Security Council renews mandate of UN Mission in South Sudan
The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday approved a resolution to extend the UN Mission in South Sudan’s (UNMISS) mandate for another year, until March 15, 2023.
UNMISS’ total force levels will be maintained under Resolution 2625, with a troop ceiling of 17,000 men and a police cap of 2,101 persons. It indicates the Security Council’s willingness to explore adjusting UNMISS troop numbers and capacity-building activities to meet local security situations.
In line with the 2018 Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan, the resolution resolves that UNMISS’s mission would be structured to achieve a three-year strategic vision to avoid a return to civil conflict in South Sudan, to establish permanent peace at the local and national levels, and to support the inclusive and accountable government as well as free, fair, and peaceful elections.
Protecting civilians, creating conditions conducive to humanitarian aid delivery, supporting the peace process, and monitoring, investigating, and reporting on violations of international humanitarian law and human rights violations and abuses are the four core elements of the mandate that have largely remained unchanged.
It urges that all sides to the conflict, as well as other armed players, stop fighting in South Sudan immediately and participate in political discussion. It also reminds South Sudanese authorities of their primary responsibility to protect civilians, and demands that they implement the Revitalised Agreement’s permanent cease-fire, as well as all previous cease-fire and cessation-of-hostilities agreements.
The resolution expresses the Security Council’s profound concern over the delays in implementing the Revitalized Agreement and urges the parties to complete the agreement’s implementation and create its institutions as soon as possible.
It emphasizes the importance of free and fair elections in achieving a stable, inclusive, democratic, and self-sufficient state, and emphasizes that elections must be preceded by an open, transparent constitution-drafting process. It urges the South Sudanese government and all relevant parties to create an atmosphere that is conducive to a free, fair, inclusive, transparent, peaceful, and timely election.
It demands that the government of South Sudan stop obstructing UNMISS’s ability to carry out its mandate, and that the government take steps to deter and hold those responsible for actions that obstruct UNMISS or international and national humanitarian actors accountable, as well as to continue to take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of UNMISS personnel and their unhindered and immediate access.
With 13 votes in favor and two abstentions, the resolution was passed. China and Russia did not vote.