SRSG Haysom at UNSC: Renewed legislative activity is noticeable following completion of the formation of the reconstituted transitional legislature, at national & state levels – political differences are fought out in Parliament rather than outside of it; this is welcome progress pic.twitter.com/4jFsqLILez
— UNMISS (@unmissmedia) June 20, 2022
Signs of progress
Despite delays, he said progress has been made. The parties overcame a critical impasse to reach a breakthrough agreement on a single joint command structure for the Necessary Unified Forces on 3 April.
The formation of the reconstituted transitional legislature at national and state levels, is now completed, and renewed legislative activity and debate is noticeable.
“The fact that at least some of the political differences are fought out in Parliament rather than outside of it, is a welcome development,” he added.
Further, he said the National Constitutional Amendment Committee’s recent mandate extension will now allow for the review of the National Elections Act – a prerequisite for launching the electoral and legislative frameworks – Parliament’s adoption of a national budget for the year 2021/22, after a nine-month delay, will allow for more advances.
A call for leadership, resources
“What is needed is national leadership, resources and a visible commitment by South Sudan’s leaders to fulfil their responsibilities under the peace agreement,” he clarified. He pressed parties to take the steps necessary to exit the transitional period.
Specifically, he urged them to agree on a roadmap – as called for by the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission and the United Nations – for the completion of outstanding tasks.
These include the graduation and deployment of the Necessary Unified Forces, the approval of pending legislation for the constitution-making process and national elections, and critical reforms of the security, judicial and financial sectors.
Cattle raiding, abductions, revenge killings
“The sheer magnitude of the tasks ahead requires the international community’s full and unrestricted attention,” he assured.
Turning to the scale of simmering violence across the country – which now spreads from north to south and east to west – he said that in Eastern and Central Equatoria, Unity, Warrap and Jonglei states, as well as the Abyei Administrative Area, violence civilians have endured multiple attacks, fuelling a cycle of cattle raiding, abductions, revenge killings, and gender-based violence.
He said that in this year alone, more than 80 per cent of civilian casualties have been attributed to intercommunal violence and community-based militias.
While UNMISS is deploying an increasingly mobile and robust posture, “quite frankly, we cannot be everywhere.” The three-year strategic vision requested by the Security Council, continues to be the framework for its integrated efforts, he assured ambassadors.