The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) welcomes the announcement on 4 August 2022 of an agreement by the parties to the Revitalized Peace Agreement (R-ARCSS) on a roadmap extending the period of current transition in 24 months.
This extension is to allow the implementation of key to-dos in the R-ARCSS.
UNMISS commends the Government of South Sudan for obtaining the consent and agreement of all signatories to the R-ARCSS and urges the authorities to undertake further efforts to engage other stakeholders, guarantors and witnesses.
The UN Mission urges all parties and signatories to the Agreement to work together, in an expeditious manner, towards the full implementation of the remaining key benchmarks, to ensure that an atmosphere conducive to the conduct of free, fair elections is created.
and credible at the end of the extended period.
UNMISS remains committed to supporting an inclusive democratic process and stands with the people of South Sudan in their quest for lasting peace, stability and development.
Human rights are universal.
They encompass each one of us, including women and men in prison.
Explaining the existence and importance of protecting prisoners' rights was the main focus of a three-day capacity-building forum recently organized in Bor by UN police officers serving with the United Nations Mission in Sudan.
of the South (UNMISS).
Bringing all prison officers in South Sudan up to speed is, as Maj. Gen. Isaac Mabil Choul, director of the National Correctional Services in Jonglei state, admitted, a work in progress.
“We are still in transition from guerrilla-like rules, but as our knowledge of correct procedures grows, we are gradually approaching international standards for the treatment of inmates,” he said.
The substance of such international standards was discussed in depth by the 50 participating officers, 24 of whom were women, as were a handful of national laws relating to the rights and stipulated protection of prisoners.
Prison riots and instances of fights between groups of inmates have not always been handled properly, sometimes resulting in both vulnerable prisoners and guards being threatened or even injured.
For this reason, conflict management and how to maintain both staff and inmates were part of the technical advice offered by the UN police officers who delivered the training.
“Modern laws give prisoners the right to decent living conditions and to be protected when there are tensions and the risk of violence breaking out,” said Maj. Gen. Priscilla Nyankot Kuot, Director of Gender Affairs at the National Prison Service, who he also praised the inclusion of a gender perspective during the workshop.
The fact that gender-based violence, sexual or otherwise, is a crime wherever it occurs, including behind bars, was constantly highlighted throughout the training.
“It is essential that prison officials understand the human rights implications involved in law enforcement practices.
We want and need corrections officers to become good ambassadors for human rights and the protection of all civilians, both inside prisons and in their communities,” said UNMISS Police Adviser Paskazia Raymond, concluding the session.
Water is life, but if it is not clean it can also mean death, or at least all kinds of diseases.
Some 80 inmates at Malakal prison, who both bathed and drank raw water from the river next to the penitentiary, know all about it, but thanks to a joint project implemented by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and World Vision, can now consider the skin rashes and dripping episodes in the story.
“Now we finally have fresh drinking water at our disposal.
It will help us improve our personal hygiene and reduce the risk of contracting diseases from contact with dirty water,” said a grateful 25-year-old inmate as newly installed pipes and a water tank with 20,000 liters of clean, filtered water were handed over.
to the prison authorities.
While he justifiably appreciated the contribution of the two organizations, the young man could also have thanked himself and some of his friends for spending time behind bars.
Supervised by engineering troops serving in the peacekeeping mission, a group of inmates helped excavate and connect pipes through which water flows from a treatment plant to the water tank.
“It was really gratifying for us to see how involved both prison leaders and convicts were in the process of making this happen,” said prison officer Ivica Markovic, who serves with UNMISS.
An important part of the mandate of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan is to help build the capacity and infrastructure of all links in the country's justice system, including prisons.
Leda Limann, Head of the Mission Field Office in Malakal, assured those attending the handover ceremony that this kind of support and cooperation with the Upper Nile State government will continue.
“I encourage you as prison inmates and professionals to defend the principles of human rights and guarantee the dignity of its inmates.
After their reform, they will become free citizens who can contribute to the development of the country, as those who participated in this project have already shown,” she said.
