Informal comments to the media by Nicholas Haysom on Sudan and South Sudan. Briefing the Security Council 20 Jun. The South Sudanese leaders have shown that they can make real progress, he said. Later Haysom said that “there is some anxiety that South Sudan has not moved fast enough to complete its transition”.
NEW YORK June 21: Informal comments to the media by Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, on Sudan and South Sudan.
UN Special Representative for South Sudan Nicholas Haysom said, “despite delays, I strongly believe that the only viable course of action remains the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement in letter and spirit.”
Briefing the Security Council 20 Jun, Haysom said that with the 3 April agreement between the government, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition, and the South Sudan Opposition Alliance on the implementation of transitional security arrangements, “the South Sudanese leaders have shown that they can make real progress when there is a sense of urgency and determination. It is, therefore, our expectation that the parties to the peace agreement – with the same sense of urgency – will now agree on a roadmap, as jointly called for by the African Union, IGAD, RJMEC, and the UN.”
This roadmap should serve to recommit the parties to the revitalized peace agreement and must be accompanied by clear benchmarks and timelines, explained the Special representative.
“It should especially address the completion of outstanding tasks, such as the graduation and deployment of the Necessary Unified Forces, the approval of pending key legislation for the constitution-making process and national elections, as well as critical reforms of the security, judicial and financial sectors,” he added.
Haysom noted that the scale of sub-national conflict—which now spreads from north to south and east to west—is “alarming’.
In Eastern and Central Equatoria, Unity, Warrap, and Jonglei states, as well as the Abyei Administrative Area, violence has been perpetrated against civilians, fueling a cycle of cattle raiding, abductions, revenge killings, and gender-based violence, including conflict-related sexual violence.
This year more than 80 percent of civilian casualties have been attributed to intercommunal violence and community-based militias.
More positively, the decline in civilian casualties is continuing compared to the previous year.
Ghada Mudawi, Acting Director of the Operations and Advocacy Division of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), highlighted that “against a backdrop of profound macro-economic challenges, the drivers of conflict and climate shocks have resulted in a dire humanitarian situation. When it gets as bad as in South Sudan, the specter of severe hunger and even famine results.”
About 8.3 million people will likely experience severe food insecurity during the lean season, May to July.
2.9 million people will likely face Emergency levels of hunger, while 87,000 people will likely face catastrophic levels of food insecurity/famine.
The other big driver of humanitarian need is climate-related shocks. South Sudan now faces a fourth year of above-average rainfall, disrupting the agricultural season and constraining food production.
At least half a million people will likely be impacted by floods this year, with 200,000 people already displaced in Unity State, with new flooding happening in areas water-logged from last year’s flooding.
In Bentiu Town, flood waters from the last year have receded slowly, impacting access to safe water and resulting in a high risk of cholera.
Over 2 million people remain internally displaced, and over 2.3 million South Sudanese are refugees.
As humanitarian needs grow to an estimated 8.9 million people in need, resources are diminishing.
The Special Representative urged the donor community not to lose sight of South Sudan and to continue its critical assistance, including supporting over 2 million women and 4.6 million children.
Addressing journalists later today, Haysom said that “there is some anxiety that South Sudan has not moved fast enough to complete its transition, that there are tasks which have been unfulfilled, there is some uncertainty as to whether South Sudan will be able to hold elections by December this year or whether it will be required to postpone that exercise.”
He highlighted, “That’s a decision which we feel quite strongly should be taken by the South Sudanese with the full responsibility for keeping to any agreement that is made.”