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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid