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UNMISS committed to support elections in S. Sudan: Hayson

June 21, 2021 (NEW YORK) – The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is firmly committed to supporting elections in the East African nation, a top UN official in the country said Monday.

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The head of UN mission in South Sudan, Nicholas Haysom (Getty)

Briefing the members of the Security Council in New York, Nicholas Hayson, the head of UNMISS, however, said the concerted efforts of the UN should be supported by all stakeholders in South Sudan.

“Equally important, as we move forward, is our partnership with the international community, especially the AU [African Union] and IGAD [Intergovernmental Authority on Development],” he said.

The top UN official in the country acknowledged the slow progress in the overall implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

“The formation of the legislature remains incomplete. The constitution of the Council of States and the nomination of the legislative assembly speaker is pending. UNMISS continues to encourage the Government to complete these processes while ensuring adequate representation of women and youth at all levels,” he said.

Haysom expressed grave concern over the dire security situation in the young nation.

"I would like to highlight the pervasive insecurity, in particular intercommunal violence, which continues to obstruct the realization of a durable and sustainable peace in South Sudan. This year, more than 80 percent of civilian casualties were attributed to intercommunal violence and community-based militias," he said.

According to the top UN official, despite the efforts of UNMISS to maintain peace, weak or absent state governance institutions throughout South Sudan have enabled spoilers to exploit perennial communal and ethnic cleavages.

"Worryingly, weakened rule of law institutions and economic deterioration have led to increased criminality and targeting of humanitarian workers. This year alone, four humanitarian workers have been killed, and millions of dollars of humanitarian supplies looted or destroyed," stressed Hayson.

He added, "The callous and indiscriminate killing of humanitarian workers is deplorable, he added.

(ST)