Security Council urges South Sudan to honour agreements
12 August 2014 - The UN Security Council was alarmed by reports that arms were coming into South Sudan to set the stage for more battles when the dry season begins, United States Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said in Juba today.
Ms. Power was speaking to media following meetings with President Salva Kiir and his cabinet during the Council’s one-day visit to the country. She said the visit aimed to underscore to the country’s leadership the importance of following through on commitments to form a transitional governing body in the run up to elections.
“There is no military solution to what ails South Sudan,” she said. “It is important that all parties live by this message… The killing is continuing, notwithstanding the fact that a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement has been signed.”
She said the Security Council, which played an important role in the run up to South Sudan’s independence, was “prepared to impose consequences if there continued to be people carrying out gross violations of human rights”.
Led by Council President Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, the members were also expected to visit the Upper Nile State capital Malakal, and to meet representatives of civil society organizations.
“We will engage Riek Machar as well … and we will deliver a very tough message to him as well that the international community will not tolerate violations of the Cessation of Hostilities and that the people who commit violations against human rights must be held accountable,” said Ms. Power.
She stressed that ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa must be taken seriously by both parties and that there was a need for urgency in the manner both delegations tried to achieve lasting peace.
We are deeply disappointed that the deadline has come and gone unheeded,” she said, referring to the deadline for setting up a transitional government that passed this week.
“It was important that we visit South Sudan at this time to express our support to the ongoing (Inter-governmental Authority on Development) IGAD-led political dialogue and peace process and to tell all parties that they should implement agreements that they signed,” said former Council President and Rwandese Ambassador to the UN, Eugene Gasana.
Describing the meetings as “good, open, instructive and candid”, Mr. Gasana said they agreed with the President that the only solution to the conflict was political dialogue.
“The parties must know that the people of South Sudan have suffered enough,” he said. “The international community will not look on a seemingly endless situation lingers on.”