Even though the Agreement’s main provisions are scheduled to expire in February, the parties reached an agreement in August on a Roadmap that extends the current transitional term by 24 months, according to UN Special Representative Nicholas Haysom.
Although a positive step, he emphasised that “the fulfilment of the peace deal is the only option.”
I want to emphasise that the plan is a starting point, not a destination, he stated.
“Subnational violence—marked by cycles of livestock raiding, kidnapping, and retaliation killings—continues to damage communities and drive humanitarian needs,” said SRSG Haysom at the UNSC on April 14.
— UNMISS (@unmissmedia) September 16, 2022
An inclusive political process
As an “important precondition” for a healthy and competitive electoral process, the UNMISS chief emphasised the significance of an inclusive political process and the opening of civic spaces.
He then described some current initiatives, such as the agreement between President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar to end the parliamentary impasse and the graduation of the first class of recruits for the joint armed forces, which depend on budgetary resources, integration, and deployment to enable a more comprehensive transformation of the security sector.
Mr Haysom cautioned that failure to address these pressing problems “has the potential to undo the benefits accomplished.”
In addition to the conflict in the Upper Nile state that has caused thousands of people to flee their homes, he continued by describing regional violence that is characterised by cycles of cattle raiding, kidnapping, and revenge killings.
According to the Special Representative, UNMISS continues to assist in prevention through policy frameworks and other initiatives, even though conflict-related violence is also rising.
He informed the ambassadors that “the Mission is strengthening its support to the justice chain in every state…to combat crimes that threaten to disrupt the peace, especially those involving gender-based violence.”
Do a double pivot
According to Mr Haysom, UNMISS has been able to “double pivot” in its operations and priorities by allocating resources to the political process, proactive deployment to violent hotspots, and expanding its presence for civilian protection.
He assured us that there is “tremendous potential” for conflict or cooperation regarding South Sudan’s natural riches.
Politics are always able to make a difference.Regarding the humanitarian crisis, he admitted that 8.3 million people are in need due to a continuing decline in food security and a lack of resources.
He asked donors to honour their pledges, noting that the Humanitarian Response Plan is only 44.6% financed.
The “Litmus test”
He warned against “delays and setbacks,” asserting that the upcoming few months would be “a litmus test” for the parties to prove their dedication to the Roadmap.
The Special Representative concluded by reiterating the significance of the international community’s support.
He said, “Our collective responsibility now is to support the parties in completing their duties to the people of South Sudan by the timetable of the Roadmap.”
Essential time frames
Lilian Riziq, President of the South Sudan Women’s Empowerment Network, emphasised the necessity for a new transitional government process and spoke about a broad-based and inclusive approach for all significant actors.
Although four years have passed and levels of reinvigorated agreement implementation have not brought security or put an end to humanitarian suffering, she emphasised the importance of election deadlines.
She also drew attention to the severe abuse of South Sudan’s precious oil earnings.
Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network