South Sudan: comprehensive roadmap for a sustainable peace agreement, a ‘way point, not an end point’


UN Special Representative Nicholas Haysom said that while the key terms of the agreement expire in February, the parties agreed in August on a roadmap extending the current transition period by 24 months.

While a welcome development, he recalled that “there is no alternative to implementing the peace agreement”.

“Let me underline that the roadmap is a waypoint, not an endpoint,” he said.

Inclusive political process

The UNMISS chief highlighted the importance of an inclusive political process and the opening of public spaces as “essential conditions” for a robust and competitive election process.

He then outlined some ongoing steps – from the agreement of President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar to break the parliamentary deadlock, to the graduation of the first class of recruits from the Joint Forces – for which budgetary resources, integration and commitment are essential. to enable a broader transformation of the security sector.

“If these critical issues are not addressed…the gains made could be reversed,” warned Mr Haysom.

Violence continues

He went on to describe violence at a regional level, characterized by cycles of cattle raiding, kidnappings and revenge killings, along with fighting in the Upper Nile state that has displaced thousands of people.

The Special Representative reported that while conflict-related violence is also on the rise, UNMISS continues to support prevention through policy frameworks and other areas.

“The mission is strengthening its support for the justice chain in every state…to tackle crimes that threaten to destabilize peace, including those involving gender-based violence,” he told the ambassadors.

‘Double spindle’

Mr Haysom said UNMISS has managed to achieve a “double pivot” in its focus and operations, channeling resources into the political process; proactive deployment on violent hotspots; and expanding its protective presence for civilians.

He assured that South Sudan’s natural resources have “huge potential” for both conflict and cooperation.

“It is always politics that can make the difference.”

On the humanitarian situation, he acknowledged that food security continues to deteriorate, leaving some 8.3 million people in need and exceeding available funding.

He noted that the Humanitarian Response Plan is only 44.6 percent funded and urged donors to honor their commitments.

UN photo/Manuel Elias

UN Special Representative for South Sudan Nicholas Haysom briefed the Security Council. (File)

‘litmus test’

He claimed the coming months would be “a litmus test” for the parties to demonstrate their commitment to the roadmap and warn of “delays and setbacks”.

Finally, the Special Representative confirmed the importance of the support of the international community.

“Our joint task now is to support the parties in fulfilling their obligations to the people of South Sudan according to the timing of the roadmap,” he concluded.

Indispensable timelines

Meanwhile, Lilian Riziq, president of the South Sudanese Women’s Empowerment Network, discussed a broad-based and inclusive process for all key participants, underscoring the need for a new transitional governance process.

She underlined that election timelines are indispensable, noting that four years on, the levels of renewed implementation of the agreement have not brought security or ended humanitarian misery.

She also highlighted ways in which precious oil revenues in South Sudan have been heavily misused.

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