News / Africa

UN Force to Focus on Protecting South Sudan Civilians

A U.N. peacekeeper keeps guard outside a refugee camp in Bor, South Sudan, on April 29, 2014.
A U.N. peacekeeper keeps guard outside a refugee camp in Bor, South Sudan, on April 29, 2014.
Margaret Besheer
— The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to refocus the U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan to concentrate primarily on protecting civilians instead of nation building, and it warned those obstructing peace and reconciliation that they could face international sanctions.
 
UNMISS, as the mission is known, was created in 2011 to help the world's newest country achieve peace and support longer-term development. But ever since violence broke out in December, the mission has had to turn all of its attention to protecting civilians.
 
Now the mission officially will move away from peace-building activities to protecting civilians, aiding the delivery of humanitarian assistance, monitoring human rights and preventing renewed violence.
 
Formalizing actions
 
U.N. peacekeeping chief Hervé Ladsous told VOA the new mandate formalizes activities that the peacekeepers have been trying to carry out since the crisis erupted.

 
South Sudanese children displaced by fighting pose for a photo at a refugee camp in Jonglei, the country’s largest state, on April 29, 2014.South Sudanese children displaced by fighting pose for a photo at a refugee camp in Jonglei, the country’s largest state, on April 29, 2014.
x
South Sudanese children displaced by fighting pose for a photo at a refugee camp in Jonglei, the country’s largest state, on April 29, 2014.
South Sudanese children displaced by fighting pose for a photo at a refugee camp in Jonglei, the country’s largest state, on April 29, 2014.
“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.”
 
In December, the U.N. Security Council increased UNMISS troop strength from about 7,000 to more than 12,000. Not all have arrived yet. The surge will include about 2,500 peacekeepers who will protect cease-fire monitors in South Sudan.
 
The resolution adopted Tuesday expresses support for cease-fire agreements signed in January and earlier this month, and calls for their “immediate and full implementation.” The Security Council also vowed to “consider all appropriate measures” against parties who undermine peace and security - a reference to the possible imposition of sanctions.
 
Refocus disappoints government
 
South Sudan’s Ambassador Francis Mading Deng told the council his government is disappointed that U.N. assistance for strengthening government capacities is no longer a part of the mandate, and hopes it will be included when the mandate comes up for an extension in November.
 
“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.”
 
At least 1.3 million people displaced
 
The situation in South Sudan remains tense, with sporadic violations to the cease-fire between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir or to his former vice president, Riek Machar.
 
The United Nations estimated the violence has displaced more than 1.3 million people. Many have fled to neighboring countries and about 80,000 are sheltering at U.N. bases across South Sudan that are not equipped to handle such large numbers of people.
 
Now that the rainy season has begun, the U.N.’s department of humanitarian affairs said it has recorded nearly 600 cases of the water-borne disease cholera in the capital, Juba. Twenty-two people have died. A vaccination program is under way.
 
At a donors conference last week in Oslo, Norway, donors pledged more than $600 million out of the nearly $2 billion needed to fund the humanitarian response through the year’s end. The U.N. warned that 4 million people face severe food insecurity because of the fighting and their inability to plant for the next harvest.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: nyakor from: US
May 28, 2014 11:19 AM
Way to go U.N! Sometimes it is good to get/give feedback. Its great to hear that the mission is moving to protect the civilians. Regardless of what the govt is thinking and their dissapointment, the first priority is the civilians because they're the basis of the coutry. This is exactly what the govt should be doing: protecting their people, so if they are unable to do this then the unmiss has the right to do so. You are doing a morally right thing that any human with em/sympathy should agree with. Thank for you care.


by: Bol from: Bor
May 28, 2014 5:23 AM
"UN Force to Focus on Protecting South Sudan Civilians"

What were these creepy UN troops brought into South sudan in the first place if its focus was not to protect civilians?

This creepy UNIMISS troops and those who sponsoring them to occupy our country will now see that their creepy games with their employers is up. They must leave our state of Jonglei.

The Bor citizens who were supposed to be protected in Bor so-called UN compound were made to cross the river, while their adversaries the Nuers are claiming to be seeking protection in Bor.

Why are the Nuers the only ones seeking protections in all these so-called UN compounds, in Juba, in Bor, in Akobo, in Malakal and even in their own city of Bentiu Anasir?

Something stinks with this UN works in our country and it has to be tackled head on. The UN troops must leave our country, we get our hands them.


by: voldoski from: lowa
May 28, 2014 4:03 AM
Why do not you focus by the boy when he wants to overthrow the american....hahahahahahahahahahah


by: Lisa from: Tx
May 27, 2014 11:33 PM
Thanks, security council for the vote protection of civilians instead of the nation building we all know that splm have been undermining peace, by giving restriction to un. That is why south sudan never develop because their power hunger. Let people know the power is taken by peacekeeping forces, i believe when you protect the poor people You're protecting the whole country. Mr mading deng when he said failure to help building of functioning state could lead to a serious problem, nowonder the south sudan government is full of jackass who only depend on other. This reminded me when Dr riek called for the federal system so that each state could takecare of their own, calling it nation building but south sudan government rejected the idea this was in 1997. Its because by then splm thought that their untouch able even by UN, NGOs etc. The only way out is the federal system in the south sudan, we do have resources but at current situation you can not have nation building where their is No peace, people are dying of hunger and the government pretend that they care. Dr riek decided to call for democratic system in the country and yes people understand but who are you to talk about democratic system, your not allowed instead your regarded as Dr riek support. Mr mading and south sudan government it time for the transparent let the poor people voice be hard. Let them go to their home knowing that they are protected.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid