Explanation of Vote at the Adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2271 on South Sudan Sanctions

By Africa Regional Media Hub

Ambassador David Pressman

Alternate Representative to the UN for Special Political Affairs

U.S. Mission to the United Nations

New York City

March 2, 2016


Thank you, Mr. President.

This Council and the United Nations remain steadfast in their commitment to support the people of South Sudan in their quest for stability, peace, and good governance. Unfortunately, we have a long way to go and much work remains. As such, we must work together to send the right signals to South Sudan's leaders. The Secretary-General perhaps put it best last week when he told the leaders bluntly: “Put peace above politics. Pursue compromise. Overcome obstacles. Establish the Transitional Government of National Unity. And do not delay it.”

This Security Council has repeatedly shown its willingness to use targeted sanctions to marginalize spoilers, target those who commit violations and abuses, and impose accountability for atrocities. This Council should consider carefully new proposals to use sanctions to better stabilize the situation, limit the unrestricted flow of arms, and incentivize the parties towards compromise.

Rather than rush this deliberative process, the United States supports the Security Council's decision today to renew the current sanctions measures until April 15th and the mandate of the Panel of Experts for just a few more weeks, until May 15th. This period of time will allow the Council to fully discuss proposals that have been put forward by delegations around this table and will allow us time to measure the progress made by the parties on implementing the peace agreement and forming the transitional government.

We fully agree that this is a delicate moment in this peace process, but it is also a critical moment where humanitarian needs are greater than ever, human rights violations persist, and the people of South Sudan continue to suffer. Parties to this conflict need to show progress on the peace agreement signed last year, an agreement which is severely lagging in implementation, as we heard Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission Chair Mogae testify to last month. We urge South Sudanese parties to take the key steps that are necessary for full implementation of the peace agreement.

Over the next several weeks, in line with the timeline set out by the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, we expect to see full cooperation by both sides with implementation of the Juba security arrangements as decided by the JMEC Chair and agreed to by the parties on February 24th, with the return of designated SPLM-IO security to Juba. This should lead to the return of Riek Machar to Juba and immediate formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity. It is also important that the Government of the Republic of South Sudan suspend implementation of the decree creating 28 states as called for by IGAD in its January 30-31, 2016, communique.

We encourage South Sudan's leaders to show their commitment to peace and to a prosperous future for the people of South Sudan through these concrete actions over the next weeks. We will use this time to support the parties in their effort to carry out these tasks, to measure their progress, and to respond appropriately.

Thank you, Mr. President.