The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Ramlan Bin Ibrahim (Malaysia):
The members of the Security Council expressed their grave concern over the security and humanitarian situation in South Sudan, and reiterated their full support for UNMISS [United Nations Mission in South Sudan] leadership and personnel and for the vital mandate they are performing under very difficult conditions, including to protect civilians in South Sudan. In this regard, they expressed concern over the latest developments in South Sudan, including the Government of South Sudan’s 29 May 2015 decision to expel the United Nations Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General/Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator for UNMISS.
The members of the Security Council underscored that to make such a determination immediately following the 27 May 2015 warning by the World Food Programme that South Sudan is facing the worst levels of food insecurity in the young country’s history because of a combination of conflict, high food prices and a worsening economic crisis, shows a disregard for the plight of the South Sudanese people and for the essential role the international community, in particular the United Nations, is playing to address the dire humanitarian crisis and deliver hope to the people.
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the repeated violations of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement accepted and signed by the Republic of South Sudan and the SPLM/A (in Opposition) [Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition] on 23 January 2014, and underscored that there is no military solution to this conflict that is only growing more violent as it nears its eighteenth month. They further condemned the 28 May 2015 exchange of gunfire into the UNMISS Protection of Civilians site in Malakal by Sudan People’s Liberation Army soldiers, resulting in the injury of three civilians and one UNMISS peacekeeper. The members of the Security Council reiterated their call upon the Government of South Sudan to immediately take steps to ensure the safety of all civilians and UNMISS Protection of Civilian sites in South Sudan, to swiftly investigate these incidents, and to bring the perpetrators of these egregious acts to justice. In this regard, they underlined their willingness to impose sanctions against those who threaten the peace, security or stability of South Sudan as established in resolution 2206 (2015).
The members of the Security Council demanded that all parties end intimidation and harassment against UNMISS and humanitarian personnel, cease ongoing restrictions on freedom of movement, and allow UNMISS to fully implement its mandate. They further demanded full adherence to the Status of Forces Agreement, and underscored the importance of close cooperation and communication, including at the highest levels, between the Government and UNMISS and in addressing these issues.
The members of the Security Council called upon all parties to engage meaningfully in the peace process so as to bring about a political solution to the crisis and an end to the conflict. They urged the Secretary-General to renew the UN’s engagement with all relevant stakeholders to help bring an end to the ongoing crisis in South Sudan.