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On S. Sudan, ICP Obtains UNMISS Report; UNSC Draft & Aug 17 Deal, Here

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, August 22 -- After the South Sudan peace agreement was not signed by President Salva Kiir, Inner City Press on August 18 (and August 19) asked UN spokesperson Vannina Maestracci for the UN's response, and what it could at least say about fighting in the country, see below.

  Inner City Press has now put online the August 17 Compromise Agreement, as obtained, here. The text of the draft UNSC resolution is below.

  On both August August 18 and 19 when Inner City Press asked, UN spokesperson Maestracci declined to confirm or deny any of the fighting in the country -- a pattern for UNMISS under UN Peacekeeping boss Herve Ladsous. On August 19, Maestracci told Inner City Press, "As soon as I have [information],I will give it to you." None came: also a pattern.

  But Inner City Press sources tell it of ongoing clashes in Upper Nile, in Pageri, East Equatoria, still ongoing. The Juba – Nimule road, the only "proper tarmac road" in the country, remains closed; limited communications within the fragmented phone networks confirm that civilians are being targeted.

   West Equatorial Governor Joseph Bakasoro is still detained.

  Also, here is UNMISS sit-rep for insiders, not meant for the public, apparently:

“Following attacks in Pageri on 18 Aug 2015 host country security forces have advised that there is still military operation in the vicinity of Pageri town (30 kms North of Nimule).
UN Security advises that:
·        UN/INGO travels on the Juba - Nimule road are currently restricted.
·        UN Security will re-assess the situation in the next 24 hours and will advise accordingly.
·        In the interim all missions should be cleared with UN Security until further notice.
·        Additionally, UN/INGO missions into Pageri are to be suspended until a clearer picture is established as there are reports of heavy host country security forces deployed in Pageri.”

  ... This is how things are at UN Headquarters and elsewhere in the system, especially in UN Peacekeeping under Ladsous. The Free UN Coalition for Access is challenging this.

  In the Agreement Kiir is being told to sign, check out the "accountability" provisions: it there impunity? Below that, the draft UNSC resolution.

Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, Aug 17, online via Inner City P... by Matthew Russell Lee

  And here is the text of the draft UNSC resolution:

The Security Council,

PP1. Recalling its previous resolutions and statements on South Sudan, in particular resolutions 2057 (2012), 2109 (2013), 2132 (2013), 2155 (2014), 2206 (2015), and 2223 (2015),

PP2. Commending the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Ministerial Group’s initiative, in leading the mediation since the onset of the crisis, and the recent expanded efforts of the “IGAD-Plus” configuration, involving 19 nations and organizations including the United Nations, as friends of South Sudan from Africa and elsewhere, to develop and achieve a comprehensive solution to end the crisis in South Sudan,

PP3. Welcoming the signatures of the IGAD-Plus-mediated 17 August 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (hereinafter the 17 August agreement), by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army in Opposition (SPLM/A-in Opposition) and the former political detainees (the G-10),

PP4. Noting the fifteen day deadline for the Government of South Sudan to sign the 17 August agreement,
PP5. Expressing grave alarm and concern regarding the fact that the conflict between the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and SPLM/A-in Opposition forces, which has been ongoing since December 2013, has yet to be resolved, and deeply concerned that the conflict has resulted in a political, security and humanitarian catastrophe, causing the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians, the displacement of more than 2.21 million people, and the attacks upon, and deaths of, UN peacekeepers, internally displaced persons receiving UN protection, and humanitarian personnel, further impoverishing and disadvantaging the people of South Sudan,

PP6. Strongly condemning past and ongoing human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including those involving targeted killings of civilians, ethnically-targeted violence, extrajudicial killings, rape, and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, recruitment and use of children in conflict, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, violence aimed at spreading terror among the civilian population, and attacks on schools, places of worship and hospitals, as well as United Nations peacekeeping personnel and objects, by all parties, including armed groups and national security forces, and emphasizing that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights must be held accountable,

