South Sudan

Report of the Secretary-General on South Sudan (covering the period from 1 April to 3 June 2016) (S/2016/552) [EN/AR]


I. Introduction

1. The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2252 (2015), by which the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until 31 July 2016 and requested me to report on the implementation of the mandate every 60 days. It covers developments from 1 April to 3 June 2016 and contains recommendations for the renewal of the mandate.

II. Political and economic developments

Peace process

2. Since my most recent report (S/2016/341), noticeable progress has been made towards the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. On 26 April, after a week of intense negotiations over his security detail, the Chair of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A in Opposition), Riek Machar, returned to Juba and was sworn in as the First Vice-President of South Sudan. The swearing-in ceremony was witnessed by government officials, religious and community leaders and representatives of the international community. In his remarks, the First Vice-President outlined the immediate challenges facing the country, including the stabilization of the security situation and the economy, the provision of humanitarian relief to those in need in rural and urban settings, and ensuring national reconciliation and healing. For his part, the President, Salva Kiir, hailed the return of Mr. Machar as marking the end of the civil war and the return of peace and stability. He also apologized to the people for the suffering caused by the war and pledged to resolve all outstanding issues relating to the peace agreement amicably.

3. In addition to the First Vice-President, several other key leaders of SPLM/A in Opposition returned to Juba, including the Deputy Chair, Alfred Ladu Gore, and the Chief of the General Staff, Simon Gatwech Dual. Their return was preceded by the completion of the first phase of the transitional security arrangements, which included the arrival of 1,370 security personnel of SPLM/A in Opposition, including representatives of the Joint Integrated Police and the Strategic Defence and Security Review Board, and the redeployment of forces of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) 25 km outside Juba. However, the verification of the redeployment, including troop numbers and locations, continues to pose a challenge for the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism.

4. On 28 April, the President issued Decree No. 222/2016, appointing 30 ministers and eight deputy ministers to constitute the transitional Government of National Unity, in accordance with the peace agreement. The transitional Government was subsequently inaugurated on 29 April, beginning the 30-month transitional period. In accordance with the power-sharing formula contained in the peace agreement, the Government, which was allotted 53 per cent of the ministerial posts in the transitional Government, appointed 16 ministers, including those of Finance, Commerce and Economic Planning, Defence and Veterans’ Affairs, and National Security, while SPLM/A in Opposition, with 33 per cent of the allocated ministries, appointed 10 ministers, including those of Petroleum, Mining and Industries and for the Interior and Wildlife Conservation. The other political parties and the former detainees, each allocated 7 per cent, appointed two ministers each: the other political parties the Ministers for Cabinet Affairs and for Agriculture, Forestry, Tourism, Animal Resources and Fisheries and the former detainees those for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Transport, Roads and Bridges. Only the Government met the 25 per cent requirement for representation of women, as stipulated in the peace agreement, nominating four women. SPLM/A in Opposition nominated two women, while no women were nominated by either the other political parties or the former detainees.

5. During meetings of the Presidency (consisting of the President, the First Vice-President and Vice-President James Wani Igga) on 31 May, 1 June and 3 June, a number of issues were discussed in order to move the implementation of the peace agreement forward. They included the lifting of the state of emergency, the release of political detainees and prisoners of war, the cantonment of forces, the appointment of presidential advisers and the formation of the transitional National Legislative Assembly. The Presidency endorsed the decision of 27 May of the Council of Ministers to establish cantonment areas in the greater Equatoria and greater Bahr el-Ghazal regions, in addition to greater Upper Nile. The Joint Military Ceasefire Commission was tasked with developing identification criteria for the sites in greater Equatoria and verification of the presence of SPLM/A in Opposition forces in greater Bahr el-Ghazal. It was also agreed that the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism would complete the verification of the demilitarization of Juba.

6. In response to the discontent of the parties over the President’s unilateral appointment of 10 presidential advisers on 4 May, with portfolios including military affairs, local government, security, education, economic affairs, legal affairs, agriculture, religious affairs and special affairs, as well as a special adviser to the President and Presidential Envoy, the Presidency reached a compromise, agreeing to appoint 19 presidential advisers. They would be the 10 nominated by the President, 6 nominated by SPLM/A in Opposition and 3 nominated by the other political parties and the former detainees.

7. The Presidency also agreed to expedite the formation of the transitional National Legislative Assembly. To that end, the 10 members who had been appointed by the President on 27 April and subsequently sworn in on 23 May to replace deceased parliamentarians were endorsed. The remaining six vacant seats, however, will be filled by the Presidency after joint consultation with the relevant constituencies. All parliamentarians who had vacated their seats after the conflict in December 2013 were also reinstated with immediate effect. The disagreement over the appointment of 17 new parliamentarians allocated to the other political parties was resolved on 30 May, with the intervention of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. The leaders of the two coalitions of the other political parties, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Tourism, Animal Resources and Fisheries and leader of the National Alliance, Lam Akol, and the Minister for Cabinet Affairs and leader of the National Agenda, Martin Elia Lomuro, agreed that representatives of the other political parties in the transitional Assembly would consist of the 12 parties that had signed the peace agreement and attended the multi-party symposium held in Addis Ababa in June 2014 and the 5 other parties whose representatives had attended the symposium but did not sign the agreement. At the time of reporting, however, the formation of the transitional Assembly continued to be delayed owing to disagreements among the parties over the procedure for the election of the Speaker and the accommodation of members who had changed their political affiliation.