Address By Permanent Representative during the UN SC Consultations on Sudan and South Sudan

Statement by H.E. Dr. Francis Mading Deng, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Sudan to the United Nations' remarks during the UN SC Consultations on Sudan and South Sudan.

Mr. President,

This being my first time to address the Council in my new capacity as Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Sudan to the United Nations, I would like to personally express my appreciation for the opportunity and to congratulate you, Mr. President for your Presidency this month.
I would like to thank the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations for his briefing that he has just presented, and also thank the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Hilde Johnson as well as the Special Envoy Haile Menkerios for their hard work in support of peace and security in South Sudan and Sudan. Furthermore, I would like to express my appreciation to His Excellency Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his comprehensive and balanced report outlining the successes as well as the ongoing challenges in the maintenance of peace and security between Sudan and South Sudan. Establishing a comprehensive and sustainable peace with the Republic of Sudan is our government's number one priority.
The Republic of South Sudan would also like to reiterate its appreciation to the members of the Security Council for their support of the roadmap established by the African Union Peace and Security Council on 24 April 2012, and the importance this Council places on the leading role that the African Union plays in the promotion of peace and security in our region.
Mr. President,
The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan have long agreed, as far back as the signing of the Machakos Protocol in 2002, that war would never represent a viable solution to ending the conflicts between them, and that negotiation remains the only worthwhile approach. At the same time, negotiation without end is in no-one's interests. Our two states cannot prosper or pursue greater development in an atmosphere of continued uncertainty about their relations. It is for this reason that the AU Roadmap and Security Council Resolution 2046 helpfully established deadlines for the resolution of all the outstanding issues between our two states. Both the AU Roadmap and Resolution 2046 created an opportunity for our two countries to resolve the outstanding issues definitively.
Resolution 2046 also called on the Secretary-General, in consultation with the African Union and IGAD, to issue binding proposals on any issues on which the parties could not agree within the reasonable deadline that was established by this Council. The Republic of South Sudan appreciates the efforts of the African Union High Level Implementation Panel comprising their Excellencies President Thabo Mbeki, resident Pierre Buyoya and President Abdulsalami Abubakar, all of whom tirelessly supported the parties during this Summer's negotiations, and who provided the required continental context and political support to enable the creation of African solutions for the establishment of peace and stability in the region.
Mr. President,
The agreements signed by the parties on 27th September are welcome and represent an important milestone, defining in concrete terms the future relations between our two states. However, as this Council itself recognized when it unanimously passed Resolution 2046, what is required, some seven years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, is final resolution of all of the outstanding issues that remain between us. My government signed the cooperation agreements on 27th September because we were convinced that it would be possible quickly to resolve the matters on which we could not agree on that day, most importantly border demarcation and the status of Abyei. We would welcome this Council's continued and active support of this objective, in full cooperation with and support of the African Union. It is only when all of the issues are addressed, and we have made much greater progress towards the full implementation of key provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, that sustainable peace will exist in our region. There are no shortcuts to this destination.
It is with this in mind that we respectfully ask this Council to support unreservedly the AU Peace and Security Council decision of 24th October 2012. As you are all aware, the AUHIP's 21 September 2012 proposal on the final status of Abyei reflects the previous agreements signed by the parties, such as the Abyei Protocol of the 2005 CPA, the arbitration agreement that led to the 2009 award of the Permanent Court of Arbitration tribunal, and the 20th June 2011 agreement.
These agreements provided the foundation for the AUHIP's approach to the discussions on Abyei over recent months. All of these agreements accept the need to hold a referendum in the Abyei Area. A referendum, implemented in accordance with the terms of the CPA, does not represent a win/lose solution for that area's communities. To the contrary, to the extent that it would ensure peace, security and restore peaceful cooperation between the communities, it would be a win-win situation.
That said, following the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council on 24th October, my government expressed its readiness to negotiate with Sudan for a further six weeks. H. E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit formally invited H.E. President Orner-Hassan El Bashir to Juba in order to continue their discussions on the final status of Abyei. We regret that President El Bashir has been unable thus far to take up this invitation. The deadline established by the AU PSC is now approaching and it is our hope that the efforts exerted by my government to negotiate on the basis of the AUHIP's last proposal, as well as to establish the temporary institutions of the Abyei area, will be supported both by the members of the PSC and by this Council. The Republic of South Sudan would also welcome, the endorsement of the UN Security Council of any decision made by the African Union with regards to Abyei or other outstanding issues, not as an imposition on the parties but rather as a demonstration of support for the region's considered view of what the most appropriate way forward is.
