of the revitalized Agreement. France will continue to support the efforts of all partners. Such efforts must be inclusive in order
to find a solution to the crisis and end the violence.
We hope that the Agreement will enable us to move towards lasting peace in South Sudan. It is our hope and that of millions of South Sudanese who long for peace and a better life.
Ms. Grace John, from whom we have just heard, is the face of a fledgling South Sudanese civil society that wishes to start a new chapter. But we know that hopes have already been dashed several times in South Sudan, and we must therefore collectively be vigilant and determined. We must be vigilant, first of all, because it is on the actions taken that we will judge the progress made. The Agreement reached must be effectively implemented on the ground. No one — neither the South Sudanese nor the international community — wants peace on paper alone. We will therefore be vigilant in ensuring compliance with the ceasefire and in protecting civilians, which is at the heart of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), as Under-Secretary-General Jean-Pierre Lacroix has just reminded us, and is at the heart of the Security Council’s concerns. As Special Envoy Haysom has just pointed out, it will also be necessary to specify the mechanisms for monitoring compliance with the commitments made.
The report of the Secretary-General (S/2018/831) refers to the progress on the ground in recent months. But that progress is still far too modest. Several violent
and deadly incidents have occurred. And, as early as Friday, a few hours after the signing of the Peace Agreement, the ceasefire was violated in the Central Equatoria region. The next day, Saturday, 15 September, an UNMISS soldier was wounded by a soldier of the South Sudanese Army in the town of Yei, which is an unacceptable attack for which those responsible will have to face justice. In that context, I would like to express France’s solidarity with UNMISS personnel.
France will equally be, and we must all be, extremely vigilant about humanitarian access and the protection of humanitarian workers who go to the aid of populations to the point of risking their lives. France’s unwavering commitment on that subject is well known.
The humanitarian challenge is huge. Indeed, on this point, the report of the Secretary-General is edifying: 1.8 million displaced persons, 2.5 million refugees in neighbouring countries, 60 per cent of the population in a situation of severe food insecurity and 2.4 million children unable to go to school. Behind the litany of numbers, an entire generation is being sacrificed. Dangerous intercommunity tensions are also being rekindled by poverty. In addition to this tragic humanitarian situation, there have been serious human rights violations, some of which may constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes. That is a cause of major concern for France. It is high time that the hybrid court be established and made operational.
In addition to the necessary vigilance, we must also demonstrate determination and perseverance. We must collectively respond to humanitarian challenges.
We must also stand firm with regard to those who bear responsibility for this situation, which is the meaning of the sanctions adopted by the Council. And we are determined to continue along this path as long as necessary.
The Council can therefore count on France’s determination. It is the same determination that leads us to give our full support to the Secretary-General’s recommendations to alleviate the suffering of the people, silence the weapons and move forward towards peace.
In conclusion, I would like to warmly thank Special Envoy Haysom for his outstanding work over the past two years and wish him every success in his new responsibilities as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia.