Since 2013, a civil war is occurring in South-Sudan between the government (Dinka ethnic group) and the Nuer ethnic group. This conflict has severe consequences: famine was recently declared, massacres, rapes… Therefore, members of the UNSC have discussed ‘measures to prevent a resurgence of violence in South-Sudan’.
The delegates have been informed of a chemical weapons attack which has killed at least 400 people. The debate has been focusing on potential sanctions. In this sense, various matters have been discussed: the economic difficulties that South-Sudan faces, the violation of the ceasefire, and the arms trafficking.
An international investigation
First, an international investigation is needed to determine the culpability of the chemical attack. It will be conducted by the African Union, supported by the United Nations and Amnesty International. The Security Council will certainly take sanctions in order to punish the attack on the basis of the results of this investigation.
The topic of a temporary administration of South-Sudan led by the African Union with the advisory of the United Nations has also been discussed. Indeed, a peace agreement has been signed in August 2015 in Juba (the capital city), which obviously hasn’t been respected. This idea is supported by the USA and China. Nevertheless, chairs must remind the delegates that a temporary administration may only occur to the extent that the state has failed. Yet, is it the case? According to international rules, a state’s failure is characterized when a sovereign government no longer function properly. The idea of a temporary international administration will finally be abandoned.
Economics and peace
Some delegates think that economic difficulties must first be solved in order to settle peace. But others, considering that it is an ethnical conflict, think that they have first to discuss about sanctions and immediate humanitarian policy. According to Russia, the chemical attack constitutes a ‘crime against humanity’, and must be punished. Nevertheless, long term solutions must be found in order to establish a proper economic system in South-Sudan. But to France, concrete and immediate measures must first be taken: ‘we’re not a think-tank’. Senegal declares that economic stability will come with a peace treaty. Finally, the chairs remind the delegates that if economics are linked to peace, the UNSC is reunited to talk about security of South-Sudan.
- Juliette Blayac