Dr. Wesley Bokati Natana Abraham
A South Sudanese elder and former UN Diplomat
Sept 2, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —– Your excellences, all members of UN Security Council delegation, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I greet all of you in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
As you are all aware, the 2013 crises which started in Juba resulted to loss of many lives and destruction of properties in Greater Equatoria, Greater Upper Nile ad some parts of Bahr-El- Ghazal. However, the crises which occurred in Juba for the second time, beginning from July 7,2016 and continuous till today, is largely concentrated in Greater Equatoria, resulting to loss of many lives, destruction of lives and properties. People in Juba and other parts of South Sudan are living in fear of their lives as the war is still going on
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Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, the humanitarian situation in many parts of Greater Equatoria and Upper Nile is getting worse every day. As you are visiting South Sudan today, many people in Greater Equatoria and Upper Nile have been displaced. Women, children and elderly persons are sleeping in the bushes without food, shelter, clothing and medicine. There is urgent need for humanitarian assistance to save the lives of our people but quick access to these needy areas have not been easy to the humanitarian workers. Many South Sudanese have taken refuge in the neighboring countries of Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, DRC and Sudan.
Recommendations for urgent action
Members of the Security Council delegation, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to make the following recommendations to you for your quick, kind consideration as a way forward to resolve the current crises in South Sudan as quickly as possible:-
- That SPLA/M IG, SPLA/M IO, and other parties who are signatories to the peace agreement should be encouraged avoid any split within their parties, as this will affect the signed peace agreement and its implementation. They should be called together for an urgent round table conference to come together to review the progress made, challenges facing the peace agreement and find a way forward for faster and full implementation of the signed peace agreement.
- SPLA/M IG, SPLA/M IO and other parties who are signatories to the peace agreement must be encouraged to recommit themselves to immediate ceasefire and speedy implementation of the signed Peace Agreement, beginning with:-
- Total demilitarization of Juba
- Deployment of Joint Integrated police to Juba town as per the signed peace agreement.
- Stopping operationalization of the twenty eight States and forming a committee to look into this matter as per the IGAD Communiqué
- Establishment of cantonment sites for all IO forces in Equatoria and other parts of South Sudan and provision of all needed logistics for them.
- Reconstitute the parliament with full participation of all parties who are signatories to the peace agreement and allow the Equatorians to exercise their democratic right to choose a Speaker of their choice without fear, manipulation and intimidation.
- Reconstitute/establish all institutions of governance as stipulated in the signed Peace Agreement
- Start reform process of all institutions of governance
- Quick deployment of a regional force to Juba with intervention and protection powers so as to stabilize security and facilitate quick return of the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar back to Juba to assume his responsibilities and continue with the implementation of the signed Peace Agreement.
- Remove military from all roadblocks and check points in the Country and replace them with police, so as to allow speedy and timely delivery of humanitarian serves to our need suffering people, facilitate free movement of goods and people in and out of the country.
- Lift the state of emergency and allow people leaving the country to go without unnecessary security investigation and clearance.
- Release all individuals who are now arrested and accused of having connections with SPLA/M IO and order the security forces to stop further arrest, torture and killing of civilians or looting their properties.
- All those who have lost their properties be compensated as soon as possible, so that they can rebuild themselves and start a new life.
- Support and work together with United Nations Mission in South Sudan, so as to effectively implement the Security Council Resolution.
- Request the newly appointed first vice president to step down and speed up return of the original and legitimate First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar back to Juba without any further delay to resume his duties and fast track implementation of the signed peace agreement with new timelines and deadlines as the first timeframe has passed without significant progress.
I hope, these recommendations will be taken seriously by the UN Security Council delegation, contribute positively to stop the war and effective implementation of the signed peace agreement and move South Sudan forward to a lasting peace. Timely and full implementation of this signed peace agreement will be the best way forward to end the suffering of the people of South Sudan.
The author, Dr. Wesley Bokati Natana Abraham, is a South Sudanese elder and former UN Diplomat. He can be reached for more comments at email@example.com