Skip to main content
JUBA - 15 Apr 2022

UNMISS lauds South Sudan peace partners for progress on security arrangements

File Photo: Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, UNMISS boss Mr. Nicholas Haysom
File Photo: Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, UNMISS boss Mr. Nicholas Haysom

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) says it is pleased with South Sudan's peace partners for the achievements they have made in the implementation of the security arrangements. 

On Tuesday night, President Salva Kiir announced a unified armed force command, integrating the opposition commanders into the armed forces. 

In his statement to journalists in Juba on Thursday, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Nicholas Haysom hailed South Sudan's peace partners for the milestone.

"I would like to recognize the progress made by the parties for overcoming the impasse in reaching the 3rd of April agreement on security arrangements regarding specifically the unified command and the control structure. I take note of the presidential decree on the 12th of April which is a crucial and necessary step for the implementation of the peace agreement. It is important to recognize that all parties cooperated and contributed to making it possible," he said.

He further commended the country's presidency for the milestone saying "It sends a strong signal to the people of South Sudan, that indeed they are committed to peace and stability.'

Haysom also raised concerns about ongoing sub-national violence in parts of the country, condemning the attacks on civilians.

"I am discouraged by the resurgence of sub-national violence along with the attacks by armed youths and militias that have turned the country from North to South from East to West. I was saddened to learn that only last week, thousands of people in Leer County in Unity were forced to flee their homes following a surge of fighting along with disturbing reports of sexual violence, looting, and destruction of civilians and humanitarian properties," he said. "I strongly condemn this violence and attacks on civilians but in particular attacks on humanitarians and the looting of the lifesaving supplies and assets, and these are unacceptable." 

Haysom says women and children have continued to suffer the consequences of the violence in Leer County and other parts of the country.

On elections, the UN chief said, all indicators point to a lack of preparation for the elections but he insists the parties still have the opportunity to create an environment for the conduct of elections expected in December.

"An electoral management body has not been put in place, the laws have not been enacted and the structures necessary to conduct elections under the difficult conditions in South Sudan – I mention the difficult conditions but am referring of course to the reliance in modern elections on logistical infrastructure which is required," Haysom explained. "But I also had pointed to the need for the political conditions to be adjusted. And I think here, we would have drawn attention to the need for an open political space within which the parties can contest each other’s viewpoints. Our anxiety is that elections in a space where the conditions are not appropriate would likely lead to violence before, during, and after elections."

Haysom says that with a strong approach the parties could create the necessary environment both technical and political to ensure parties are ready for the election. 

"As we get closer to December, which is the anticipated date for the elections, if we follow the peace agreement, it may become more apparent that the country will not make the deadline. All I am suggesting is that there still is an opportunity to make that deadline if they seize the task ahead with both hands and make progress," he concluded.