March 8, 2018 (NEW YORK) - The head of United Nation Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has called to support the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement pointing there is no other alternative to replace it.
- The Special Representative of the U.N Secretary General in South Sudan David Shearer, February 1, 2017 (ST)
David Shearer made his call in a briefing to the Security Council on South Sudan before to renew the UNMISS mandate, as the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called in a report to the Council to amend its mandate to respond to the needs of the slow implementation process.
Shearer told the 15-member body that it is true that there are "fundamental issues still to be resolved" including the boundaries and states issue, the formation of a unified army, and the security of the returning opposition leaders.
He confirmed that some believe that a return to war is inevitable, adding "We don’t concur... This agreement is widely embraced by the population". Also, he mentioned the continuation of fighting in the Equatoria region between the government and holdout groups.
He went further to say that UNMISS too has is concerns about the peace process, but his mission is resolved to focus attention and resources on making it work.
"I want to stress: there is no Plan B. There is only Plan A- this Agreement - and this path forward. And, for it to have a chance to work, it needs to be supported," he said.
In the same vein, he urged the IGAD to appoint the head of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) " to help stir the process forward and overcome these challenges".
According to the time table set for the implementation of the pre-transitional period, there are just over two months left before the beginning of the transitional period and the appointment of the transitional government on 12 May.
The slow progress in the implementation process, according to Shearer, should push the parties and regional partners to drive the process forward during the two remaining months.
"The cost of failure is unthinkable. So, while responsibility lies primarily with the parties to the conflict, it also is beholden on us all to ensure that we move forward together to make this agreement a reality for the sake of the people of South Sudan," he concluded.
According to the UNMISS, an estimated 135,000 refugees have returned home. Also, a number of IDPs returned to their areas of origin.
UNMISS is working with the government to build the capacity of the justice system through its support to In its efforts to operating a mobile court system for sexual attacks and rape.
In March, a UN-supported special court will also open in Juba with jurisdiction over crimes of sexual and gender-based violence.
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