Statement of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General David Shearer Briefing to the Security Council on South Sudan, 25 June 2019

Thank you, Mr. President and Members of the Council

It is my pleasure to brief you on the two over-arching areas of focus of the UNMISS mandate: building durable peace and protecting civilians in South Sudan.

The peace agreement continues to progress and the ceasefire, except for Central Equatoria, holds. Just that one simple reality has produced significant change.

The drop in political violence � based on the trend of past years � has meant hundreds, if not thousands of people, are alive who otherwise would not be.

Many displaced families have decided it is safe, and time, to return to their homes.

Since the signing of the revitalized peace agreement, according to IOM, more than half a million people have done so � including more than 210,000 who returned from neighbouring countries.

Humanitarian partners report improved access to areas of need, though bureaucratic impediments continue to dog some operations. Their efforts have been assisted by the rehabilitation of 2,500 kms of roads by UNMISS’s five engineering companies and World Food Programme projects. This has enhanced the ability to move food to remote locations in advance of the rains and cut down reliance on expensive airdrops. Together with opening of river corridors and a reduction in illegal checkpoints around the country, WFP report cost efficiencies of up to $113 million.

The latest food security analysis however remains dire. Seven million people are facing crisis or worse. But for the first time in years, some counties will see slight improvements where relative calm has enabled households to resume cultivation.

These positive signs come from a very low base. But it’s a glimmer of what is possible with peace. And it is vital that this trend continues.

Since the signing of the peace agreement, more than 110 rapprochements have occurred in communities around the country. UNMISS directly facilitated more than a quarter of these.

Source: UN Mission in South Sudan