Preview of N2325808.pdf

Download Report (PDF | 813.3 KB | English version)


Preview of N2325806.pdf

Download Report (PDF | 887.28 KB | Arabic version) 


I. Introduction

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2677 (2023), by which the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until 15 March 2024 and requested the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of the Mission’s mandate every 90 days. The report covers political and security developments, the humanitarian and human rights situation and progress towards the implementation of the Mission’s mandate between 1 June and 31 August 2023.

II. Political developments

2. The implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (Revitalized Agreement) remained limited during the reporting period. Celebrating the twelfth anniversary of the independence of the Republic of South Sudan, on 9 July, the President, Salva Kiir Mayardit, called for peace and stability as a prerequisite for the return of South Sudanese refugees. On 30 July, during the commemoration of Martyrs’ Day, the President emphasized that there would be no return to war and that elections were the only way forward for the country.

3. Following the inaugural meeting on 1 June, of the joint taskforce for advancing the constitution-making and electoral processes, co-chaired by the Government and UNMISS, on 13 July, the joint taskforce nominated the African Union and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) as co-chairs. On 27 July, the joint taskforce was renamed Government-trilateral (African Union, IGAD, United Nations) joint taskforce for the implementation of the constitution-making and electoral processes. In this meeting, the National Bureau of Statistics, the National Elections Commission and the National Constitutional Review Committee presented their draft action plans and estimated budgets to the joint taskforce. Also at that meeting, and at the request of the Government, UNMISS, the African Union, IGAD and the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission presented a non-paper highlighting priority issues and decisions that needed to be agreed upon by the parties to the Revitalized Agreement in order to move forward with the preparations for the elections. Those included passing the necessary legislation, reconstituting the relevant electoral bodies, determining the type and number of elections and deciding on the timeline for voter registration and options related to the inclusion of the displaced population.

4. On 5 June, the national elections act 2012 (amendment) bill, 2023, the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission (amendment) Bill 2023 and the National Revenue Authority (amendment) bill, 2023, were presented to parliament. The bills were sent to relevant committees for review but no further progress was made towards their adoption. On 22 and 23 June, the Standing Specialized Committee on Legislation and Justice of the reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly, with support from UNMISS and UNDP, organized a two-day public consultation workshop on the unresolved issues related to the electoral system and quotas for women, youth and persons with disabilities in the elections bill. On 21 August, the Specialized Committee submitted its report to parliament in the second reading with observa tions and recommendations. On 24 August, the Committee held additional consultations with the National Elections Commission on the operational aspects of the elections bill in preparations for the third reading. UNMISS and UNDP continued to provide technical support to the Specialized Committee and to the National Elections Commission on the review of the electoral legal framework, including how to address unresolved issues and potential technical and operational challenges.

5. On 6 June, the High-Level Standing Committee on the implementation of the road map, comprised of the parties to the Revitalized Agreement, convened the inaugural stakeholders’ consultative meeting with the non-party stakeholders. The meeting nominated 25 representatives to the Reconstituted National Constitutional Review Committee to participate in the constitution-making process. The reconstitution of the Committee is still six months behind schedule. On 22 June, another meeting of the same Committee decided that Political Parties Council should be a non-partisan entity, and agreed that the Chair, the Deputy Chair and the seven members of the Council shall not be subjected to the power-sharing ratio contained in the Revitalized Agreement, and that it shall be approved by a resolution a dopted by two thirds of the members of the reconstituted Transitional National Legislative Assembly.

6. On 7 June, the President received General Johnson Olony to discuss the integration of the Agwelek forces into the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces under the Khartoum Peace Agreement of January 2022. General Olony also submitted to the President his power-sharing proposal for governance of the Upper Nile State and military command structures.

7. On 12 June, the South Sudan National Police Service established an Election Security Committee and appointed focal points for election security planning. The Committee is discussing support options with UNMISS and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including training on the role of security forces in elections, and is currently drafting an election security plan.

