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UN Security Council Extends South Sudan Mission's Mandate

The U.N. Security Council voted on Thursday, May 28, 2015 to extend the mandate of the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until November 30.

The United Nations Security Council on Thursday voted to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) by six months until the end of November.

The language of the Security Council's renewed mandate authorizes UNMISS to "use all necessary means to protect civilians, monitor and investigate human rights, and create the conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance."

The resolution states that the military component of UNMISS will comprise up to 12,500 troops and 1,323 police.

It also calls for the immediate and full implementation of agreements between the warring sides in South Sudan to stop more than 17 months of fighting that has displaced more than 2 million people, pushed the young nation's economy to the edge of collapse and left an estimated 4 million facing severe hunger.

The Security Council said it intends to "consider all appropriate measures against any party taking action to undermine peace, stability and security in the country."

Last week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said the Security Council is reviewing evidence that could be used to draw up a list of "political spoilers and those who ... abuse human rights and violate international humanitarian law in South Sudan" for possible U.N. sanctions.

The U.N. vote to renew the mandate came amid reports of shooting at a U.N. camp for internally displaced persons in Malakal, in which nine civilians and a U.N. peacekeeper were wounded.

In the resolution to extend UNMISS's mandate, the Security Council "condemned in the strongest terms attacks on and threats made to UNMISS personnel and U.N. facilities, including repeated attacks on the mission’s camps in Bor, Bentiu, Malakal and Melut."

The Security Council warned that those attacks could constitute war crimes.