South Sudan: Security Council Press Statement
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President María Cristina Perceval (Argentina):
The members of the Security Council expressed grave concern over the increased occurrence of conflict and violence and its effect on civilians in South Sudan, in particular a marked deterioration in the security and humanitarian situation in parts of Jonglei.
They strongly condemned attacks on civilians and the looting of UN and other international aid organizations’ facilities in Jonglei State, South Sudan. They deplored the fact that these attacks have caused large-scale displacements of the civilian population and called on the Government of South Sudan, which has primary responsibility to protect civilians, to expedite safe and unhindered humanitarian access for the timely and full delivery of humanitarian aid to all civilians in urgent need of assistance, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, including international humanitarian law and the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, and provide full freedom of movement and unhindered access for the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) to all of Jonglei State, and it noted recent signs of improvements in this regard.
They called on all parties, including armed militias, to exercise restraint, refrain from any acts of violence against civilians, and fully respect their obligations under applicable international law, including human rights law and international humanitarian law.
They took note of the commitment of President [Salva] Kiir to investigate and hold accountable those accused of committing violations against civilians in Jonglei State, and reiterated their deep concern at human rights violations and abuses by armed groups and by national security institutions, including some members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), and emphasized that those responsible for any violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of international human rights law must be held accountable.
The members of the Security Council also underlined the need to address the underlying causes of inter-communal violence in South Sudan and urged all parties to seek peace through reconciliation, in this regard, the members of the Security Council recalled, subject to the requirements of international law, the 9 July renewed amnesty offer of the Republic of South Sudan towards relevant armed militias.
They recognized the important role of UNMISS in building local capacity and supporting peacebuilding efforts, and the importance of the Mission’s protection of civilians and provision of security in facilitation of humanitarian assistance in Jonglei. They condemned all attacks on UNMISS troops and staff and called for prompt and thorough investigation of these attacks, and demanded that there be no recurrence of such attacks or impunity for the perpetrators.