UN South Sudan mission to stay on until May next year


Yet another indicator of Africa’s instability comes with the UN announcement that it will extend its mission in South Sudan for a further six months to May next year.

UNMISS (UN Mission in South Sudan) will again be tasked with civilian protection, facilitating relief assistance and basic human rights monitoring. This extension follows the UN Security council expressing “grave alarm about the further deteriorating political, security and humanitarian crisis” in the world’s newest country.

The Mission has also been authorised to use all necessary means, as was previously the case, in the execution of its tasking, which also includes support for implementation of a cessation of hostilities agreement.

The Council also requested UNMISS to focus and streamline its activities, across its military, police and civilian components, to achieve progress on its tasks, and recognised that “certain Mission tasks will therefore be ceased.”

In addition, in the resolution, the Security Council also demanded the Government of South Sudan and all relevant parties fully co-operate in UNMISS’ deployment, operations and monitoring, verification and reporting functions.

Further, the resolution calls on the Government of South Sudan to ensure freedom of movement for internally displaced persons, including those leaving and entering protection of civilian sites and to continue to support UNMISS by allocating land for such sites.

The authorised troop and police strengths of the Mission will remain at 12 500 and 1 323 respectively, as decided by the Council in December 2013, after political in-fighting between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar turned into a full-fledged conflict that has sent nearly 100 000 civilians fleeing to UNMISS bases around the country. The crisis has uprooted some 1,5 million people and placed more than seven million at risk of hunger and disease.