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Statement on the situation in South Sudan

Statement by the Republic of Slovenia at the UN Security Council briefing on the situation in South Sudan 

Thank you very much Mr. President,

I wish to thank USG Lacroix for his briefing and I welcome the participation of the representative of South Sudan at today’s meeting.

As South Sudan approaches a pivotal moment in its young history, a peaceful and orderly transition is crucial. Its successful inaugural democratic elections are integral part of this process. Upcoming months are key to lay the groundwork for stability, democratic governance, and peace endurance.

Let me address three points in this respect:

First, timely implementation of key benchmarks of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) is of critical importance. Preparations for the planned December elections as well as drafting of a permanent constitution must remain a priority.

Slovenia encourages South Sudan to swiftly operationalize the electoral institutions and agree on crucial elements for credible elections in December, including on political code of conduct and voter registration. We welcome the government’s decision to allocate the funding, but remain concerned over the lack of resources distribution for electoral institutions and the necessary technical arrangements for conducting free, fair, and credible elections.

It is essential that the voices of civil society, in particular women and youth are heard and taken into account. The minimum quota commitment for women in transitional and executive bodies as allocated by the peace agreement must be respected. Full, equal, meaningful and safe participation of women is crucial; their participation as voters and as candidates in all phases of electoral process must be ensured.

Second, we express profound concern over the continued violence particularly in the Upper Nile and Greater Equatoria regions as well as in the areas along the border between Warrap state and Abyei region.

We call for the community-based reconciliation initiatives and emphasize the need for support for grassroots peacebuilding efforts to address root causes and drivers of violence.   

We are alarmed by the persisting violations of human rights, including sexual and gender-based violence and attacks on civilians. Grave violations against children continue to persist. Displaced women and children are most at risk.

Prevention of conflict-related sexual violence together with adequate response services must be prioritized. Accountability must be ensured. We continue to urge the Government to take decisive actions to ensure justice for victims and survivors. We commend UNMISS activities to support strengthening the capacity of the national justice system and to support the deployment of mobile courts. As the first cases show, these courts are an important step towards combating impunity, and sending a strong signal of no tolerance to perpetrators.

Third, the humanitarian situation remains alarming. The escalating conflict in Sudan, coupled with severe climate-induced risks, are exacerbating the already dire situation. We commend South Sudanese efforts in providing refuge for those fleeing hostilities in Sudan, demonstrating solidarity amidst its own complex challenges.

Ensuring safety of humanitarian aid workers and medical personnel remains paramount. We condemn any attacks on them in the strongest terms. We call on all parties to respect international law, including international humanitarian and human rights law and ensure, safe and unimpeded delivery of humanitarian aid. This includes clear, fast and straightforward administrative procedures. We commend UNMISS for its role in providing protective escorts to humanitarian partners, crucial for timely aid distribution.

Mr. President, 

Slovenia once again reiterates its full support to UNMISS, especially for their assistance in effective implementation of the Roadmap and focused efforts on protection of civilians.

We also thank SRSG for his commitment to support the Government and the people of South Sudan.

Finally – we call on South Sudan to adhere to the Status of Forces Agreement by removing any barriers to the swift and effective operation of UNMISS, underscoring the importance of free and unrestricted movement to UNMISS to effectively fulfill its mission.

I thank you.

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