8. The reconstitution of the Political Parties Council is now 11 months behind schedule. On 24 June, the National Democratic Movement opened its office in Juba and announced plans to prepare for elections. Its Chair, Lam Akol, returned to Juba from the Sudan on 31 July to take part in the elections. On 2 July, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) opened an office in Malakal, Upper Nile State. On 4 July, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) organized a mass political rally in Wau, Western Bahr el-Ghazal State, to endorse the President as the party’s candidate for the elections. Accepting the endorsement, the President assured there would be no further extension of the transitional period. The SPLM Secretary-General, Peter Lam Both, announced that the party had registered 4.9 million members in the last two years. Political parties and civil society organizations criticized this event as premature and unlawful, as other parties were deprived of similar opportunities, and called upon the Government to ensure civic and political space for all. On 23 July, a new political party, the People’s United Front was announced in Juba and claimed to have registered 50,000 members. On 5 August, the National Patriotic Party launched its manifesto in Torit, Eastern Equatoria State.

9. On 9 June, the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring and Verification Mechanism reported that a donation of $498,574 from Japan had enabled the national monitors of the Mechanism to resume their work. The monitors had been on strike since March 2023 owing to non-payment of salaries since April 2022. Norway donated $1.8 million to the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission on 9 June and $1.4 million to the Mechanism on 22 June.

10. On 27 June, the Chief of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces, General Santino Deng Wol, presented the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces’ plan to distribute 350 military posts, including 211 for SPLM/ South Sudan People’s Defence Forces, 106 for SPLA-IO and 33 for South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), based on the power-sharing ratio in the Revitalized Agreement. These include directorate and administration positions within the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces headquarters and the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs. While SSOA has submitted its list of nominees, SPLA-IO is yet to submit theirs. On 29 June, SPLA-IO claimed that the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces structures favoured the SPLM Army providing it greater command over the SPLA-IO and the SSOA officers. The deployment of phase I and the training of phase II of the necessary unified forces, scheduled to start in September and November 2022, respectively, have not started despite repeated announcements from the Government to do so.

11. The impasse over the swapping of the Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs with the Ministry of Interior, and the removal of the Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs on 3 March has led to contradictory reports over its resolution. On 22 June, the Office of the First Vice President released a statement refuting media reports that the deadlock over the swapping had been addressed by the President and the First Vice President.

12. On 10 August, at the thirty-first plenary meeting of the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, interim Chairperson, Major General (retired) Charles Tai Gituai, stated that critical milestones in the peace agreement had not been accomplished. He stressed the need for concerted efforts to fast-track the implementation process.

Regional engagements and developments

13. From 11 to 13 June, the President attended the Fourteenth Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government on regional peace and security, convened by IGAD and held in Djibouti. At the Summit, Djibouti was confirmed as Chair and South Sudan as Deputy Chair of IGAD. While Kenya replaced South Sudan as the lead of the mediation process in the Sudan, the decision was rejected by the Sudan. The communiqué of the Summit urged the Government to expedite the implementation of tasks critical for conducting elections in South Sudan.

14. On 10 July, South Sudan participated in the first IGAD quartet meeting in Addis Ababa, and discussed the implementation of the IGAD road map for peace in the Sudan as set out in the IGAD Summit on 13 June. The Sudan boycotted the meeting to object to the chairmanship of Kenya. On 13 July, the President attended the Sudan’s Neighbouring States Summit in Cairo and called for a national Sudanese-led mediation process to end the conflict.

Economic situation

15. As a result of the conflict in the Sudan imports to South Sudan have decreased, resulting in higher inflation of market prices. As at 31 August, the South Sudanese pound (SSP) had depreciated against the United States dollar by about 50 per cent since the beginning of 2023 owing to depletion of Central Bank reserves. The Bank continued to auction United States dollars and restrict the Government’s borrowing to stabilize the economy.

16. On 20 June, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning tabled the budget for fiscal year 2023/2024 before the National Assembly, with an estimated SSP 2.11 trillion ($2.06 billion) in expenditures and SSP 1.84 trillion ($1.80 billion) in revenue, with a deficit of SSP 267 billion ($261 million). The Government plans to finance the deficit from domestic non-oil revenue mobilization and domestic borrowing. On 17 July, at a public hearing on the proposed budget criticisms and dissatisfaction were voiced from different quarters. On 22 July, the SPLM-IO parliamentary caucus cautioned that the insufficient allocation of funds to critical tasks outlined in the Revitalized Agreement would put both the 2022 road map and the 2024 elections at risk. On 11 August, the budget was passed despite opposition from the SPLM-IO which disagreed with the SPLM over the salary increases for civil servants and security forces. The President signed the budget into law on 14 August.


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