Friday, January 26, 2018

South Sudan’s Warring Factions Warned Over Violating Ceasefire
The head of the UN peacekeeping mission, Jean-Pierre Lacroix speaks to reporters in Juba, August 1, 2017. (UN photo)

January 24, 2018 (JUBA) – The United Nations peacekeeping chief, Jean-Pierre Lacroix told the Security Council on Wednesday that South Sudan’s ceasefire deal has already been violated numerous times, yet it offer a great opportunity to end the country’s civil war.

“These violations by the parties and the continuing hostile propaganda undertaken against one another are worrisome, as they illustrate a lack of genuine commitment to honour their words, and de-facto undermine the regional and international efforts to revitalize the peace process,” said Lacroix.

The Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities, Protection of Civilians and Humanitarian Access among the warring South Sudanese parties was brokered by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

“The South Sudanese parties must realize that the international community and the region will not continue to tolerate Agreements being signed, only to be violated in total impunity,” said the UN peacekeeping chief, while urging members of the Security Council to take decisive actions against the violators of the ceasefire deal.

The conflict in South Sudan, now in its fifth year, has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced more than two millions since it broke out due to political disagreements in the country’s ruling party.

The high-level revitalization forum initiated by IGAD is expected to resume on 5 February in Ethiopia, focusing on governance, transitional security arrangements and a permanent ceasefire.

“It will be crucial for the South Sudanese parties to participate in the Forum in good faith and with a view to make the necessary compromises required for South Sudan to return on the path to a sustainable peace,” said the senior UN official.

He added, “The South Sudanese parties must realize that the international community and the region will not continue to tolerate agreements being signed”.

Lacroix warned about the magnitude of conflict-related sexual violence in South Sudan, which, he said, reached deplorable levels.

“Unfortunately, these human rights violations are compounded by impunity, with perpetrators not being held to account,” stressed Lacroix, urging President Silva Kiir to end this impunity.

According to the UN, there were 2,670 incidents of sexual and gender-based violence, including conflict- related incidents perpetrated by both state and non-state actors in 2017.


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