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Amid Fresh Fighting in South Sudan, Peacekeeping Chief Urges Security Council to Demand Change of Course by Leaders, Those Fomenting Violence – South Sudan

SECURITY COUNCIL
8124TH MEETING (AM)
SC/13107

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The precarious security situation in South Sudan was a matter of grave concern, the Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations told the Security Council today, urging it to use all means necessary to demand a change of course from leaders and parties to the conflict.

Jean-Pierre Lacroix said that as the dry season would soon set in, the conflict could escalate, as well as intercommunal fighting. In that challenging environment, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) had endeavoured to be more robust, nimble and proactive. Peacekeepers had helped protect humanitarian facilities, facilitated aid delivery and evacuated humanitarian personnel. They had intervened to protect civilians from abduction, recruitment, sexual violence and harassment, while Mission patrols had reached areas where they had long been denied access.

Since the setback to the peace process in July 2016, a new wave of armed conflict had spread into the Equatorias, he said. In 2017, major clashes between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the opposition had shifted towards Greater Upper Nile. At the same time, clashes continued in the Equatorias and Western Bahr el Ghazal. The last two weeks had seen renewed fighting in southern Unity between opposition forces allied to Riek Machar and those affiliated with First Vice-President Taban Deng. Fragmentation of the opposition remained a source of instability, with intercommunal fighting impacting the security situation.

Regional partners had stepped up efforts to revitalize the peace process, he said, welcoming the support of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-led High Level Revitalization Forum — which aimed to secure a cessation of hostilities and implementation of the 2016 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan — and efforts…

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