27th March 2023
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UNMISS chief says 2023 is a ‘make or break year’ for South Sudan

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan, briefs the Security Council meeting on the situations in the Sudan and South Sudan. (Photo: Rick Bajornas/UN).

South Sudan sits at a critical crossroad with swift action needed to end chronic inter-communal violence and advance progress towards a durable peace, senior UN officials told the Security Council on Monday.

“We see 2023 as a ‘make or break’ year and as a test for all parties on the peace agreement,” said Nicholas Haysom, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNMISS.

Haysom, who briefed the Security Council on the UN Secretary-General’s latest report on South Sudan, presented his action plan for the critical phase of implementing the 2018 peace agreement designed to end the conflict.

“The leadership of South Sudan is now facing a stark choice,” he said.

“They can embark upon a path of mutual cooperation and reconciliation in the urgent implementation of their peace agreement, or they can take a low road which privileges self-interest and conflict over nation-building,” he said.

The UNMISS chief welcomed the transitional Government’s commitment but said current “slippages” in meeting agreed timelines remain a concern.

On the extension of the unity government by two years Haysom said “neither stakeholders nor the international community is of a mind to contemplate further extensions”.

“We believe there are some key hurdles that the parties must clear in order to successfully position South Sudan to complete the final leg of the transitional phase,” he added.

Responding to the government’s recent request for assistance ahead of the planned elections in 2024, he emphasized that more efforts should focus on creating the architecture and environment for safe elections.

“There is a need to fast-track all preparatory work now,” he said, urging that the transitional Government finalize the legal framework and reconstitution of the National Elections Commission.


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