The United Nations Human Rights Commission in South Sudan concluded its tenth visit to the country today, from August 2-5.Made up of Yasmin Sooka (chair), Andrew Clapham and Barney Afako, the commissioners were following up on the findings and recommendations of their latest report, entitled “Conflict-related sexual violence against women and girls in South Sudan”.“The details of the report are heartbreaking to read, however we see it as important to stay true to the survivors’ stories and play our part in passing them on to their fellow South Sudanese, the South Sudanese government as well as the international community.”, said Yasmin Sooka, president of the Commission.Released in March 2022 in Geneva, the report details the widespread and systematic nature of sexual violence, drawing on several years of interviews with survivors, witnesses and their families, conducted in South Sudan and also in refugee settings.Their testimonies convey the harrowing experiences of surviving women and girls, illustrating the lasting impacts on their lives and on the social fabric of South Sudanese communities.A shorter and more accessible version has also been developed and translated for dissemination in the country.“We felt it was vital to visit South Sudan and share our findings and recommendations on conflict-related sexual violence in the country.We are grateful to have been able to visit and interact with key stakeholders,” said Sooka.The report finds that all armed groups have been involved in sexual violence and that, despite the signing of action plans to address it and some nascent justice efforts, the state's overall response so far has fallen short of expectations.the scale and severity of the crisis."We reiterate our call on the government to publicly commit to a 'zero tolerance policy' with regard to sexual violence and to immediately signal genuine intentions by withdrawing from and even prosecuting senior officials known to perpetrate sexual violence," the official said.Commissioner Andrew Clapham.The experts met with government officials, representatives of civil society, the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the UN system, as well as members of the diplomatic community.The three Commissioners held a press conference in Juba on the morning of August 4, after which they participated in a day-long dialogue organized by civil society organizations.Entitled "What's Next on the Commission's Recommendations and the South Sudan Armed Forces Action Plan to Address Conflict-Related Sexual Violence", the event brought together stakeholders including civil society, government, armed forces and the judiciary.The dialogue was an opportunity for the Commission to present its recommendations, listen to stakeholders, discuss strategies and identify next steps.“While the focus of our discussions this week has been on crimes taking place in connection with the country's conflicts, this appalling situation is set against a backdrop of broader patterns of impunity for serious crimes in South Sudan, particularly against women and girls who continue to have a low status in society,” commented Barney Afako.“Critical nation-building opportunities, in particular the long-awaited process to develop a national constitution, must be fully inclusive and participatory in order to establish a lasting framework to address the causes of conflict and the dehumanization of women and girls in the world country," he added. .Background of the Commission The UN Human Rights Commission in South Sudan is an independent body mandated by the UN Human Rights Council.It was first established in March 2016 and since then its mandate has been renewed every year.The Commission's latest report was published as a conference room document at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on March 21, 2022.
Following a long period of unrest and violence between herders and farmers in and around Nimule in Magwi County, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently made another visit to the area.
The internally displaced used the opportunity to request the assistance of the world body to achieve reconciliation so that the communities affected by the conflict can begin to live together in peace.
“We are open and would welcome a peace conference.
What happened, happened, now is the time to forge a sustainable path forward.
We need to find common ground to coexist in harmony again,” said John Bol, head of the Dinka community in Nimule, referring to the Madi community, the area's traditional residents.
In recent months, episodes of violence between ranchers and farmers, unhappy that the beasts have ruined their crops, have claimed many lives, cattle raids and revenge attacks, forcing many people to flee their homes.
As is often the case in conflict, vulnerable groups such as women, children, the elderly and the disabled have suffered the most.
“The disabled are useful to the nation.
If there is conflict, we cannot flee, so the violence affects people with disabilities, who have made history in this country, more than others”, said Isaac Chol, one of the many people who were seriously injured during the war.
independence of South Sudan.
The last major incidents in Magwi county took place on July 9, when a theft of 150 goats also left two young men dead, and on July 11, when the Anzara village chief was killed in Nimule town.
“Seeing all this violence is painful for us women.
Let there be no more revenge attacks,” pleaded Mary Yarr, a Dinka church leader who has lived in Nimule for more than 30 years.
"I don't want anyone to die, Madi or Dinka," she added.
The UNMISS team undertook the patrol in and around Nimule to assess the security situation and seek feedback from affected communities on how the peacekeeping mission can better protect civilians and help restore peace.
“We are here to discuss how we can contribute to reconciliation and ensure that civilians, particularly vulnerable people, are safe.
But, for peace to prevail, he must remain calm and end the self-perpetuating vicious cycle of revenge attacks,” said Civil Affairs Officer Hercules Balu Henry.
