Slow unification of South Sudanese armed forces increases violence

The slow implementation of security arrangements and the armies unification process paved the way for the increase of violence in South Sudan, said David Shearer in his last briefing to the UN Security Council as the head of UNMISS on Wednesday.

Shearer told the security council that the South Sudanese parties to the revitalized peace pact of 2018, until now did not achieve the unification of the armed forces despite multiple deadlines

“Thousands of troops fester in cantonment sites without adequate shelter, health care and food,” he said.

Therefore, this power vacuum has been used by spoilers and some national actors to fuel local tensions and encourage violence.

“We saw the impact of that in Jonglei last year. Today, in Warrap, there is a worrying surge in violence between various heavily armed community militia that government forces are yet to contain,” he further said.

He underlined that conflicts in the Equatoria region have diminished and reconciliation initiatives reduced violence in Jonglei

U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to the United Nations stressed the need to accelerating peace implementation adding that stalling on the peace agreement risks the return of widespread political violence.

“To make progress toward peace, the leaders of South Sudan need to take urgent steps forward on governance and security arrangements,” she emphasized.

She also called to establish the transitional parliament, draft the new constitution and strengthening the electoral commission.