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South Sudan at risk of 'large scale conflict' - UN report


A report published by the United Nations Security Council this morning has warned that slow implementation of the R-ARCSS puts South Sudan at significant risk of a 'large scale conflict'.

UN experts have published the report amidst renewed discussion over the security situation in the country, following months of intercommunal violence and renewed sanctions against key military figures. It warns that 'urgent engagement is needed to avert a return to large-scale conflict'.

The document calls for 'renewed momentum from regional and international partners…to de-escalate the growing security and political fractures in South Sudan'.

'Since February 2020, the slow pace of reforms by the Government of South Sudan and its selective implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan has hindered improvements in the protection of civilians and prospects for long-term peace' the report notes.

President Kiir speaking at the United Nations, 2013.

With the current arms embargo due to expire at the end of May, the report also urges international signatories to renew sanctions until the 2018 peace agreement is fully implemented. Before new weapons are allowed to enter the country, experts have also suggested forming an independent review into government management of state arms stockpiles.

According to a recent report published by the Sudd Institute, the government has failed to implement any of the 13 critical provisions, such as government and justice reforms, outlined in Chapter I of the R-ARCSS. Many of these provisions were due to be exacted 6 months after signing, though we are now in the 30th month.

Disputes in this regard are reported to have 'widened existing political, military and ethnic divisions in the country', the UN have said, and caused 'multiple incidents of violence' between the SPLM and SPLM-IO.

The report also notes South Sudan's humanitarian situation, arguing that more people 'are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2021 than ever before'.

'Despite the humanitarian needs of 8.5 million people, the Government has imposed bureaucratic barriers to the delivery of humanitarian aid, and ongoing conflict has prevented its safe delivery', it concludes.

Nicholas Haysom, newly appointed UNMISS chief in Juba.

In an interview yesterday, newly appointed UN special envoy for South Sudan Nicholas Haysom has reaffirmed the organisation's commitment to promoting peace and stability in South Sudan.

'As partners in that process, the UN will continue to work with the South Sudanese as well as regional and international partners to provide stability and, ultimately, secure prosperity for all citizens', Haysom said in a statement.

The response of South Sudan's government to the UN report is yet unclear.

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