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Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Information and Communication speaks to reporters during weekly cabinet meeting on Friday [Photo: Awan Achiek]

 Government disappointed with extension of UNMISS mandate

The transitional unity government  expressed it’s disappointment over the move by the U.N Security Council  to extend again the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for a year, till March 15, 2024.

Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Information and Communication on Friday insinuated that the extension was influenced by “negative reports” issued by foreign agencies working in the country.

“Definitely, we are disappointed but what do we do? We are waiting for the next round when we will again write and tell them that we don’t want this (UNMISS) and the day will come when we will decide otherwise,” Makuei told journalists after a weekly cabinet meeting in Juba.

“Whenever the time approaches, we present our objection to the renewal and we state our reasons, and every time we make presentations they ignored it and act in accordance with the report of institutions and organizations that are working in South Sudan,” he added.

Makuei said that if foreign organizations were to write good reports of peace and stability many of their employees would lose jobs.

 “If these people write a report that South Sudan is now stable, UN will say okay go away and they will lose their jobs,” he said.

“There will be no a place where they will be deployed again and they will have no employment, so they are under a duty to protect their interest.”

UNSC Resolution 2677 passed on March 16th decides to maintain the overall force levels of UNMISS with a troop ceiling of 17,000 personnel and a police ceiling of 2,101 personnel, including 88 justice and corrections advisors.

It expresses the Security Council’s readiness to consider adjustments to UNMISS force levels and capacity-building tasks to match security conditions on the ground.

The resolution decides that UNMISS’s mandate remains to advance a three-year strategic vision to prevent a return to civil war in South Sudan, to build durable peace at the local and national levels, and to support inclusive and accountable governance and free, fair, and peaceful elections in accordance with the 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

The four core elements of the UNMISS mandate remain largely unchanged: protecting civilians; creating the conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance; supporting the peace process; and monitoring, investigating and reporting on violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights.

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