Statement by H.E. Ambassador Yasuhisa Kawamura Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations at the Briefing of the Security Council on South Sudan
July 20, 2017
Thank you, Mr. President.
I also thank Mr. Wane and H.E. Mogae for their comprehensive briefing updating us on the situation in South Sudan.
Japan would like to express our deep concern over the situation on the ground, and in particular the SPLA’s advance towards Pagak. This undercuts the unilateral ceasefire by President Kiir and contradicts his claim on Independence Day that war is not an option. We call for restraint from both the Government and the opposition.
It is also worrying that residents and aid workers are again evacuating from Upper Nile due to this advance on Pagak. Effective use of the Humanitarian High Level Oversight Committee mechanism is urged to enhance humanitarian access.
Having said this, Japan is encouraged that IGAD is currently working with the AU, the UN, and the international community to revitalize the 2015 agreement by engaging also with previously excluded groups. The Government of South Sudan is also preparing for an upcoming IGAD ministerial meeting for this purpose. The Council should unite in urging all parties to constructively engage in this process so that based on these collective efforts, the revitalization forum slated for September yields positive results.
The recently launched National Dialogue is equally important. We commend the work of the Steering Committee of the National Dialogue, especially its efforts to reach out to parties outside of South Sudan as well as grassroots groups in the country. Dialogue at the national level requires grassroots trust-building and reconciliation activities at the local level. Japan is working closely with UNDP on local efforts to enhance transparency and credibility in order to ensure a genuinely inclusive National Dialogue. The National Dialogue also requires a conducive environment, including via an immediate cessation of hostilities and the release of political prisoners. Japan’s Ambassador in Juba has also emphasized these points to President Kiir directly, First Vice President Taban, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Japan renews its call on all parties to stop fighting.
Finally, on the deployment of the RPF: we look forward to an expeditious completion of the deployment, including through the prompt resolution of land allocation issues and accelerated administrative processes. Further cooperation between TCCs, the Secretariat, and the Government of South Sudan is important for this purpose.
I thank you, Mr. President.