- “Unity of purpose” needed in South Sudan peace process in face of “narrow” space for compromise
The international community must show “unity of purpose” by supporting a peace process capable of implementation in South Sudan in the face of a “narrow” space for compromise, according to the UN’s most senior representative in the country.
David Shearer, who is the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for South Sudan, was addressing a meeting of the UN Security Council in New York on Tuesday.
The eastern African country has been beset by conflict over the past four years after it became independent in July 2011. A peace agreement signed between warring parties in 2015 has stalled and four million people have been forced to flee their homes, two million of whom are refugees in neighbouring countries.
Speaking to the 15-member Council, Mr Shearer said that “the space for compromise is narrow and the 2015 Peace Agreement shows few signs of implementation.”
He added that “the central conflict resolution strategy must be political mediation”, through a High Level Revitalization Forum proposed by the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development or IGAD.
Regional leaders have been gathering in New York for the annual General Debate of the UN General Assembly as well as South Sudan-focused side events.
The Special Representative noted that in the past week there has been “renewed enthusiasm and solidarity for the revitalization process,” and he urged the international community to show a “unity of purpose to support an implementable peace process.”
The UN with the African Union and IGAD organized a High-level Meeting in New York to discuss the revitalization process, while the African Union Peace and Security Council also met in New York and called for all actors involved in South Sudan to speak with “one voice”.
Mr Shearer added that “the wider region has a critical role to play in convincing the parties of the need to compromise and find peaceful solutions.”