The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Koro Bessho (Japan):
The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the fighting in Juba, South Sudan, between soldiers of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA in Opposition on 7-8 July. The members of the Council further strongly condemned the separate attacks on United Nations and diplomatic officials that took place in Juba on 7 July. The members of the Security Council acknowledged the formation of an investigation committee and urged the Transitional Government of National Unity to quickly investigate these attacks, take steps to end the fighting, reduce tensions and hold those responsible for the attacks to account.
The members of the Security Council stressed the importance of members of military forces being held accountable for their actions and emphasized the importance of command and control. The members of the Security Council called on the SPLA, the SPLA in Opposition and all other armed actors to cease hostilities and to allow the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and humanitarian actors access to civilians in need.
The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern over the parties’ lack of serious commitment to implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan and called upon the parties to work together in the Transitional Government of National Unity to resolve their differences in the spirit of cooperation, and in this regard, welcomed the joint statement made by the President, First Vice-President and Vice-President appealing for calm. The members of the Security Council demanded the parties expedite implementation of all aspects of the Agreement, including key provisions on transitional security arrangements, as a means to restoring peace in South Sudan.
The members of the Security Council underscored that actions that have the effect of expanding or extending the conflict in South Sudan, including breaches of the Agreement, may give arise to additional measures as described in United Nations Security Council resolution 2280 (2016).
The members of the Security Council expressed appreciation to UNMISS and its efforts to carry out its protection of civilians mandate. While the members of the Security Council underscored the importance of the role of UNMISS in the protection of civilians, the primary responsibility for protection of civilians in South Sudan remains with the Transitional Government of National Unity.
On the fifth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, the members of the Security Council urged South Sudan’s leaders to demonstrate leadership that will bring lasting peace and security to South Sudan. The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their unwavering support for the people of South Sudan.