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South Sudan to feature in Security Council’s June meetings

Author : | Published: Thursday, June 1, 2017

The UN Security Council is expected this month to consider the UN Secretary-General’s 90-day report on the UN Mission in South Sudan and his 30-day assessment of the deployment and future requirements of the Regional Protection Force.

Antonio Guteres is also expected to provide a review of the progress made by the parties towards ceasing hostilities, returning to the path of dialogue, and achieving inclusiveness within the government, as well as to recommend any relevant adjustments to the UNMISS mandate.

The mandate UNMISS expires on 15 December 2017. 

According to the Security Council Report, members will respond to President Salva Kiir’s declaration of unilateral ceasefire, by whether encouraging the gesture, or by exerting pressure on the government to back its declaration with concrete actions.

They are also expected to discuss how to achieve the full deployment of the RPF and ensure that it enables the redeployment of other UNMISS elements to areas where civilian populations are threatened by ongoing violence.

Last week, the head of UNMISS, David Shearer told the Security Council that elements of the RPF have begun to arrive in Juba, including a number of engineers to prepare base locations in advance of the full deployment of the force.

The council members will also deliberate on ways to encourage greater cooperation by the Transitional Government of National Unity, including ending violence against civilians and removing impediments to both humanitarian access and UNMISS’s ability to carry out its mandate.

Analyst believe some members of the council may attempt to incentivize cooperation from the TGoNU by offering conditional support, possibly including logistical support, for the national dialogue.

The conditions might include government’s adherence to the declared ceasefire, its commitment to participating in a revived and inclusive political process, and agreement that the national dialogue be chaired by someone other than President Salva Kiir.

Another agenda for the Security Council this month will be discussing the option to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan or freeze assets and ban travel on key figures responsible for the ongoing violence.

The Council is currently divided on its approach to South Sudan.

Some members, including France, the UK, and the US, believe that the reported targeting of civilians by government forces requires a firm response, including the imposition of an arms embargo and the application of targeted sanctions against individuals responsible for perpetuating violence.

However, other Council members, most prominently Russia, argue that additional sanctions would antagonize the relationship between UNMISS and the government, which may reduce UNMISS’ ability to implement its mandate, and undermine efforts to reach a political solution.

The United States is the penholder on South Sudan, while Senegal chairs the 2206 South Sudan Sanctions Committee.

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