The Republic of South Sudan is also eager to implement the security mechanisms, namely the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone and the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism, without further delay. My Government continues to be extremely concerned by the humanitarian impact that the conflict in Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile has on the people of these areas, and indeed by extension on the people of South Sudan, who have so far welcomed over 100,000 refugees from this conflict. As the Secretary-General notes in his recent report, and I quote: "the human suffering in the two states is a direct consequence of the conflict in those areas. Only a resolution of the conflict can stop the humanitarian crisis."
As the Council is aware, in connection with the insecurity in the Two Areas Sudan has recently conducted aerial bombardments inside the territory of South Sudan, specifically in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State. The Republic of South Sudan does not wish to return to violence, and remains fully committed to peace. We do not believe that there can be genuine security in the border states of either country, and therefore sustainable peace in our region, unless there is a complete cessation of hostilities in the Two Areas. We therefore strongly encourage dialogue between the Government of Sudan and the SPLM-North, as called for in Resolution 2046, and offer ourselves to the parties to play whatever facilitating role might be deemed necessary. It is clear that unless there can be a dialogue on the basis of previous agreements, including the CPA and last year's 28 June agreement, it will be difficult to implement the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone (SDBZ) and Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM).
Mr. President,
The Republic of South Sudan continues its preparations for the resumption of oil production and the transport of oil through the territory of Sudan, despite calls by Sudan to halt these preparations, and its imposition of additional demands on security issues that go far beyond the scope of the 27th September agreements. We are nonetheless encouraged by a recent exchange between our two Presidents and an agreement to reconvene the Joint Political and Security Mechanism in Khartoum next week.
Mr. President,
Whilst relations with Sudan occupy the highest priority on my government's agenda, the situation in Jonglei State remains an acute focus. On Monday, President Salva Kiir reiterated that his Government would spare no effort in support of stability and inter-communal harmony in Jonglei.
My Government is pursuing a multi-pronged strategy in Jonglei. The peace process is being led by a Presidential Committee on Peace, Reconciliation and Tolerance in Jonglei State and the disarmament process is being led by the SPLA. Despite some very concerning reports about the conduct of the SPLA in isolated situations, the civilian disarmament process has largely been conducted peacefully. The Government takes any allegations of misconduct by the SPLA very seriously. All allegations will be investigated and if necessary will be addressed through the appropriate legal mechanisms and channels.
The Government has gone to great lengths to facilitate contact between the different communities in Jonglei State. Both the reconciliation process and the disarmament process have been welcomed by the communities in Jonglei State, as has the SPLA's pledge to remain on the ground in the state for up to two years to provide ongoing security. The Sudan Council of Churches also continues a grassroots peace process to complement the government-led process.
We welcome the support that UNMISS has provided to the Jonglei peace process, and would welcome enhanced logistical support, as well as ongoing support of the implementation of the May 2012 peace agreements signed in Jonglei.
Mr. President,
We note the concerns expressed by several members of this Council and just also articulated by the Under-Secretary General regarding the expulsion of a Human Rights Officer who served with UNMISS. Whilst South Sudan takes these concerns very seriously, it is our belief that we acted consistently with the UNMISS SOFA. The Republic of South Sudan does not intend to hinder human rights reporting in South Sudan and accepts this as an integral component of the work of UN MISS.
We also welcome ongoing negotiations and dialogue on these issues and I might add here that initially 2 were expelled including the director, but as a result of discussions with the leadership that decision, regarding one, was reversed. I should also say that the relevant institutions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other legal institutions have conducted thorough analysis of relevant international conventions and norms in order to give legal basis to the decision made. We do believe therefore, that contrary to the allegations that the decisions were not taken lightly nor in disregard to the relevant international conventions.
We indeed want to underscore here our unwavering commitment to international human rights and humanitarian standards. The war that raged in our region intermittently for half a century was a struggle for human rights and the values of human dignity. We recognize that there is always a gap between ideals and practice on the ground and in this area, we endeavour to do more. I indeed noted with great interest some of the specifics sited by the Under-Secretary General of instances which indicate the gap that I am referring to. And once again, we are quite willing and prepared to discuss with our partners and in particular, with the United Nations presence on the ground, some of these issues and, where possible, to provide remedies to the satisfaction of both sides.
In conclusion, Mr. President, we want to reiterate our commitment to peaceful coexistence and cooperation with the Republic of the Sudan, as both sides stand to gain from cordial ties. I take this opportunity to reaffirm our deep appreciation for the sustained and unwavering support we have received from the international community in particular the AU and the UN, without which, we could not have done all that we have so far been able to achieve.
Thank you, Mr. President.
Comments
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01/12/2012, 1:02 PM
 - Posted by Charles Bakheit
Now we have an polished diplomat to put our case to the UN. Dr. Francis Deng has at least tried to calm the storm created by reckless decisions made in Juba by the expulsion of a human rights officer. it is unfortunate that he should spend precious time mending fences with the UN instead of telling the world the game Khartoum keeps playing with the international community, in which it will accept an agreement just to invent new excuses by introducing new conditions to find ways to re-nag on implementing it.

Charles B.
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