On 18 September, the Council was briefed by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report. Lacroix reported that the international community must send a strong message to the parties in conflict that with the new peace agreement signed, there is no longer any justification for continued clashes. Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Nicholas Haysom and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais also briefed. A civil society representative based in South Sudan briefed via video teleconference.
On 10 August, Security Council members held consultations on South Sudan, focusing on food security and developments in the peace process. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock, Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Nicholas Haysom, and Special Representative and head of UNMISS David Shearer briefed during the consultations. Following this, Council members issued press elements expressing “grave concern about the level of food insecurity”, with the ongoing conflict “being one of the main direct causes” and demanding that all parties allow unhindered humanitarian access. The press elements also welcomed the region’s role in reaching agreement on outstanding governance and security issues but noted that “considerable challenges remain”, including the need for detailed plans for implementation. In addition, they called for immediate implementation of the ceasefire and for the parties to demonstrate commitment to fully implement and finalise a more inclusive and revitalised ARCSS. On 20 August, the Secretary-General appointed five members of the Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts until 1 July 2019. On 27 August, committee chair Ambassador Joanna Wronecka (Poland) and the coordinator of the Panel of Experts briefed the committee on their respective reports following their visit to South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya from 16 to 26 June.
On 5 July, Council members were briefed in consultations by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix on the Secretary-General’s assessment of the security and political situation in South Sudan, requested by resolution 2418. On 13 July, the Council adopted resolution 2428, imposing an arms embargo on South Sudan until 31 May 2019 and designating two additional individuals to be subject to targeted sanctions: Paul Malong Awan, the former chief of staff of South Sudan’s army who became a rebel leader, and Malek Reuben Riak, former deputy chief of general staff of South Sudan’s army. The resolution, adopted with nine votes in favour and six abstentions (Bolivia, China, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Russia) also renewed the South Sudan sanctions regime until 31 May 2019 and the Sanctions Committee’s Panel of Experts until 1 July 2019. On 26 July, Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten briefed the Council under “any other business” on her trip to South Sudan earlier that month.
On 28 June, the Security Council was briefed by Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Bintou Keita on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report (S/2018/609). Keita said regional engagement and the face-to-face meetings between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar are positive developments, while cautioning that peace would not be achieved or sustained merely on the basis of a deal between the two leaders. She emphasized that the Council must give its constant support and engagement to ensure that all stakeholders understood that the international community would support a peaceful South Sudan, and that there would be consequences for those who kept fuelling the conflict.
On 8 May, the Council was briefed on South Sudan by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix; IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais (via video teleconference); and a civil society representative based in Juba, Jackline Nasiwa (also via video teleconference). Ambassador Joanna Wronecka of Poland, chair of the South Sudan Sanctions Committee, briefed on the committee’s work. On 31 May, the Council adopted a resolution (S/RES/2418) that renewed the sanctions regime and mandate of the Panel of Experts until 15 July 2018. It also requested the Secretary-General to report by 30 June whether any fighting has taken place since adoption of the resolution and to report on whether the parties have come to a viable political agreement. It decides that if the Secretary-General reports such fighting or lack of a viable political agreement, it shall consider applying targeted sanctions to the six individuals identified in Annex 1 and/or an arms embargo within five days of the Secretary-General’s report. The resolution was adopted with nine votes in favour and six abstentions (Bolivia, China, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Russia).
On 15 March, UNMISS’ mandate was unanimously extended for one year (S/RES/2406). The Council decided to maintain the overall force levels of a maximum of 17,000 troops, which includes a Regional Protection Force (RPF) at levels to be set by the Secretary-General but not exceeding 4,000, and no more than 2,101 police personnel. The resolution also expresses the Council’s intention to “consider all measures, including an arms embargo, as appropriate, to deprive the parties of the means to continue fighting and to prevent violations” of the 21 December 2017 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
On 27 February, the Council received a briefing on the special report of the Secretary-General on the renewal of UNMISS’ mandate and the findings on the independent review from Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Bintou Keita who said the current UNMISS mandate remains valid and should be extended for another year, with some modifications. IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais also briefed. Special Representative for South Sudan and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) David Shearer and Special Envoy for Sudan and South Sudan Nicholas Haysom briefed during consultations.
On 24 January, the Council was briefed on South Sudan by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix who urged members to speak out clearly against violations of the 21 December 2017 cessation of hostilities agreement and “to take the decisive actions necessary to impose real consequences.” JMEC Chairperson Festus Mogae briefed (via VTC) and said that three signatories had so far violated the agreement; he similarly urged the Council to impose consequences. Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Ursula Mueller also briefed and said civilians continue to be killed and forcibly displaced, with several thousand people fleeing to Ethiopia and Uganda in January. Humanitarian access remains highly complex and unpredictable despite President Salva Kiir’s decree of 9 November 2017, which ordered free, unimpeded and unhindered movement for humanitarian aid convoys, she said.
On 7 December, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix briefed the Council on the Secretary-General’s 90-day report. He told the Council that in a challenging environment, UNMISS had endeavoured to be more robust, nimble and proactive; helped to protect humanitarian facilities, facilitate aid delivery, and evacuate humanitarian personnel; and intervened to protect civilians from abduction, illegal recruitment, sexual violence, and harassment. He added that mission patrols had reached areas where they had long been denied access. IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan Ismail Wais, also briefed the Council for the first time on 7 December 2017. On 8 December, there was a briefing by the chairs of subsidiary bodies of the Security Council, at which Ambassador Fodé Seck (Senegal) briefed on the work of the South Sudan Sanctions Committee. He highlighted the Panel of Experts’ recommendations that the Council impose a general arms embargo on South Sudan and that the Committee identify those responsible for actions and policies that threaten peace, security and stability in South Sudan. On 14 December, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2392, extending until 15 March 2018 the provisions of resolution 2327 which renewed UNMISS’s mandate for one year in December 2016. The three-month technical rollover allows for the completion of the strategic review of UNMISS currently underway and for Council members to consider its recommendations. At the initiative of the Secretary-General, a strategic review of UNMISS began in mid-November, one of several comprehensive reviews of peacekeeping operations. Also on 14 December, the Council adopted a presidential statement expressing “strong support” for the High-Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) organised by IGAD, adding that it “looks forward” to the convening of a fully inclusive forum and substantive progress on the initiative by the end of December 2017. The presidential statement also “underlines that no party should set pre-conditions to participation, and that there must be cost and consequences for those who undermine the HLRF process”. It added that the forum is “a last chance for the parties to achieve sustainable peace and stability”.
On 28 November, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Bintou Keita briefed the Council on the situation in South Sudan and expressed concern over the real risk of an escalation in violence with the onset of the dry season, and the government’s push to assert military dominance across the country. She also underlined the importance of having unified and unconditional international support to the political process, which will involve “very difficult and arduous discussions”.