In a meeting between the peacekeepers and representatives of the Madi community, the latter shared the desire for peace previously expressed by their Dinka counterparts.
“We don't have time for conflicts, we need peace.
But before we can sit down and talk to solve our problems, all cattle must leave Magwi county,” said Koma James Adriko, representative of the Madi chiefs.
The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided $223 million to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) for critical food and nutrition assistance to reach millions on the brink of starvation in South Sudan.
The country is experiencing its worst food crisis since independence in 2011 due to ongoing conflict, four years of persistent flooding, 18 months of localized drought, and the impact of a global food and fuel crisis exacerbated by Russia's unprovoked war in Ukraine.
The US government, through USAID's Office of Humanitarian Assistance, provided WFP with $106 million from its Ukraine Supplement Fund to provide immediate support to 2.4 million insecure women, children and men severe food shortages with life-saving food and nutrition assistance, as well as cash transfers.
A second contribution from the US government's Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust, overseen by USAID, due to arrive in late 2022 will provide WFP with in-kind food assistance valued at $117 million, enough to feed 1.1 million people.
The shipment consists of sorghum, vegetable oil, and nutritious food for children under five and pregnant or lactating mothers.
“This life-saving contribution demonstrates the US government's continued commitment to the people of South Sudan,” said Adeyinka Badejo, WFP's acting country director.
"It will allow the most vulnerable families to put food on the table at a time when food is becoming more expensive and scarce due to the global crisis."
US Chargé d'Affaires William Flens said: “The United States has supported the people of South Sudan since the beginning of this country, and even before independence.
We continue to urge the Government of South Sudan to address the drivers of subnational violence that contribute to the humanitarian crises that our assistance is helping to mitigate.” USAID Acting Director of Mission Mark Anthony White said, “The United States stands with the people of South Sudan in their quest for lasting peace, stability and democracy.
This contribution will improve the quality of life of South Sudanese towards a better future.” The United States has been the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance to the people of South Sudan for more than 25 years.
This assistance includes approximately $1 billion in 2022 alone for humanitarian and development assistance, support to the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and additional assistance in coordination with partners through the World Bank and other institutions.
The United States continues to provide significant assistance to save lives and reduce suffering to the people of South Sudan, including food and nutrition assistance, safe drinking water, health services, emergency education and shelter, relief supplies, and services for survivors of gender.
Widespread loss of livelihoods, farmland, livestock and homes due to floods, drought and ongoing violence has left 7.74 million people severely food insecure, many unable to farm in the last three years.
The sharp depreciation of the local currency and skyrocketing food and fuel prices have put staple foods out of reach for poor and food-insecure families.
Humanitarian needs have continued to grow and outstrip available resources, forcing WFP to prioritize 4.5 million of the 6.2 million food-insecure people it planned to reach by 2022.
The new funding will allow WFP to maintain its current programs and resume its food assistance for people in some of the recently suspended areas.
The United States Government is the largest donor to WFP operations in South Sudan, providing $516.7 million in 2022.
A joint patrol team from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) recently revisited communities in Twic County following outbreaks of insecurity in the area earlier this year.
“Since June, the security situation has remained stable, but internally displaced persons, particularly women, children and the elderly, continue to face serious humanitarian challenges, with limited supplies of food and medicine.
It looks like the rainy season will make their situation worse,” said Chier All Madut Chier Rehan, coordinator of the South Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) based in Twic. Conflicts between the Twic communities and the Abyei Administrative Area erupted in February over a land survey to determine ownership of the Aneet market land.
Numerous skirmishes followed, leading to a significant increase in the number of internally displaced persons, currently over 800,000.
Since then, the peacekeeping mission has systematically deployed civilian and uniformed personnel to the region to carry out its mandates and monitor the security situation.
The objective of these activities is to foster an environment conducive to dialogue and peaceful consultations, resulting in long-term coexistence between the two parties.
"We are prepared for dialogue with our neighbors."
Twic County Chief Executive Malek Ring said, adding that chiefs and citizens alike have been urged to abide by a Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed in April.
The possibility of holding a peace conference between the Twic and Abyei communities has been discussed, but Mr. Ring, referring to the fact that these are border issues, informed the visiting patrol team that the root causes must be addressed at the national.
Getting together to discuss our problems and disputes openly at the same table is, however, always a good idea,” he said.
