Sudan and South Sudan must launch a serious dialogue to achieve a political solution [fr]
Abyei / UNISFA
Statement by Ms Anne Gueguen, Deputy Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations
Security Council – 28 April 2020
I would like to thank USG Lacroix and Special Envoy Parfait Onanga for their very informative briefing.
I will be brief and limit my remarks to three points.
First, France condemns in the strongest terms the escalation of intercommunal violence and recent violent clashes in Kolom. I would like to highlight our deepest concerns over reports of sexual violence affecting women and children and internal displacements in this context. We call on both the governments of Sudan and of South Sudan to coordinate an investigation as announced, and we recall that those responsible must be held accountable and brought to justice. These terrible events confirm that the situation in Abyei is still fragile, and that the deployment of UNISFA is still highly needed.
However, and it’s my second point, only a true political process to address the issue of Abyei and of the border demarcation can really stabilize the security in Abyei. France calls on both governments of Sudan and of South Sudan to seize the opportunity of the improvement of their bilateral relations to tackle the Abyei issue and to launch a serious dialogue to achieve a political solution, in accordance with the 2011 Agreement. We welcome the progress in the peace processes in both countries as reported by Special Envoy Parfait Onanga. We encourage all armed groups in Darfur to join the negotiations.
France also encourages the African Union, the African Union High-Level Implementation Panel and the UN Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa to intensify their mediation roles with regard to achieving a political solution between Sudan and South Sudan in accordance with the 2011 agreement. We should all do our best to avoid that the situation in Abyei becomes a new frozen conflict and UNISFA an open-ended mission. As the Secretary-General wrote it in his last report, the international community cannot accept nor afford it.
My last remark regards the reconfiguration of UNISFA, as decided by this Council. We deeply regret that the three formed police units (FPUs) are still pending deployment. We call on both governments to provide full support to UNISFA in the deployment of its personnel, including through issuing the requested visas. The three FPU’s must be deployed as soon as possible. It’s the only way to deal with the high level of criminality in Abyei, and to adapt the force to the current challenges. At the same time, both parties should engage to implement the Abyei Police service, in line with the 2011 Agreement.
Lastly, France urges the UN and all the stakeholders to do their best to deploy the deputy civilian head of mission and the civilian team. UNISFA must be able to support the peace process, including at the communal level, and to engage with the African Union and the relevant stakeholders in Juba and Khartoum.
I thank you.