David Shearer, the head of UNMISS, yesterday addressed the UNSC in New York, stating that there is “No concerted effort” to Adhere to Ceasefire in South Sudan. While addressing the Security Council he said that there has been an escalation in the conflict.
“Virtually no part of the country is immune from conflict. Yet, there has been no concerted effort by any party to adhere to a ceasefire. Instead, over the past months, we are seeing an actual intensification of the conflict,” said David Shearer to the 15 Member council.
Mr Shearer said that in some of the violence, government forces have responded to attacks by opposition forces, notably in Wau and the Equatorias. In others, in contrast, government-led operations such as those in Upper Nile and Jonglei appeared “more strategic in focus” and were aimed at taking opposition-held areas.
He accused the SPLA of launching significant military operations to gain tactical advantage over opposition positions before the onset of the rainy season. In his closing remarks, David Shearer stated that “the political process in South Sudan is not dead – however, it requires significant resuscitation.”
Ambassador Nikki Haley on her part stated that the famine in South Sudan is manmade. She echoed statements made by Ambassador Sison at the UN Security Council a month earlier:
“The famine is not the result of drought; it is the result of leaders more interested in political power and personal gain than in stopping violence and allowing humanitarian access.”
She praised the efforts made by UNMISS peace Keepers in protection of civilians especially in establishing weapons-free zones around civilian protection sites in Juba. She called on the Government of South Sudan to allow our peacekeepers to do their job.
Ambassador Haley expressed frustration at the little progress made in the search for peace in South Sudan:
“We have shown patience, and our patience has been rewarded with continued fighting and deepening suffering of the South Sudanese people. We have shown faith that certain steps by the South Sudanese government would help end the fighting and lessen the humanitarian crisis. But the opposite has happened.”
She called on all parties to stop the violence, allow aid groups to address the humanitarian crisis, and return to the negotiating table. Citing the Unilateral Declaration made by President Kiir over a month ago, she said that she wants to see the orders implemented with SPLA troops returning to their barracks.
Ambassador Haley called for a dramatic change in the treatment of humanitarian workers in South Sudan. Since the outbreak of the civil war in December 2013, 83 humanitarian workers have been killed. On April 10, Peter Alex, a World Food Program aid worker, was detained.
She urged the Security Council to use available to it, such as with further sanctions and an arms embargo, or the violence and the atrocities will continue.
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