Security Council shows united front on protection force in South Sudan

The United Nations Security Council showed a united front while meeting with South Sudan’s cabinet of ministers, making clear that a proposed resolution that sent 4,000 extra peacekeepers to the country was crucial to restore peace in the country.

One senior Security Council diplomat told Radio Tamazuj that the Russian government made a strong case for the regional force, emphasizing during a meeting with the cabinet that it was unified.

“The Security Council made it very clear that we are unified in our desire to bring peace to South Sudan,” said British Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Peter Wilson. “It is important now that in dialogue with the government of South Sudan, that the regional protection force comes and is able to create the conditions for peace in Juba that the people have been crying out for.”

The United Nations Security Council is a fifteen member body that makes decisions about sanctions, peacekeeping, and other security measures. They first met with civil society leaders in Juba, and then met with the Council of Ministers.

After the meeting with the council of ministers, US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said that there has to be accountability in South Sudan. Recently, President Salva Kiir wrote an op-ed in the New York Times saying that a planned tribunal for war crimes should be scrapped. But Power said that accountability was essential.

“Even if the government can make bureaucratic changes, set up committees and move forward with legal implementation, the hearts of the people need to see justice in order for them to trust in this process and the accountability and national reconciliation structures,” she said.

Members of the UN Security Council then went to the Juba Protection of Civilians site, where they met humanitarians and civilians.

A large crowd demonstrated inside the PoC to demand that the controversial regional protection force come to South Sudan. Many held up large banners that read “IGAD have failed. JMEC have failed. AU have failed. We need third party,”

Members of the Security Council are expected to travel to Wau tomorrow, and then meet with President Kiir.