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UN Security Council extends mandate of peacekeeping mission in South Sudan

The Security Council on Wednesday decided to extend the mandate of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for one year.

The UNSC resolution 2677 (2023) extended the mandate of the peacekeeping mission until 15 March 2023. The mission will maintain its force levels with a ceiling of 17,000 troops and 2,101 police personnel.

The resolution was passed by a vote of 13 in favour to none against, with 2 abstentions China and Russian Federation.

  The Council mandated UNMISS to carry out tasks in four key areas — protection of civilians; creation of conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance; support for the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement and the Peace Process; and the monitoring, investigating, and reporting on violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights.

It stressed that the protection of civilians shall be given priority. 

The Council also directed UNMISS to ensure effective, timely and dynamic protection through a comprehensive and integrated approach; promptly and effectively engage any actor credibly found to be preparing attacks or engaging in attacks again civilians, internally displaced persons camps and the UNMISS protection of civilian sites; and maintain a proactive deployment and a mobile, flexible, robust and effective posture. 

The Council  also underscored that elections should be viewed as a phased approach and that UNMISS should focus in the near-term on key conditions, including the prevention of a further escalation of political violence; creation of conditions for an inclusive, constitutional drafting and review process; and the prerequisite inclusive civil space to conduct free and fair elections.

It called for strengthening the mission’s sexual- and gender-based violence prevention and response activities.

The Council also called upon the government of South Sudan to expedite the implementation of the action plan on addressing conflict-related sexual violence and hold those responsible to account.  

It also called upon the government and other relevant actors to utilize robust conflict-sensitive analysis to provide security to re-designated civilian-protection sites; make progress on a conducive political environment for elections; and implement security arrangements by ensuring the regular and adequate payment of salaries to the necessary unified forces.

 The Council requested the Secretary-General to provide a comprehensive written report every 90 days, which should include an analysis of risks associated with climate change that may adversely impact peace and security in South Sudan and the implementation of the Mission’s mandate.  

In addition, it requested him to provide no later than 15 October 2023 a separate independently conducted impact assessment of the mission’s implementation of its civilian protection mandate, as well as a separate report with a detailed analysis of the political, security, and economic factors delaying the Revitalized Agreement’s implementation; an assessment of prerequisite conditions for credible elections; an integrated United Nations transition strategy; and recommendations on adapting the mission.

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