Members of the South Sudan Civil Society during the UNSC conference, September 3, 2016 [Courtesy photo]
REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS& CHIEFS COUNCIL OF SOUTH SUDAN
To: Excellencies, Members of theUnited Nations Security
Council Delegation (UNSC) to South Sudan
Ref: Memo by South Sudan Civil Society Organizations to the UNSC Delegation to South Sudan
We the Civil Society Organizations of the Republic of South Sudan hereby welcome you to Juba on your regularhistoric visit to the Republic of South Sudan. This visit is the commitment of the International Community to support sustainable peace in South Sudanand it is inline with the UNSC Resolution no.2206/2015. AsCivil Society Organizations, we speak out on behalf of the voiceless to defend the interest and rights of the citizens in South Sudan.
We appreciate the role of the Special Representative of UN Secretary General and Head of UNMISS H.E. Ellen MargretheLoej for her continued consultations with civil society organizations in South Sudan to collect different views on how peace building would be achieved. We acknowledge and respect the role of the UN in the country but we wish to bring to your attention that the suffering of South Sudanese people startedearlier in 1955-1972 (Addis Ababa) and from 1983 – 2005 (Naivasha).When the suffering of South Sudanese was brought to the attention of the UN,it resulted in the coming of UNICEF led Operations Lifeline Sudan (OLS). 1989. Lives of many civilians were saved. The United Nations and Troika supported the IGAD negotiation process leading to the 9th January 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) The People of South Sudan appreciate and thank the UNMISS support in saving lives and implementation of the CPA leading to the referendum and sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan recognized as a UN member state number 193rd on 14th July 2011.In light of the above, the history has shown that South Sudanese issues are always resolved through peaceful dialogue and this is what the civil societies of South Sudan need.
Your Excellencies, the Civil Society organizations acknowledged the role of UNMISS and the International Community in implementation of ACRISS 2015 in letter and spirit. This could stop the suffering and death of South Sudanese people.The Civil Society organizations have been highly and closely involved consistently on the peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Weappreciate and acknowledge the efforts of the IGAD-Plus Mediation Team and all other stakeholders that engaged the warring parties to stop violence and resort to dialogue as means to resolving political differences in South Sudan.
Your Excellencies, the purpose of this memo is to enlighten you on current situation in the country with regards to your visit to the people of South Sudan. The people of South Sudan have suffered since 2013 and especially the recent violence, occurred in Juba at J1. Many lives and properties been loss while many displaced and some took refuge in neigbouring countries. The level of humanitarian situation is quiet appalling especially with displaced people.
Position of the Civil Society organizations
On 20th July 2016 the civil society organizations carried out demonstration across the country in rejection of the resolution of UN forregional military intervention in South Sudan and subsequent renaming it as regional protection force, regarding it as unlawful and not in line with the Agreement signed by all the stakeholders.The Agreement states, the joint integrated forces from the SPLA and SPLA-IO shall protect and Guard Juba until the end of the transitional period. Under article 3 of ACRSS it states that this Agreement may be amended by the Parties, with at least two-thirds of the members of the Council of Ministers, and, at least two-thirds of the voting members of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission as per Chapter VII, Article 8 of this Agreement, consenting to the amendment, followed by ratification by the Transitional National Assembly, according to the constitutional amendment procedure set out in the TCoSS, 2011. Here IGAD-Plus and others are not entitled to change anything from the agreement but it is sole responsibility of the TGoNU& JMEC respectively.
On 9th August 2016 the civil society organizations also reiterated their position to reject the Government’s acceptance of the regional forces to South Sudan.
On 1st August 2015 the civil society organizations gathered in Juba and unanimously rejected the proposal of two army forces in the country.
On 18th August 2015 the civil society organizations warned the mediation team of the gaps in the signed agreement that war would erupt in Juba and urged for renegotiation of the Agreement but in was ignored.
On 25th February 2015 the civil society Alliance put together all gaps on UNMISS role in South Sudan into the memo submitted to the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon on his last visit to Juba.
The position of the civil society organizations object toregional protection force or military intervention in South Sudan and oppose additional troops as Juba is now peaceful. As there are categories of the UN armed forces in South Sudan for instance UNMISS, UNISFA etc with the same mandate of protecting civilians, there have been huge gaps observed in discharge of their roles in the country.
The Civil Society call on the UNSC members to South Sudanto mobilize the International Community to support the institutions of the nation states of the Republic of South Sudan as the only effective mechanism to ensure sustainable and peaceful implementation of ACRISS 2015. South Sudan security organs need trainings and this is the area of concern.The international Community to shoulder the sovereign state of Republic of South Sudan a vital role to be vigilant in protecting the lives, property and peaceful implementation of ACRISS 2015. Political leaders and communities should be helped to build trust through dialogue, reconciliation and avoid focusing on deployment of unbalance armed forces in the country.
1. We call upon the UNSCtorevoke the Resolution no. 2304/2016 that approved military intervention and/or protection force of 4,000 to South Sudan to protectcivilians and key installations since it’s rejected by an overwhelming majority of South Sudanese.
2. Call on the UNSC members to advise the International Community to respect the sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan;
3. Call on the UNSC members to South Sudan to advise the International Community to support people-to-people dialogue in South Sudan;
4. Call on UNSC to advise the International Community to increase humanitarian assistance and Economic Recovery to alleviate the suffering of the people of South Sudan;
5. Call on the UNSC to advise the International Community to provide funding to civil society organizations to raise public awareness on the Peace Agreementacross the country;
6. Call on UNSC to advise the International Community to support the signed ACRSS;
7. Uphold Cooperation between civil society organizations and UN on the human rights-freedoms and democracy.
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Akuoch Ajang Nyanhom Zeinab Yassin Hagelsaf
South Sudan Civil Society Alliance (SSCSA) South Sudan Women General Association
Edmund Yakhani Dr. Albino Bol Dhieu
Community Empowerment and Progress South Sudan National Youth Union
Organization (CEPO) Juba Juba
Chief Deng Macam Angui Abuba Evelyn Peter
South Sudan Chiefs Council University of Juba Students’ Union
Mading Ngor Akech
Rally For South Sudan Group
CC: Government of South Sudan
CC: Political Parties
CC: SPLM-Former Detainees
CC: Special Representative of the Secretary General UN and Head of UNMISS in South Sudan
CC: European Union
CC: Embassy of the United States in South Sudan
CC: Embassy of Norway
CC: Embassyof UK in South Sudan
CC: Embassy of Japan in South Sudan
CC: Embassy of China in South Sudan