UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Wednesday adopted a resolution to renew the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for a year, till March 15, 2024.
Resolution 2677 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 Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.
The four core elements of the 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.It demands that all parties to the conflict and other armed actors immediately end the fighting throughout South Sudan and engage in political dialogue; reminds South Sudanese authorities of their primary responsibility to protect civilians, and further demands South Sudan’s leaders implement the permanent cease-fire declared in the Revitalised Agreement and all previous cease-fire and cessation of hostilities agreements.
The resolution expresses the Security Council’s deep concern about the delays in implementing the Revitalized Agreement, and calls on the parties to fully implement the agreement and establish its institutions without delay.Stressing that free and fair elections will be critical for a transition toward a stable, inclusive, democratic, and self-reliant state, it underscores that elections should be viewed as a phased approach and UNMISS should focus in the near-term on key conditions, including the prevention of a further escalation of political violence and creating conditions for an inclusive, constitutional drafting and review process and the inclusive civic space that is a prerequisite to the conduct of free and fair elections.The resolution calls on the government of South Sudan as well as all relevant parties to ensure an environment conducive to open political dialogue consistent with the Revitalised Agreement.It demands the South Sudanese government immediately cease obstructing UNMISS in the performance of its mandate, and calls on the government to take action to deter and to hold those responsible to account for any actions that impede UNMISS or international and national humanitarian actors, and to continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure the safety and security and freedom of movement of UNMISS personnel with unhindered and immediate access.The resolution was adopted with 13 votes in favor and two abstentions. China and Russia abstained.