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Security Council Extends Mandate of United Nations Mission in South Sudan, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2567 (2021)

Extending the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) until 15 March 2022, the Security Council demanded today that all parties to the conflict in that country 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.

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 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.

Also by the text, 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 on the basis of 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.

Today’s resolution goes on to demand that all parties to the conflict immediately cease all forms of violence, human rights violations and abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law, including rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, and to hold those responsible to account.  It also demands that all parties and other armed actors prevent further acts of sexual violence.

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 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.

It went on to encourage continued firm engagement by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union Peace and Security Council, and countries in the region to find a durable solution to South Sudan’s peace and security challenges, while calling upon the international community to scale up its humanitarian response.

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

[Security Council resolutions are currently adopted through a written procedure vote under temporary, extraordinary and provisional measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as first set out in a letter (document  S/2020/253) by its President for March 2020 (China).]


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