PP7. Expressing grave concern that the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has stated that there are reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity, including involving extrajudicial killings, rape and other acts of sexual violence, enforced disappearances, and arbitrary arrests and detention have been committed by both government and opposition forces,

PP8. Taking note of provisions of the August 17 agreement regarding the establishment of a hybrid court for South Sudan, including Article 1.5 of Chapter V, emphasizing the critical importance of accountability, and stressing that in the absence of an effective and credible accountability mechanism, the Council will give due consideration to referring the situation in South Sudan to the International Criminal Court,
PP9. Expressing deep concern over the large-scale displacement of persons and deepening humanitarian crisis, stressing the responsibility borne by all parties to the conflict for the suffering of the people of South Sudan, and the necessity of ensuring that the basic needs of the population are met, commending United Nations humanitarian agencies, donors, and partners for their efforts to provide urgent and coordinated support to the population, calling upon all parties to the conflict to allow and facilitate, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, the full, safe, and unhindered access of relief personnel, equipment and supplies to all those in need and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance, in particular to internally displaced persons and refugees, condemning all attacks against humanitarian personnel and facilities and recalling that attacks against humanitarian personnel and depriving civilians of objects indispensable to their survival may amount to violations of international humanitarian law,

P10. Taking note of the Communique of the 28th Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa on 7 November 2014, which inter alia: resolved that the Government of South Sudan and opposition forces commit to an unconditional, complete and immediate end to all hostilities; invited collective action by the IGAD region to enact asset freezes, travel bans within the region, and deny the supply of arms and ammunition and any other material that could be used in war if the Government of South Sudan and opposition forces commit any violation of the cessation of hostilities; and called on the African Union’s Peace and Security Council, the UN Security Council, and the international community to render all possible assistance in the implementation of these measures,
PP11. Expressing its deep appreciation for the actions taken by UNMISS peacekeepers and troop- and police-contributing countries to protect civilians, including foreign nationals, under threat of physical violence and to stabilize the security situation,

PP12. Noting the finding of the UN Panel of Experts on South Sudan in its interim report, submitted to the Security Council XX August 2015, that the continuing resupply of arms and ammunition on both sides of the conflict has been instrumental in the continuation and escalation of the war to its current scale and has contributed to large-scale violations of international humanitarian law, and underscoring the importance of the Panel's work in monitoring the destabilizing arms transfers that are contributing to the violence,

PP13. Condemning the virtually unrestricted flow of arms and related materiel to the parties in the conflict, and welcoming steps taken by Member States to end voluntarily such transfers,

PP14. Reiterating that there is no military solution to the conflict,

PP15. Determining that the situation in South Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

PP16. Acting under Article 41 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

Strongly condemns the Government of the Republic of South Sudan’s failure to reach a peace agreement with opposition leader Riek Machar Teny and other leaders by the 17 August 2015 deadline;
Underscores the urgent need to agree and implement a comprehensive solution to end the crisis in South Sudan, demands that the Government of South Sudan immediately sign the 17 August agreement, and demands that all parties to the conflict immediately implement the agreement;

Targeted sanctions

Decides that, effective on September 6, 2015, the individuals listed in Annex I of this resolution shall be subject to the measures imposed by paragraph 9 of resolution 2206 (2015) and also decides that individuals listed in Annex II of this resolution shall be subject to the measure imposed by paragraphs 9 and 12 of resolution 2206 (2015);

Decides that the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206, in the event the 17 August agreement has not been signed by the Government of South Sudan by September 1, 2015, will expeditiously designate additional individuals, including the senior political leaders of the Government of South Sudan, as well as individuals or entities that violate the terms of the ceasefire set forth in the agreement, for the travel ban and asset freeze measures established respectively pursuant to paragraphs 9 and 12 of resolution 2206 (2015);

