UN Peacekeeping Chief urges all South Sudanese leaders to commit fully to revitalization forum
The United Nation’s peacekeeping chief has urged South Sudanese political leaders to bring the country back from the “impending abyss” by making the compromises needed to achieve sustainable peace.
Speaking to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in New York, the Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix said the security situation in South Sudan remained a cause for serious concern as violent clashes continued around the country.
“The dire economic situation and continued conflict in the country have come together to inflict a very heavy price on the South Sudanese population,” he said. “They deserve better.”
Jean-Pierre Lacroix said the humanitarian situation continued to deteriorate despite humanitarian organizations reaching millions of people with life-saving assistance. The human rights situation also remained “extremely concerning” with arbitrary arrests and detention, repression of free speech and the killing of civilians.
It was vital for all political parties to engage meaningfully, and without any preconditions, in the High-Level Revitalization Forum which is a peace process led by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), he said.
“All that is needed is genuine political will to halt military operations, peacefully negotiate and make the compromises necessary to achieve sustainable peace in the country.”
Speaking at the UNSC meeting, the Permanent Representative of South Sudan, Ambassador Akuei Bona Malwal, said that by and large, the Transitional Government of National Unity had recommitted itself to the High-Level Revitalization Forum during the recent visit of IGAD Ministers of Foreign Affairs to South Sudan.
“Establishment of permanent peace and security is paramount to unity amongst the South Sudanese,” he said. “This is why the Transitional Government of National Unity continues to welcome the deployment of the Regional Protection Force and their equipment. It is also the main reason the Transitional Government of National Unity is looking forward to the convening of the High-Level Revitalization Forum.”