NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 26 – Against the background of a dramatic situation in South Sudan, in the last two weeks small, but important steps forward were made at meetings held in New York. The communiqués issued after the 13th meeting of the UN-African Union Joint Task Force, the African Union Peace and Security Council and the High Level Summit convened by the Secretary-General on the margins of the UNGA Ministerial Week all converge in supporting the IGAD High-level Revitalization Forum, the Italian the Italian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Inigo Lambertini, told a Security Council meeting on the situation in the African country.
Italy, as co-Chair, with Ethiopia, of the IGAD Partners Forum has been strongly supporting, both politically and financially, the efforts of IGAD for the regional stability. “As we have consistently stated since our entry into the Security Council, the crisis in South Sudan is also a regional crisis. It is up to the IGAD to lead the international action for the reconciliation in the country, with the support of the African Union and the United Nations”.
As other delegates said in front of the council, Lambertini recalled that the continuing violation of ceasefire forces thousands of South Sudanese, every day, to leave their houses, villages, lands. “The humanitarian situation in South Sudan is an emergency involving half of the country’s population,” he observed.
“Neighboring countries are daily called to buffer this human hemorrhage by limited means and against the risk that instability will soon spread to more areas of the region,” Lambertini said, adding a call for a shared political solution for peace which would also means “putting an end to this wound on the African continent”.
The dramatic situation of the population in South Sudan is further exacerbated by the serious violations of human rights, Lambertini said: “The conflict fuels impunity. Gender and sexual violence, recruitment and use of child-soldiers, further compression of freedom of opinion and speech, are slowly destroying the young South Sudanese nation. We firmly believe that, without justice, there will never be a true national reconciliation”. The Italian Ambassador welcomed the conclusion of the preparatory work for the establishment of the Hybrid Court, conducted by the African Union with the support of the United Nations Office on Legal Affairs, and expressed hope that the South Sudanese authorities will quickly follow in accordance with Chapter VII of the Peace Agreement. (@OnuItalia)