UN needs to add more “substance” to South Sudan peace effort: Mission chief
The UN needs to add more “substance” to help end South Sudan’s brutal civil war and fulfil the promise of peace for the world’s youngest country.
That’s according to David Shearer, who leads the UN peacekeeping mission there, UNMISS, as he briefed the Security Council on Tuesday.
He said the number in need of aid had now risen to 7.6 million; with the number displaced by fighting rising to 4 million during the first half of this year.
Mr Shearer said the mission was determined to be “robust, nimble and proactive” in its support of the large humanitarian operation.
He said the space for compromise over the stalled 2015 Peace Agreement was “narrow” and urged all parties to support peace efforts to end the violent struggle between factions of the country’s leadership, split along ethnic lines.
“We are all aware that the country risks remaining a source of continued regional instability and a drain on international resources. The wider region has a critical role to play in convincing the parties of the need to compromise and find peaceful solutions. We - collectively – will need to deliver a clear and unified message to the parties on the way forward. The consultations of the past few days have been encouraging but we are backing a process to which we urgently need to add substance.”
UN Verification Mission begins its work in Colombia
The UN Verification Mission got underway in Colombia on Tuesday, in support of the peace process between the government and former FARC rebel forces.
The new mission is succeeding the UN’s original political mission in the country, which officially ended its mandate on Monday, having successfully monitored the ceasefire, and laying down of arms by FARC forces.
The new mandate involves verifying that both sides are honouring security guarantees, and that former rebels are reintegrating successfully, back into civilian life.
UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, described the weapons cache handed in to the UN during the initial phase of the peace process.
“This represents a total of 8,994 arms, 1,765,862 rounds of ammunition, 38,255 kg of explosives, 11,015 grenades, 3,528 antipersonnel mines, 46,288 electric detonation caps, 4,370 mortar rounds, and 51.911 metres of detonating cord and fuses. Following the laying down of arms, the FARC-EP has transformed from a guerrilla organization into a new political party. The reintegration phase of former FARC members is now underway.”
Killing of Israelis at settlement by Palestinian gunman condemned
The killing of an Israeli policeman and two security guards at the entrance to a West Bank settlement on Tuesday, has been condemned by the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process.
Nickolay Mladenov said his thoughts and prayers were with the families and friends of all the victims, who were shot by a Palestinian who worked at the Har Adar settlement, according to news reports.
Thousands of Palestinians have permits to work in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
The militant group, Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, praised the attack, which also left a guard seriously injured.
The attacker was killed at the scene.
More details from Stéphane Dujarric again.
“Mr Mladenov said that it is deplorable that Hamas and others continue to glorify such attacks, which undermine the possibility of a peaceful future for both Palestinians and Israelis. He urges all to condemn violence and stand up to terror.”
Matt Wells, United Nations.