Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the Security Council Meeting on the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

Mr President,

We would like to thank you for convening today’s important meeting. We would also like to thank SRSG, Mr David Shearer, for his briefing today and also commend him and his team for all the work they are undertaking in contributing to the stability of South Sudan.

Mr President, I will limit my intervention to three issues, namely the political and humanitarian situation as well as the renewal of the UNIMSS mandate.

On the political situation, Mr President, South Sudan’s leaders have presented their country with a dawn of renewed hope, through great sacrifice and compromise. In this regard, we would like to congratulate the Government of South Sudan and all the parties on the overall progress achieved to date in the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

South Africa applauds President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, and leaders of the other opposition groups for reaching an agreement to form the inclusive Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity on the agreed date of 22 February 2020.

With this renewed hope, we encourage all parties to continue to address the outstanding issues pertaining to the implementation of the Peace Agreement, as well as to sustain the dialogue that has allowed them to make notable progress to date. In this regard, we look forward to the convening of the National Dialogue Conference on 16 March 2020. This progress needs to be translated into peace dividends that the ordinary people in South Sudan can see in the daily lives, through socioeconomic development, security and sustained stability.

Mr President,

South Africa would like to commend the role of the InterGovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union and the international community on facilitating the formation of the Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity. Furthermore, we would like to commend the Sant’Egidio Community of Rome for facilitating the Rome Declaration with the nonsignatory groups to agree to a ceasefire in South Sudan and to join the peace process, this is a critical processes which addresses inclusivity, and hopes to avert spoilers in the political process which could undermine the valuable progress which has been attained thus far.

On the humanitarian and security front, we are encouraged by the sustained cessation of hostilities, this is testament to the political will of the leaders, however, we would like to raise our concern over the intercommunal violence and subclan clashes in the Jonglei and Pibor Region resulting in civilian deaths and internal displacement. We urge the Government to address skirmishes of intercommunal violence, which could threaten peace and stability and have already claimed significant lives and displaced millions.

Mr President, the dire humanitarian situation requires our collective action. We call on international donors to support the South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2020, which requires USD 1.5 billion to meet the lifesaving needs of 5.6 million people.

Furthermore, we urge all parties to fulfill their commitments on ending and preventing violations against children. In this regard, welcome the signing by the Government of a comprehensive Action Plan to end and prevent all grave violations against children.

On the mandate for UNMISS, we firstly have to commend UNMISS for the important role they continue to play in South Sudan. We are encouraged by their continued cooperation with the Government and call on them to continue on this trajectory in supporting the Transitional Government of Unity. In this regard, it’s important that we maintain the Missions current capacity and ensure that it has the requisite mandate and capacity in order to discharge its duties.

Lastly Mr President,

We have reached a crucial milestone, however, this is the beginning. As the international community, we need to sustain our valuable support to all aspects of the peace process in order to prevent a relapse into conflict. In this regard, South Africa remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting the peace process in South Sudan with the overall aim towards building a peaceful, stable, united and prosperous country.

I thank you.

Source: Department of International Relations and Cooperation