July 9, 2021 (JUBA) – Achievement of South Sudan’s 10th independence anniversary provides an important opportunity to inject fresh momentum into the peace process to deliver stability, peace and prosperity for the country’s citizens, a senior United Nations official said.
- The head of UN mission in South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom (Getty)
Nicholas Haysom, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said the country’s political leaders must seize this opportunity to make the hopes and dreams of a decade ago a reality by securing the sustainable peace needed for full recovery and development.
“Tomorrow [July 9, 2021], we celebrate this important occasion alongside the people of South Sudan who fought long and hard for their independence and endured great suffering to secure a better life for themselves and future generations,” he explained in a statement issued on July 8.
Haysom acknowledged the “significant” progress that has been made since the signing of the 2018 peace deal, including the formation of a transition government, reconstitution of the national legislature, and the convening of a constitution-making process.
He, however, said that the implementation of the peace agreement is slow and peace remains fragile.
“The journey from war to peace has been a long and difficult one and there is still much to be done so that people can exercise the democratic right they earned a decade ago,” said the UN official.
The country continues to face many obstacles to sustainable peace, including the lack of a unified security force, pervasive insecurity related to intercommunal conflict and opportunistic crime driven by economic deprivation.
“It is important that these issues are addressed through the full implementation of the Revitalized Agreement which provides a credible framework for bringing durable peace,” said Mr Haysom.
According to the UNMISS head, the international community pledged full support to the newly independent South Sudan in 2011.
“This commitment remains as important today,” said Haysom.
“As part of the international effort, UNMISS has made a significant contribution working alongside the people of South Sudan as a partner for peace,” he stressed.
The official said UN peacekeepers will do their best to create a safe and secure environment for political processes, delivery of humanitarian aid and return of displaced families and refugees.
“We are also supporting local and national-led conflict prevention and resolution efforts, monitoring and reporting on human rights, including sexual and gender-based violence, providing technical assistance to build the capacity of the justice sector to prevent crime and hold perpetrators accountable, and facilitating reconciliation and peace meetings across the country,” he said.
South Sudan gained its independence from neighbouring Sudan on July 9, 2011.