South Sudan

Situation in South Sudan - Report of the Secretary-General (S/2020/890)

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I. Introduction   

1 . The present report is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2514 (2020), by which the Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until 15 March 2021 and requested me to report to the Council on the implementation of the Mission’s mandate every 90 days. It covers political and security developments between 1 June and 31 August 2020, the humanitarian and human rights situation and progress made in the implementation of the Mission’s mandate.

II. Political and economic developments   

2 . On 17 June, the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, and the First VicePresident, Riek Machar, reached a decision on responsibility-sharing ratios for gubernatorial and State positions, ending a three-month impasse on the allocations of States. Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Lakes, Northern Bahr el-Ghazal, Warrap and Unity were allocated to the incumbent Transitional Government of National Unity; Upper Nile, Western Bahr el-Ghazal and Western Equatoria were allocated to the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO); and Jonglei was allocated to the South Sudan Opposition Alliance. The Other Political Parties coalition was not allocated a State, as envisioned in the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, in which the coalition had been guaranteed 8 per cent of the positions.

3 . On 29 June, the President appointed governors of 8 of the 10 States and chief administrators of the administrative areas of Abyei, Ruweng and Pibor. On 17 July, the governor of Jonglei was appointed, a decision objected to by the National Democratic Movement (a member of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance), which argued that it had further prevented it from participating in the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity because its nominee had not been considered. The Upper Nile governor position remains vacant owing to disagreement over the nomination of Lieutenant General Johnson Olony, whom the President refused to appoint.

4 . Although the Revitalized Agreement requires 35 per cent participation of women in all institutions of governance, only one woman nominated by SPLM/A-IO was appointed as governor. On 2 July, women leaders issued a communiqué addressed to the President, calling on the parties to adhere to the 35 per cent quota.   

5 . On 10 August, a high-level committee on the formation of State and local governments reported that the parties had agreed on 10 State governors, one of whom was a woman, and their deputies, 10 speakers of State assemblies and their deputies and 79 county commissioner positions. They also agreed on 35 county councils, 17 ministers, 51 members of State assemblies, 5 State advisers, 6 chairpersons, 6 commission deputies and 8 specialized committees in each State. The responsibility for nominating mayors, their deputies and secretaries-general was entrusted to the governors.

6 . As a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, political activity remained limited. The First Vice-President and the Vice-President, James Wani Igga, along with other cabinet members who had previously tested positive for COVID-19, resumed their duties. The resumption of duties did not, however, translate into full normalcy in government operations because pandemic-related restrictions prevented sustained engagement among parties, stakeholders and mediators. While efforts were undertaken to employ online modes of interaction, technical and organizational challenges hindered those initiatives.