News / Africa

    South Sudan Welcomes Extension of UNMISS Mandate

    The U.N. Security Council votes unanimously on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, to extend the mandate of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan for six months and change its focus.
    The U.N. Security Council votes unanimously on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, to extend the mandate of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan for six months and change its focus.
    Margaret BesheerCharlton Doki
    South Sudan on Wednesday welcomed the U.N. Security Council resolution extending the mandate of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for six months, but said it was disappointed that the focus of the mandate was shifting.

    "The government will support the United Nations to support our people here for six months," Foreign Ministry spokesman Mawien Makol Arik said, welcoming the extension of the mandate.

    "Of course, the United Nations is still crucial here because we still need it in South Sudan to help people,” he said.


    Protecting civilians the new focus


    The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution to extend UNMISS's mandate Tuesday. The resolution also changes the focus of the U.N. Mission's mandate from promoting development and nation-building in the young country, to protecting civilians and ending the violence in South Sudan.

    UNMISS has been protecting a steadily rising number of civilians who have fled to its bases around the country in the five-and-a-half months since the violence began. In spite of a ceasefire agreement signed on May 9, there are between 75,000 and 80,000 displaced people currently sheltering inside U.N. bases.
    Civilians crush up against the gates of the UNMISS compound in Bor, Jonglei state, days after South Sudan erupted in violence in December 2013.
    Civilians crush up against the gates of the UNMISS compound in Bor, Jonglei state, days after South Sudan erupted in violence in December 2013.
    In the resolution, the Council emphasized that the protection of civilians must be given priority in decisions about the use of available capacity and resources within the Mission.

    The Council also condemned “in the strongest terms” attacks on and threats made to UNMISS personnel and UN facilities, and stressed that such attacks may constitute war crimes.
     
    U.N. peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous said the new mandate formalizes activities that the peacekeepers have been trying to carry out since South Sudan plunged into violence in mid-December..

    “We have been doing that since early this year, and it's confirmation that these are the priorities” until there’s a political settlement, Ladsous said. “And then of course we will have to think on the basis of that settlement what will be the longer-term tasks that will need to be redefined.”

    The Council on Tuesday endorsed recommendations made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a recent report, to increase the overall force levels of UNMISS to support its restructured mandate.
     
    In December, the Security Council increased UNMISS troop strength from about 7,000 to more than 12,000. The surge will include about 2,500 peacekeepers who will protect ceasefire monitors. 

    The resolution also expresses support for ceasefire agreements signed in January and earlier this month, and calls for their “immediate and full implementation.”

    The Security Council vowed to “consider all appropriate measures” against parties who undermine peace and security - a reference to the possible imposition of sanctions.


    Make capacity-building a priority


    South Sudan’s Ambassador to the U.N., Francis Mading Deng, told the Security Council his government appreciated the renewal of the Mission's mandate, but urged the United Nations to reconsider its priorities and put capacity-building high on its list.

    “The objective of capacity-building is to help create a state that is capable, responsible and responsive, not a state that is oppressive,” Deng said. “Failure to help build a functioning state could lead to serious problems which the United Nations and the international community might be later called upon to help address.”

    Makol says the South Sudan government has formed a committee to review the UNMISS mandate in South Sudan.

    “The committee is doing absolutely hard work to ensure that the government and the United Nations are on one page as regards the renewal of the UN mandate," he said.

    Makol said that when UNMISS's mandate expires on November 30, Juba will ask that for a one-year extension.

    Margaret Besheer contributed to this story from the United Nations in New York.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.