The members of the Panel of Experts on South Sudan, whose mandate was extended pursuant to Security Council resolution 2353 (2017), have the honour to transmit herewith the Panel’s 120-day report, which was submitted in accordance with paragraph 2 of resolution 2353 (2017), by which the provisions of paragraph 12 (e) of resolution 2290 (2016) were renewed.
The report was provided to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) concerning South Sudan on 6 September 2017.
The Panel would appreciate it if the present letter and the report were brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council and issued as a document of the Council.
(Signed) Klem Ryan
Panel of Experts on South Sudan
(Signed) Andrews Atta-Asamoah
(Signed) Andrei Kolmakov
(Signed) Ann Oosterlinck
(Signed) Colin Thomas-Jensen
In line with its previous reports, the Panel of Experts on South Sudan has found that the principal threats to the people of South Sudan remain the failure of the parties to the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan to implement the key provisions of the Agreement and the continued pursuit of a military solution to the conflict. Since the Panel’s report of 13 April 2017 (S/2017/326), there has been no substantive progress in establishing security for the civilian population, owing to ongoing violence, much of it ethnic-based, and the associated nationwide humanitarian crisis. The reason for this failure is clear: in the wake of the de facto collapse of the transitional government of national unity in July 2016, there is currently no political will to implement the Agreement among those with the power to do so, nor any political will to address the destructive governance practices and historical grievances that continue to drive the conflict in South Sudan.(a) This is a failure of leadership on the part of the political and military elite of the country, with the primary responsibility for the ongoing violence resting with those in the Government, led by the President, Salva Kiir, and the First Vice-President, Taban Deng Gai.
The Panel notes that Government military offensives in recent months in Jonglei, Upper Nile and parts of Equatoria have substantially worsened the humanitarian situation for many more South Sudanese. The population faces intersecting threats of violence and insecurity, large-scale population displacement, extreme food insecurity and an escalating national economic crisis. The actions of South Sudanese leaders have done nothing to address these threats, and there is unlikely to be an improvement in the foreseeable future absent a significant change in the national and international approach to the conflict.
(a) In the present report, the terms “transitional government of national unity” and its short form, “transitional government”, are used to refer to the entity described in the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, in which a power-sharing arrangement was envisaged, centred on the Government, the opposition led by Riek Machar and the “former detainees”. The term “Government” is used to refer to the current political configuration led by Salva Kiir. That configuration does not include the opposition represented by Machar and is therefore not the entity envisaged in the Agreement. The Panel considers this to be an important distinction, since the issue of whether the Government is adhering to the arrangements envisaged in the Agreement is a significant source of the ongoing conflict. The focus of the report will, therefore, be on threats to the people of South Sudan rather than on the transitional government.