Statement by Ambassador Jerry Matjila, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations, during the Security Council Meeting on the United Nations Stabilisation Force in Abyei (UNISFA), 28 April 2020
I would like to express my delegation’s gratitude to you for convening today’s meeting. I would also like to thank Mr Lacroix, as well as Special Envoy Onanga-Anyanga for their enlightening briefings today.
Permit me Mr President to make the following key observations on the political development as well the status of UNISFA.
South Africa welcomes the positive political developments that have taken place in both Sudan and South Sudan in the recent past, including those highlighted in the Secretary-General’s report of 16 October 2019 to 15 April 2020. With the positive developments that have taken place in Sudan thus far, we emphasise the continued need for unity in Sudan’s ruling political coalition.
We continue to urge the two countries to use the renewed rapprochement to finalise the outstanding issues with regards to Abyei. The tensions reported earlier this year highlight the volatility of the region and its potential to unravel progress which has been undertaken to bring stability in the area.
South African encourages Sudan and South Sudan to continue inclusive political dialogue to implement their agreements on border issues and meet the benchmarks previously set by the Security Council.
On the developments pertaining to UNISFA, South Africa appreciates and welcomes the importance of the stabilising role UNISFA and the Joint Border Verification and Monitoring Mechanism (JBVMM), continue to play along the borders between the Sudan and South Sudan. South Africa welcomes the progress that has been made by the JBVMM on benchmarks specified by Security Council Resolution 2497 (2019).
Furthermore, South Africa welcomes and encourages the continued work of the Joint Political and Security Mechanism (JPSM) and the Abyei Joint Oversight Committee (AJOC) and notes the Secretary-General’s call, that in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, engagement in the foreseeable future may need to take on new modalities.
My delegation is encouraged by the UNISFA facilitated meetings between the Ngok Dinka and the Misseriya on 16 March and 9 April to discuss the ending of the intercommunal tensions. We welcome their renewed commitment to peace and security in Abyei. We hope that continued interactions between the two sides will lead to an agreement on resolving outstanding issues.
Lastly Mr President, South Africa welcomes the progress that UNISFA has made in promoting the WPS agenda in the Abyei region by promoting women’s participation at all levels of decision-making, including in conflict prevention and resolution processes.
We also thank Ethiopia for their continued efforts in contributing to the stabilisation of security tensions in Abyei.
I thank you.
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
OR Tambo Building
460 Soutpansberg Road