United Nations Mission in South Sudan
|United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan|
|Formation||9 July 2011|
|Head||Hilde Frafjord Johnson|
|Parent organization||United Nations Security Council|
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is the newest United Nations peacekeeping mission for the recently independent Republic of South Sudan, which became independent on 9 July 2011. UNMISS was established on 8 July 2011 by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1996 (2011). UNMISS is headed by Special Representative of the Secretary-General Hilde Frafjord Johnson. It is composed of 5,884 civilian, 5,508 military and 376 police personnel and is headquartered in the South Sudan capital Juba.
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The stated UNMISS Mandate includes:
- Support for peace consolidation and thereby fostering longer-term statebuilding and economic development
- Support the Government of the Republic of South Sudan in exercising its responsibilities for conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution and protect civilians
- Support the government of the Republic of South Sudan in developing its capacity to provide security, to establish rule of law, and to strengthen the security and justice sectors.
As per Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter, the peacekeeping mission is concerned with the protection of civilians, and thus is not mandated to engage in protection of South Sudan's territory or the sovereignty of that territory (cf. the 2012 South Sudan–Sudan border war).
In a July 2012 speech, a day after the extension of the mission, Hilde F. Johnson spoke in Juba about the progress of UNMISS. Johnson discussed the mission's protection of civilians and the documenting and verification of incidents. Johnson discussed the January 2012 Lou Nuer attacks in Jonglei State whereby the actions of UNMISS in deploying peacekeepers and alerting the South Sudanese government resulted in "thousands of civilian lives [being] saved", as well as progress in areas such as policing, justice and democracy.
On 9 April, five Indian UNMISS troops and seven civilian UN employees (two UN staff and five contractors) were killed in a rebel ambush in Jonglei while escorting a UN convoy between Pibor and Bor. Nine further UN employees, both military and civilian, were wounded and some remain missing. Four of the civilians killed were Kenyan contractors working to drill water boreholes. One of the dead soldiers was a lieutenant-colonel and one of the wounded was a captain. According to South Sudan's military spokesman, the convoy was attacked by David Yau Yau's rebel forces that they believe are supported by the Sudanese government. UNMISS said that 200 armed men were involved in the attack and that their convoy was escorted by 32 Indian UN peacekeepers. The attackers were equipped with rocket propelled grenades.
A UN spokesman said that the fierce resistance put up by Indian peacekeepers forced the rebels to withdraw and saved the lives of many of the civilians. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon called the killings a war crime, and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice. India's Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, paid his tribute to the "brave soldiers". About 2,200 Indian Army personnel are deployed in South Sudan as a part of the UNMISS mission.
United Nations Assistant Secretary General Tony Banbury has praised the bravery of Indian soldiers killed while fighting rebels in South Sudan earlier this month. The soldiers were part of a UN peacekeeping mission.
"The morale of the Indian soldiers is very high. I was able to visit the affected contingent today and met the Commanding Officer. He told us that the morale of the soldiers was very high. These soldiers fought valiantly in the face of this unprovoked ambush, they were dramatically outnumbered... about 200 attackers to 35 soldiers and they fought very greatly. All the soldiers fought back," Mr Banbury told. "The killings would have been much worse had it not been for the bravery of these soldiers. I think they ought to feel very proud of what they have done even though they are all devastated by the loss of the five UN peacekeepers," he added.
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- "UNMISS Facts and Figures – United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan". UN. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "UNMISS Mandate – United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan". UN. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "S/RES/1996 (2011)". UN. Retrieved 2013-04-10.
- "Near Verbatim Transcript of Press Conference hosting United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for South Sudan, Ms. Hilde F. Johnson". UNMISS. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Attack of an UNMISS Helicopter in South Sudan". U.S. Department of State. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "UN peacekeepers killed in South Sudan ambush". Al Jazeera. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Pandit, Rajat (10 April 2013). "Five Indian peacekeepers killed in South Sudan ambush". The Times of India. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Associated Press (9 April 2013). "5 UN peacekeepers, 7 others killed in gunfire attack in South Sudan, officials say". Washington Post. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- "Gunmen kill 4 Kenyans on Sudan water drilling mission". Business Daily Africa. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Bodies of five martyrs likely to reach India tonight". First Post. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Dikshit, Sandeep (9 April 2013). "Killing of peacekeepers a war crime: Ban ki-Moon". The Hindu. Retrieved 9 April 2013.
- PM regrets killing of Indian soldiers on UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan
- Bodies of Indian soldiers killed in Sudan to arrive in Delhi tonight
- "Indian soldiers killed in Sudan fought valiantly: UN Assistant Secretary General to NDTV".
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