Statement at the UNSC Briefing on South Sudan
Statement17 September 2022
Thank you President.
Thank you SRSG Haysom, and Ms Riziq, for your insightful and sometimes stark briefings. I want to thank you Nicholas and your team for all your work in support of the South Sudanese people’s aspirations for peace.
Ireland strongly supports UNMISS’ role in supporting peace and stability as highlighted by our Minister for Overseas Development, Colm Brophy, on his visit earlier this month to South Sudan. We also commend the South Sudan Women’s Empowerment Network for your efforts and recognise the increasingly challenging operating environment in which you continue to work in. Thank you Lillian.
Ireland is fully committed to supporting South Sudan’s peace process. While it is regrettable that progress has been limited, the recently agreed transitional roadmap is an important step forward. Implementation in an inclusive manner, respecting timelines, is essential and urgent.
We call on South Sudan’s leaders to work together in a spirit of compromise to deliver on their own peace agreement.
I very much welcome the SRSG updates on the roadmap. Progress on the electoral and constitutional processes will be key to a successful transition towards a stable and peaceful South Sudan. We urge the authorities to ensure the full inclusion of civil society, and bring together all of South Sudan’s people, providing the space for women’s full participation in the process.
A conducive and stable security environment is essential to the transitional process.
As you said Nicholas, the recent graduation of 21,000 forces into a national security structure is welcome. It demonstrates the Government’s commitment towards creating a unified national defence force under civilian-led authority. A fully implemented plan for the development of a national security force is required and conditions in the cantonment sites need to be urgently improved.
We are seriously alarmed by the continued reports of high levels of violence, human rights abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law across South Sudan. This includes hundreds of survivors of horrific sexual and gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence.
We condemn this violence in the strongest possible terms. We call on the authorities in South Sudan to urgently take the necessary steps to address the issue of impunity, as well as the drivers of conflict and insecurity.
The recent joint report by UNMISS and OHCHR on the levels of violence in southern Unity State is deeply worrying. The survivors, and all of South Sudan, deserve to see accountability for perpetrators and redress for those impacted.
Today, South Sudan is facing its worst humanitarian crisis since its independence. The international community cannot stand by with so many facing extreme levels of food insecurity and malnutrition in South Sudan and the wider Horn of Africa. We call on the South Sudanese authorities to ensure full and unimpeded humanitarian access in the face of such great need.
We also call on all actors to protect humanitarian workers and humanitarian resources from attack, targeted killings, threats and lootings. That fact that five humanitarian workers have been killed already this year is entirely unacceptable.
This dire humanitarian situation is exacerbated by the impact of flooding and other climate related issues. Ireland’s Minister for Overseas Development Aid, Colm Brophy, visited Bentiu in Unity State this month.
He witnessed first-hand the devastating effects of flooding and climate change in northern South Sudan and met with those grappling with the combined impact of climate related shocks and protracted conflict, which are causing widespread displacement and undermining stability.
Ireland, together with EU and other partners, will continue to provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to those that need it most.
This Council should recognise the undeniable fact of climate related security risks in its work. Ireland is pleased to be supporting a dedicated climate and security advisor in South Sudan, working with the Climate Security Mechanism. We hope this work can, over time, support the Security Council’s consideration of the impact of climate change on peace and security.
In conclusion, we again urge South Sudan’s leaders to fulfil their promises and deliver for their people’s shared vision of a peaceful and prosperous future.