World Refugee Day Statement From SPLM/A Representative office At The United Nations

As the world marked the Refugees’ Day today, Salva Kiir regime continues restricting free
access to South Sudanese IDPs in SPLM/A held areas.

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June 20, 2015(Nyamilepedia) —  South Sudan has been at war for over 18 months in which social, economic and political development has been deliberately ignored. The current war was imposed on the people of South Sudan due to the failed leadership that lacks the political will to address and resolve the core causes of the conflict. To date, efforts for peaceful settlement by the IGAD supported by the US, UK, Norway, AU, and UN Security Council have failed and the process seems to be stalled.

“All around the world we are seeing families fleeing violence. The numbers are massive – but
we must not forget that these are mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. People who led
ordinary lives before war forced them to flee. On this World Refugee Day, everyone should
remember the things that connect all of us – our common humanity.” António Guterres,
UNHCR High Commissioner for Refugees

As United Nations, organizations, movements and activists around the world celebrate the World
Refugee Day (20 June), “ordinary [South Sudanese] people are living in extraordinary
circumstances” as a result of the on-going crisis in South Sudan.

The UNOCHA estimates that that 2 million people are uprooted from their homes with more than 500,000 refugees in neighboring countries, and over 4 million on the verge of starvation. There are reports of village
raids and homes burnt down to ashes; men killed; young boys forcibly recruited into the army;
and horrific stories of women and young girls gang raped and murdered.

All of these innocent ordinary people are experiencing human rights violations in the hand of the government that is supposed to protect them. We are grateful to the United Nations and other international humanitarian agencies for their continued humanitarian support to the people of South Sudan. We particularly acknowledge and appreciate the role of the United Nation Mission in South
Sudan (UNMISS) in protecting the civil populations, under difficult circumstances, in its various
camps in the country.

However, despite all the support being done, we are extremely upset that many displaced people
are still denied humanitarian support and there doesn’t seem to be a concerted effort to bring just
peace to South Sudan. Why do our people suffer with less action from the strong UN body? If
those people can’t speak, are there no more compassionate people in the world whose assessment
of this situation could impact a positive change in their lives?

We, in the SPLM, intend to urgently set South Sudan back to the path of democratic governance,
rule of law, social inclusion, respect for human rights, and equitable economic and human
development together with the international bodies whose goal is to ensure that the world is
humane and just.

The Root Causes of the War

As the world is aware, the Republic of South Sudan achieved independence in 2011, but has
been marred by marginalization, inequality, insecurity, human rights violations, lack of rule of
law, lack of service distribution, corruption, and unequal distribution of wealth and power. These
have been leading into continuous cycle of ethnic clashes, political unrest, lack of peaceful
coexistence, and hindered all efforts of nation building as well as economic development in the
country.

South Sudan is an independent state born out of her people’s desire for freedom, justice, respect
for human rights, constitutional democracy, federal system of governance and socio-economic
development. South Sudanese had courageously and bravely fought for these ideals for a long
time until they eventually scored the great victory by attaining Independence. This final victory
presented an opportunity for the country to be transformed into what her people had fiercely
fought for. Unfortunately, the current regime has hijacked the transformation process and turned
this country, on her way to greatness, into a visionless, undemocratic, poor, illiterate, unhealthy,
insecure, unjust and tribally intolerant entity with weak public institutions.

Since Independence, insecurity has been the order of the day; poverty has been on the increase; political intolerance has been at its worst; and inter-tribal and intra-tribal conflicts are widespread. All of these are signs of failure on the part of the state and its leadership. In an attempt to shift the blame for failure on others, accusations of running parallel governments, coup plots, and many other antigovernment accusations were levelled against perceived political enemies at one time or others. These false accusations negatively progressed and used as a pretext to carry out the genocidal massacres of the Nuer civilians which started on December 15, 2013 in Juba and since then the country has fallen into mystery that we hope the world would step up to avert.

Our concerns are numerous, however, we prioritize advocacy on the current humanitarian and political aspects of the crisis, and how a just peace can bring an end to the crisis. We further urge the United Nations to rise to the challenge and support efforts of the people of South Sudan to end the hostilities, and to ensure humanitarian assistance reaches those in need.

We acknowledge the key role various countries and international communities are playing to address the crisis in South Sudan and to achieve peace. We also believe that meaningful peace will only be achieved if the people of South Sudan and governments around the world, including the UNGA/UNSC, took decisive actions to protect the people of South Sudan and promote human rights across the country. We urge the United Nations, regional powers, and the international community to urgently support these efforts and also ensure the protection of civilians and facilitate access to humanitarian assistance by all those who need it, taking into account the specific needs of women and girls that are often neglected in humanitarian and crisis situations.

We, therefore, request that the United Nations take the following URGENT measures:

  • Call for the imposition of targeted sanctions, including arms embargo on any group or
    individuals who are obstructing efforts for achieving sustainable peace in accordance
    with the Security Council Resolution 2206(2015). The SPLM is in full support for the
    imposition of the sanctions and ready to cooperate with the UNSC to facilitate the
    mission as needed because this is an important part to help bring the war to an end.
  • Call for the deployment of a United Nations force with a strong mandate to protect
    civilians in UNMISS and other displaced camps. This is especially important in light of
    recent direct attacks on UNMISS camps in Malakal, Upper Nile State, by the South
    Sudan army.
  • Press the South Sudan government to stop attacks on relief organizations and open
    passage for humanitarian assistance to reach the internally displaced.
  • Provide humanitarian assistance to displaced populations especially in the greater Upper
    Nile states which has been severely affected by the on-going violence, in all the UNMISS
    compounds around the country where people sought safety, and elsewhere as Unity and
    Upper Nile States in South Sudan, Ethiopia, and elsewhere, taking into account the
    specific needs of women and girls.
  • Support and launch the relocation of the displaced people, who are in the UNMISS and
    other camps, to the areas that are under control of the SPLM for their safety and social
    well-being.
  • Support the proposal for the active involvement of the members of the TROIKA and
    other international stakeholders in the peace process alongside IGAD member and other
    African countries. The SPLM fully supports this initiative and believes it will help to
    swiftly move the peace negotiations process.
  • Call for the release of the AU Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan so that its findings
    could help, among other proposals for peace, to speed up investigation of crimes
    committed, including gender-based violence and other war crimes and crimes against
    humanity to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Conclusion

Over the past 17 months conflict in South Sudan has claimed tens of thousands of South
Sudanese lives and more are dying every day, 2 million displaced, and over 4 million on the
verge of starvation. These figures, put together, are more than half the entire population of the
country. If the conflict is not averted soon, the situation will continue to become worse and
innocent civilians will continue to suffer mercilessly.

It is our hope that the UNSC employs all its efforts, and the rest of the international community
as patrons, to treat the South Sudan crisis in a sense of emergency, to ensure that a genuine peace
agreement is signed, to stop the war now, and to ensure that all South Sudanese live ordinary
lives in their own land.
Sincerely,


Signed on behalf of the SPLM Office of the Representative to the UN:
United Nations-New York,

Contact: kuayak@gmail.com