Statement delivered by Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, at the Security Council Briefing on the situation in South Sudan.—
I also wish to thank Assistant Secretary-General Wane and President Mogae for their briefings on the situation in South Sudan.
The situation on the ground continues to be dramatic. Half of the South Sudanese population needs food aid. The SOFA continues to be violated by the South Sudanese authorities, including cases of arrest and arbitrary detention of UNMISS personnel. Despite the commitments to allow unhindered humanitarian access, we see an increase in attacks on humanitarian workers.
The human rights situation is worsening. The 250 children trapped between the clashing parties, the increased arrests of journalists, just to make two examples. Despite the Government’s announcement of a unilateral ceasefire, the fighting continues.
In this context we commend Sudan for the one-year deal to allow the flow of aid to South Sudanese refugees. After the opening of humanitarian corridors, this confirms the constructive spirit that it endures in this crisis.
We reiterate our firm belief that the only solution to the crisis is political. We have taken this position in the previous Council’s sessions, bilaterally, and as co-Chair of the IGAD Partners Forum at the IGAD Summit on June 12.
It is also clear to all of us that without the collaboration of IGAD members, there can be no peace in South Sudan. IGAD, together with the African Union and the United Nations, is the organization that can and must develop the political track for inclusive dialogue between the parties to the South Sudan conflict.
Therefore, we appreciate the growing intensity of its diplomatic action in recent weeks. The communiqué of the IGAD Ministerial Summit on July 2 is an important step in the right direction.
We agree with the Secretary-General. The deployment of the Regional Protection Force to Juba, which proceeds slowly, will help enable UNMISS to better concentrate on other areas of the country. We call on the authorities of South Sudan to facilitate its rapid deployment but it is not a panacea. It is the South Sudanese leaders who need to negotiate the peace.
They have the responsibility to end this conflict, they have the responsibility to feed and to protect their population, or face accountability for failing to do so. In this respect, working on the establishment of the Hybrid Court must be accelerated.
To conclude, Italy will continue to work consistently on the two fronts. On the political level, by fostering in every fora the solution to the crisis, starting with the South Sudanese stakeholders, including civil society, and the regional stakeholders. On the humanitarian level, by providing aid and financing multilateral programs to address the food emergency.
We also look forward to hearing from USG Lacroix, who is currently visiting the region. And we hope that, at the upcoming IGAD Ministerial Summit on July 24, the channel of communication indirectly reopened between the South Sudanese leaders can reinvigorate the process.
Thank you, Mr. President.