United Nations Mission in South Sudan
|United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan|
|Formation||9 July 2011|
|Ellen Margrethe Løj|
|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 since 2014 headed by Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ellen Margrethe Løj who succeeded Hilde Frafjord Johnson. As of August 2015[update], it is composed of 12,523 total personnel, 11,350 military, and 1,173 police personnel. It is headquartered in the South Sudanese capital Juba.
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politics and government of
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).
- Special Representative of the Secretary-General : Ellen Margrethe Løj (Denmark)
- Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Political Affairs: Raisedon Zenenga (Zimbabwe)
- Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UN Resident Coordinator, and Humanitarian Coordinator and Resident Representative of UNDP: Toby Lanzer (United Kingdom)
- Police Commissioner : Fred Yiga (Uganda)
- Force Commander: Lieutenant General Yohannes Gebremeskel Tesfamariam (Ethiopia)
- Deputy Police Commissioner : Sanjay Kundu (India)
- Deputy Force Commander: Brigadier General Asit Mistry (India)
India has supplied 2,237 troops; the Deputy Force Commander is India's Brigadier General Asit Mistry, while the force commander is Ghana's Major General Delali Johnson Sakyi. Other contributors of troops are Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Mali, Mongolia, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, Togo, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Vietnam, Yemen,Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Police have been contributed by Albania, Argentina,Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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. United Nations Assistant Secretary-General Anthony Banbury praised the bravery of the Indian soldiers. 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.
Coup d'état attempt
Fighting that spread as a result of the 2013 South Sudanese coup d'état attempt led to the deaths of two Indian peacekeepers, while another soldier was wounded in Akobo, Jonglei, on 19 December. On 24 December, the UNSC voted to nearly double the existing 7,600 troops in the mission, with another approximately 6,000 troops to be added.
The UN Secretary General expressed deep concern as UN staff received threats from the body guards of Senior government Information Minister that demanded armed access to UN Mission Camps where civilians are sheltering. Following this incident President Salva Kiir accused the UN of sheltering armed opposition forces in their UN Mission, which the UN denied. Salva Kiir also accused the UN of an attempted take over of his leadership.
On Thursday 17 April 2014, 58 people were killed and at least 100 people wounded when an armed mob stormed the UN base in Bor. A crowd of people who pretended they were visiting the base to present a peaceful petition opened fire on some of the 5,000 civilians who had taken shelter in the UN base. Of those killed, 48 were civilians, while 10 were among the attackers. The violence reflected tension between the ethnic Dinka and Nuer peoples; before the attack, a crowd of local Dinkas had demanded the thousands of Nuer sheltering in the camp be relocated elsewhere.
The members of the Security Council expressed their outrage at the recent attacks by armed groups in South Sudan that have purposefully targeted civilians as well as UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) sites and personnel, in particular the 17 April attack against the UNMISS compound in Bor that resulted in scores of dead and injured, including those seeking the shelter and protection of the United Nations, and the 14 April attacks in Bentiu and Unity State.
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms these acts and underscored that attacks on civilians and UN peacekeepers may constitute a war crime.
As part of its mandate to conduct human rights reporting, UNMISS released a report in mid-2015 on an alleged campaign of violence by the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and associated armed groups in Unity State. The report cited witness accounts of abductions, rapes and people being killed and burned alive in dwellings.
UNMISS continued to struggle to cope with the large populations of internally displaced people living within the 'Protection of Civilians' (PoC) sites in 2015. The mission was accused in May 2015 of failing to secure the perimeter of the Bentiu PoC site during an expansion of the site led by the International Organisation for Migration.
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