Arms embargo

Decides that, effective on September 6, 2015, until September 6, 2016, all Member States shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to South Sudan, from or through their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance, related to military activities or the provision, maintenance or use of any arms and related materiel, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel whether or not originating in their territories, and decides further that this measure shall not apply to:

Supplies of arms and related materiel, as well as training and assistance, intended solely for support of or use by UN personnel and international forces authorized by the Security Council, including UNMISS and the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA);

Supplies of non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance or training, as notified in advance to the Committee;
Protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets, temporarily exported to South Sudan by United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel, for their personal use only;

Supplies temporarily exported to South Sudan by the forces of a State which is taking action, in accordance with international law, solely and directly to facilitate the protection or evacuation of its nationals and those for whom it has consular responsibility in South Sudan, as notified in advance to the Committee; [Reference: CdI, UNSCR 2101 (2013)]

Supplies of arms and related materiel, as well as technical training and assistance, to or in support of the African Union Regional Task Force intended solely for regional counter-LRA operations, as notified in advance to the Committee;
Supplies of arms and related materiel for the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) provided that this exception shall only apply to such forces conducting purely defensive operations designed to provide security for civilian populations and protect critical infrastructure in the area of, and to the south of, Bor, and provided further that any such arms or related materiel shall not be transferred to any other party;

Other sales or supply of arms and related materiel, or provision of assistance or personnel, as approved in advance by the Committee;

6. Decides that, in the event that the Secretary General reports to the Council prior to September 6, 2015 that the parties have signed the 17 August agreement by September 1, 2015 and that all parties have implemented the ceasefire outlined therein, Uganda shall withdraw its troops consistent with Chapter II, paragraph 1.5 of the 17 August 2015 Agreement;


7. Decides that all Member States, in particular those neighboring South Sudan, shall inspect in their territory, including seaports and airports, in accordance with their national authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, in particular the law of the sea and relevant international civil aviation agreements, all cargo to and from South Sudan, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe the cargo contains items the supply, sale, transfer, or export of which is prohibited by paragraph5, for the purpose of ensuring strict implementation of those provisions;

8. Further decides, effective September 6, 2015, to authorize all Member States to, and that all Member States shall, upon discovery of items prohibited by paragraph XX of this resolution, seize, and dispose (such as through destruction, rendering inoperable, storage or transferring to a State other than the originating or destination States for disposal) of such items and decides further that all Member States shall cooperate in such efforts, and requires all states to report to the Committee the disposition of any items seized pursuant to this authorization;

Other Arms Provisions

9. Stresses the importance that notifications or requests for exemptions pursuant to paragraph 5 above contain all relevant information, including the purpose of the use and end user, the technical specifications and quantity of the equipment to be shipped and, when applicable, the supplier, the proposed date of delivery, mode of transportation and itinerary of shipments;

Panel of Experts and Sanctions Committee

10. Decides, effective September 6, 2015, that the tasks of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 shall also include examining and taking appropriate action on information regarding alleged violations or non-compliance with the measures imposed by paragraph 5 of this resolution.

11. Further decides, effective September 6, 2015, that the tasks of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 2206 shall also include gathering, examining and analyzing information regarding the implementation of the measures decided in this resolution, and reporting to the Committee.


12. Decides that paragraphs 3-5 and 7-11 shall not be applied in the event that the Secretary General reports to the Council, prior to September 6, 2015 that the parties have signed the 17 August agreement by September 1, 2015 and that all parties have implemented the ceasefire outlined therein.


13. Requests the Secretary General to make available technical assistance in the setting up of a credible hybrid court for South Sudan, including, if the 17 August agreement is signed by September 1, to the Commission of the African Union, including by consulting with the AU on the possibility of using resources of the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals (MICT), and to the Transitional Government of National Unity consistent with Article 1.5 of Chapter V of the 17 August agreement, including with regard to the selection of South Sudanese judges for the court.