Edwin Njonguo, Civil Affairs Officer of the UN peacekeeping mission, applauded the government and local authorities for their efforts to bring peace to the local level and stressed that these results must be maintained to achieve genuine harmony.
“Please continue your successful initiatives and collaborate with neighboring communities.
We are always available to help the government and the people to achieve a lasting peace”, he emphasized.
In constant engagement with the government and local communities, UNMISS continues to work to create the conditions for humanitarian aid to be delivered to internally displaced persons in the area, with the long-term goal of enabling everyone to return to their homes.
The UN Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, condemns the attack on Friday 22 July in Mayom County, Unity State, which resulted in the deaths of several people, including the Mayom County Commissioner.
The rebel South Sudan People's Movement/Army led by Gen. Stephen Buay Rolnyang claimed responsibility for the attack, following earlier clashes between the group and government forces in the area on July 19.
“Subnational violence has already had a devastating effect on communities.
We call on all armed groups to lay down their weapons and participate in peace efforts.
This is the only way to break the cycles of violence and revenge killings, and pave the way for lasting and sustainable peace,” said Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom.
UNMISS continues to closely monitor the situation in County Mayom and supports the peace process.
Recent cattle raids in Kapoeta North County have resulted in hundreds of deaths and even more injuries. In response, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the Eastern Equatoria state government have visited the area to engage with affected communities, reduce tensions and find out why the violence has occurred.
"I urge you, the chiefs, to carry the message of peace to the youth, asking them to avoid violence, because conflict hinders peace and development," said Francis Shuei Dieu, Civil Affairs Officer of the peacekeeping mission. peace.
Following the attacks on cattle, the injured youths are receiving medical treatment in Kapoeta North and Budi counties.
“The situation of some of these injured young people is critical. I request humanitarian partners to urgently evacuate them to Juba for better treatment. Even their mere presence here is a threat to our community as we may be targeted for revenge attacks against them,” said Akileo Mboya Peter, Budi County Commissioner.
More than 15,000 head of cattle are reported to have been stolen during raids in the area, leaving the affected communities very concerned as they depend on their animals for their livelihood.
“Immediately after the attack, our youth tried to chase the assailants. When we arrived, we could only count the many lives we had lost,” said Epone Emmanuel Lolimo, Kapoeta North County Commissioner. "We need our cows back, because the livelihood of our people depends on them."
Joseph Kabaka, chairman of the Eastern Equatoria State Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation Commission, says the government will do everything to restore peace and order.
“We are here to find facts on the ground. We urge the communities of Kapoeta North to give the government adequate time to resolve the issues,” he said.
Road travel in South Sudan can be an adventure, and not always in the positive and exciting sense of the word. Monitoring the flow of movement is carried out by police officers who are not always familiar with traffic regulations or how to keep the most vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and (motor)cyclists, safe.
UN police officers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are trying to change the currently dangerous landscape.
“The community is ignorant and does not know the meaning of the different traffic signs. We put up signs, but they tend to get removed or stolen. Drivers need to be educated, and we need to learn how to teach them. Imagine, many road users don't even have a driver's license,” says Maj. Gen. Nhial Nhial Monycol, director of the Traffic Police in Northern-Bahr-el-Ghazal state.
Basic communication skills and tips on how to protect vulnerable pedestrians and motorists were among the skills UN police officers shared with 35 of their South Sudanese counterparts at a workshop in Aweil.
“There is a gap between the traffic police themselves, and that gap is education. Most of them are uneducated. That being the case, we teach them how to start road safety outreach programs to build skills among road users,” says Rose Moris Magita, a policewoman serving with UNMISS.
The aforementioned challenges, combined with poor road conditions, sometimes dangerous weather conditions, and the frequent presence of a wide variety of animals where drivers push each other for just enough space to steer their vehicles, add up to alarming statistics: just in the Last six months, traffic Police have recorded more than 400 traffic accidents, claiming at least fifteen deaths.
“For this reason, we also teach trainees about road signs, traffic violations, and safety precautions to take, as well as the rights of suspects who have been pulled over, how to write proper incident reports, and about the harmful consequences of police misconduct in controlling traffic,” added Ms. Magita.
Attendees praised the training initiative and pledged to put it to good use.
“The workshop was very informative and critical for us to better perform our roles while saving lives in the process. I am going to sensitize the users of the road, and also the colleagues who could not attend these vital days”, said Warrant Officer Paulino Yal Anei.