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NEW YORK - 15 Mar 2021

UN Security Council extends UNMISS mandate

The UN Security Council over the weekend extended the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) until 15 March 2022.

The Security Council also demanded that all parties to the conflict in South Sudan and other armed actors immediately stop fighting and engage in political dialogue, in accordance with the peace agreement signed in 2018.

“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the Council unanimously adopted resolution 2567 (2021), by which it decided that the Mission’s mandate is designed to advance a three-year strategic vision to prevent a return to civil war, build a durable peace, and support inclusive and accountable governance — and free, fair and peaceful elections — in line with the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan,” A press release from the world body said.

By terms of the 13-page resolution, the 15-member Council stated that the mandate shall include the protection of civilians under threat of physical violence, with specific protection for women and children. 

UNMISS shall also deter violence against civilians, especially through proactive deployment and active patrolling, with particular attention to internally displaced persons and refugees in UNMISS protection sites.

“The mandate shall also include the creation of conditions that are conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance, supporting the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement and the South Sudan peace process, as well as monitoring, investigating and reporting on violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights,” the statement said.

The Council decided to maintain the Mission’s overall force levels at a ceiling of 17,000 troops and 2,101 police, including 88 corrections officers. However, it expressed its readiness to consider adjusting those levels based on security conditions on the ground and implementation of priority measures by the Government of South Sudan and all relevant actors.

Those priority measures, to be put in place before the Mission’s current mandate expires, include: providing security to re-designated protection-of-civilian sites in a manner consistent with international human rights law and international humanitarian law; ending all obstructions that hamper the Mission’s ability to monitor and investigate human rights violations and abuses; and initiating a permanent constitution-making process.

“By further terms, the text demands that all parties allow the rapid, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel, equipment and supplies — and the timely delivery of humanitarian assistance — to all those in need,” the statement read, “The Council expressed its intention to consider all appropriate measures against those whose actions undermine peace, stability, and security, and demanded that all Member States comply with their obligations to prevent the supply, sale or transfer of arms and related materiel, as set out in previous resolutions.”

The Council requested that the Secretary-General provides by 15 July 2021 a needs assessment for creating an enabling environment for elections, in addition to comprehensive reports every 90 days on the implementation of the UNMISS mandate.