14. Requests the Secretary General to report to the Council in three months on the support provided with respect to a hybrid court for South Sudan and expresses its intention at that time to assess the work that has been done in the establishment of the hybrid tribunal, in line with international standards, and recalls that, should there be insufficient progress to promote accountability for the gravest offenses, the Security Council retains the option of referring the situation in South Sudan to the International Criminal Court.

Further Action

15. Requests, in the event the 17 August agreement is signed by September 1, the Secretary-General to report on October 1, 2015, and each 30 days thereafter, on the implementation of that agreement, as well as on respect by all parties for the permanent ceasefire contemplated by the agreement, and expresses its intent to impose additional measures under Article 41 in the event that the Secretary-General reports non-implementation of the Agreement or the ceasefire by any party.

16. Decides to remain seized of the matter.

 On August 19 after UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson briefed the Council behind closed doors - he stopped and told Inner City Press is was not a short consultation, only a scheduling misunderstanding - he stopped on the way out and spoke again.
  Inner City Press asked Eliasson the question the UN Spokesperson has for two days declined to answer: "Have the two sides started fighting again?"

  Eliasson to his credit answered: "There are reports, they are very worrying. And this is also why, it is important if there is this progress towards signing of an agreement, that it is accompanied by the need for a ceasefire. A diplomatic solution cannot be found if there is not a de escalation."

  Moments later New Zealand's Ambassador Gerard van Boheman stopped and spoke about the US submitted draft resolution that the US' Susan Rice had alluded to the day before, that that it "does deal with an arms embargo also posits additional sanctions, if the agreement is not signed. I think there’s general recognition that the situation in South Sudan is not good, there’s a recognition that the IGAD and that the IGAD plus countries have been doing all they can. We want to be able to support their efforts.”
  Ambassador van Boheman said that “it’s quite a technical resolution. So I think it will take quite a bit of work to get everyone on the same page.”  Could that timing be related to the 15 days from August 17 deadline for Salva Kiir to sign?

  Inner City Press also asked van Bohemen about Yemen, but that's another story.

 On South Sudan, from the UN's August 18 transcript:

on South Sudan, can the Mission there, or do you have anything on reported, an attack by the Government on the opposition in a place called Imatong?  And do you have any comment on, or does the mission have any comment on, Salva Kiir having said at the airport on his way to Addis that "if anybody among journalists does not know that this country has killed people, we will demonstrate it one day, one time"?  It's a comment that CPJ has criticized, and I wonder if the mission has seen it and what they think of it.

Associate Spokesperson:  So on Imatong — is that what it's called?

Correspondent:  Yeah.

Associate Spokesperson:  I actually do not have a statement.  On South Sudan and the comments on the media that were made by Salva Kiir, yes, the Mission told us they were very concerned about, over the curbing of the press freedom in South Sudan, including recent closure of media houses and threats to journalists.  And they've also reiterated the importance of independent, free and pluralistic press.

Question:  Is the Deputy… I just wanted to ask one thing.  I saw that the Deputy Secretary-General's schedule says appointments are internal.  Did he come back from Addis?  Is there some way…

Associate Spokesperson:  He is on his way back.

  On August 19, Inner City Press asked Maestracci again - still no information on Imatong, nor Upper Nile, Pageri or other attacks since. From the August 19 UN transcript:

Inner City Press: I wanted to ask about South Sudan.  I’d asked you yesterday about whether UNMISS could confirm reports of fighting and now there’s increased reports of fighting and counter charges by the Government and the opposition of fighting in Upper Nile State, also near the Ugandan border.  So I’m wondering if UNMISS, given its presence in the country, it seems important to know is this taking place and if so which side is instigating it?

Associate Spokesperson Vannina Maestracci:  We’re checking and we’re waiting for an answer.  As soon as I have one, I will give it to you.

  Nothing was given, but see above.

 Inner City Press asked DSG Eliasson of reports of fighting in South Sudan, he acknowledged the reports, Periscope video here. We'll have more on this.


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