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Security Council Presidential Statement on South Sudan

Published Friday August 08 2014

The Security Council expresses grave alarm and concern regarding the substantial deterioration of the political and security situation and developing humanitarian catastrophe in South Sudan resulting from the internal Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) political dispute and unrelenting violence, including against civilians, caused by the country’s political and military leaders since December 15, 2013. 

The Security Council strongly condemns the repeated violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement accepted and signed by the Republic of South Sudan and the SPLM/A (in Opposition) on January 23, 2014, and emphasizes that the actions of President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar in continuing to pursue a military solution to this conflict are unacceptable.  

The Security Council urgently calls upon President Salva Kiir, former Vice President Riek Machar and all parties to implement the Agreement to Resolve the Crisis in South Sudan signed on May 9, 2014 by the Republic of South Sudan and the SPLM/A (in Opposition), to engage fully and inclusively in ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa, and uphold their commitment to establish a Transitional Government of National Unity for which the deadline was set as August 10, 2014, and in this regard, strongly appeals to the parties to finalize appropriate arrangements without further delay, and expresses its readiness to consider, in consultation with relevant partners, including IGAD and the African Union, all appropriate measures, including targeted sanctions, against those who take action that undermines the peace, stability, and security of South Sudan, including those who prevent the implementation of these agreements.

The Security Council strongly condemns reported and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including those involving extrajudicial killings, ethnically targeted violence, sexual and gender-based violence, rape, recruitment, and use of children, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, violence aimed at spreading terror among the civilian population, and attacks on schools and hospitals as well as United Nations peacekeeping personnel, by all parties, including armed groups and national security forces.  The Security Council recalls that some of these acts may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity under international law. 

The Security Council emphasizes the need to ensure accountability for serious violations and abuses of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law.  In that regard, the Security Council underscores the importance of the ongoing work of the AU Commission of Inquiry and looks forward to its findings and recommendations, and welcomes UNMISS efforts to continue to monitor, investigate and publicly report on human rights violations and abuses in pursuit of justice and an end to impunity, as set out in resolution 2155 (2014).   

The Security Council underscores its grave concern about the catastrophic food insecurity situation in South Sudan that may soon reach the threshold of famine as a result of continued conflict, civilian targeting, and displacement, stresses the responsibility borne by all parties to the conflict for the suffering of the people of South Sudan and the necessity of ensuring that the basic needs of the population are met, underscores the urgent need to increase funding for humanitarian operations in South Sudan, and encourages UN Member States to contribute funds critically needed now to provide life-saving assistance.

The Security Council condemns all attacks against humanitarian personnel and facilities, commends United Nations humanitarian agencies and partners for their efforts to provide urgent and coordinated support to the population, and calls upon all parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel, equipment and supplies to all those in need and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance, in particular to internally displaced persons and refugees. 

The Security Council renews its deep appreciation for the actions taken by United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) personnel and troop- and police-contributing countries to protect tens of thousands of civilians under threat of physical violence and to stabilize the security situation. 

The Security Council commends the IGAD, as supported by the United Nations and African Union, for its relentless work in establishing a forum for political and security dialogue, establishing and operationalizing the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism for the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement, and leading multi-stakeholder political negotiations to establish a Transitional Government of National Unity.