Sudan / South Sudan: France calls for the resumption of dialogue between the parties [fr]
SUDAN AND SOUTH SUDAN
STATEMENT BY MS. NATHALIE BROADHURST, DEPUTY PERMANENT REPRENTATIVE OF FRANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE SECURITY COUNCIL
New York, 22 October 2020
I would like to thank Mr. Lacroix and Mr. Onanga-Anyanga for their briefings.
I will be brief, and focus on three points.
First, France regrets that the political process today remains deadlocked and calls for the resumption of dialogue between the parties. Although both parties named their chief administrators for Abyei last summer, the same issues have seen no progress. The absence of local governance has prevented the resolution of disputes and the efforts of United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA) are hampered by the lack of cooperation among the parties. I recall that this peacekeeping operation was conceived as an interim force and is not intended to permanently entrench a situation devoid of political prospects for conflict resolution.
Turning to my second point — and this has been emphasized by a number of speakers — the current dynamic between Khartoum and Juba is encouraging and should be crystallized in Abyei. The signing of agreements in Juba on 3 October, as part of a process facilitated by Southern Sudanese mediation, is an example of this. The resumption of discussions in September between the two parties on the final status of Abyei is also positive. We therefore hope that these positive signals between capitals will soon be concretely reflected on the ground. We call on the African Union in particular to encourage the parties in that regard through its political mediation efforts. We also welcome the efforts of UNISFA to maintain dialogue between the communities and the conditions for a lasting settlement of the conflict. The mission is operating in particularly difficult circumstances and the coronavirus disease crisis has further exacerbated the constraints.
In this context, and I will conclude on this point, the recommendations made by the Secretary-General in his latest report (S/2020/1019) provide a real opportunity for the parties to provide assurances of their re-engagement. The resumption of dialogue at the local level to address security-related issues and move towards the establishment of joint administrations in the area is essential. Coordinated action by both parties is also necessary to successfully carry out the investigations into the violence that broke out in Nainai and Kolom on 19 and 22 January. Finally, the operationalization of the Athony airstrip and the issuance of visas necessary for the deployment of police units, and the arrival of a Deputy Head of Mission are equally important and reflective of the willingness of the parties to bolster the action of UNISFA.