The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Gerard Jacobus van Bohemen (New Zealand):
The members of the Security Council noted 9 July 2015 as the beginning of the fourth year of independence for the world’s youngest nation, the Republic of South Sudan. They expressed their profound disappointment with the actions of President Salva Kiir, former Vice-President Riek Machar Teny and other leaders who have put their personal ambitions ahead of the good of their country and their people and jeopardized the foundation of this fledgling State.
The members of the Security Council noted that the failure of the two leaders to pursue peace has resulted in the death of tens of thousands of civilians, the displacement of more than 2.1 million people and the attacks upon and deaths of UN peacekeepers, internally displaced persons receiving UN protection and humanitarian personnel. They reaffirmed that such acts will not be tolerated. The members of the Security Council renewed their grave alarm at the 19 months of violence in South Sudan and the resulting man-made political, security, humanitarian and economic catastrophe.
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law in South Sudan, including those reported by UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Unity and Upper Nile States in April and May 2015, which included those involving castration, mass rape and the burning of women and children in their homes. They expressed their determination to support all efforts to hold those responsible to account for these crimes.
The members of the Security Council recognized the work of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in leading the mediation since the onset of the crisis and noted that while mediation efforts have been under way, there have been no signs that the parties are prepared to cease fighting and undertake a genuine peace process. In this regard, they recognized the need for an urgent assessment and reinvigoration of the political process to develop and implement a comprehensive solution to end the crisis in South Sudan and looked forward to renewed efforts by IGAD, the friends of South Sudan from Africa and abroad and the United Nations to do so.
The members of the Security Council recalled the 1 July 2015 designation of six individuals under resolution 2206 (2015) and reiterated their commitment to designate for sanctions political and military leaders that threaten the peace security and stability of South Sudan.
In light of the significant deterioration of the situation, the members of the Security Council underscored the urgent and imperative need to end impunity and ensure accountability, anticipated with interest the findings and recommendations of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan and encouraged the public release of the final report urgently and, in this regard, looked forward to the outcome of the African Union Peace and Security Council ministerial-level meeting scheduled for 14 July 2015.