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Our commitment to the South Sudanese people’s quest for peace, prosperity and democracy: UK Statement at the Security Council

Thank you President, and thank you also to SRSG Haysom and our briefers for their updates.

I welcome the update from the Permanent Representative of Gabon. I also welcome the presence of the Permanent Representative of South Sudan in our meeting today.

President, I will make three broad points:

First, four months have now passed since South Sudan’s Government announced a two-year extension and subsequent roadmap to implement the peace agreement ––progress remains woefully slow.

The United Kingdom welcomes the passing of the constitution-making bill, as well as the continued graduation of the Necessary Unified Forces.
Such progress is long overdue and we urge the Government to capitalise on this momentum and meet the remaining benchmarks within their agreed timelines. This is essential in order for free and fair elections to take place before the end of the agreement.

Second, the need for Government action to protect their civilians is no clearer than in Upper Nile State; there, the conflict has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians.

The United Kingdom condemns these attacks on civilians.  We are gravely concerned by the potential implications of this conflict for the already severely overcrowded Protection of Civilian site in Malakal and on the wider peace in South Sudan.

We call on the Government to protect civilians and create the conditions for an inclusive dialogue to stop the violence.Military intervention must not aggravate existing tensions or pose additional risk to civilians.

We also reiterate our call for the Government of South Sudan to immediately remove obstructions, and address violence against humanitarian workers and civilians.

Third, the situation in Upper Nile and rising levels of insecurity across South Sudan, require an urgent response from the international community to help save lives.

The United Kingdom commends the efforts of UNMISS to provide protection to civilians and its coordination with South Sudan.

A coherent, whole of UN approach across humanitarian, development and peace priorities is needed and we endorse the Secretary General’s encouragement for the Government and partners to apply a similar endeavour.

In closing, President, the United Kingdom remains committed to the South Sudanese people’s quest for peace, prosperity and democracy. We once again call on the leadership to deliver real change for its people. Thank you.

Source: GOV.UK