The Security Council adopted a resolution to deploy a “Regional Protection Force” to the South Sudanese capital of Juba.
The Security Council adopted a resolution today (12 Aug) to deploy a “Regional Protection Force” to the South Sudanese capital under chapter seven of the UN charter as part of the extension of the United Nations mission’s (UNMISS ) mandate until 15 December 2016. The force is expected to include 4,000 additional peacekeepers mandated to provide a secure environment in and around Juba using “all necessary means” to protect civilians as well as UN and other humanitarian workers.
US ambassador David Pressman said the force was created in response to the collapse of security in Juba, and would “remain until South Sudan’s leaders take the steps necessary to provide that security for their own people.”
The Resolution received eleven votes in favour and 4 abstentions, including Russian, China, Egypt, and Venezuela. Pressman said “one only need look at what unity (in the Council) has achieved with respect to UNMISS’s ability to operate on the ground.” He said the mission was facing deadly challenges which were not resolved by the Security Council but “might” be through additional authorities and resources. Pressman said UNMISS alone could not bring an end to the persistent struggle for power amongst the country’s leaders which had “caused the suffering of so many people.” He said until South Sudan’s leader were “willing to put what is good for their people before themselves … the people of South Sudan will continue to suffer from the bloodshed and instability their leaders reek.”
Chinese ambassador Liu Jieyi said the regional protection force must coordinate with the government to carry out its work “in a way that is truly useful for peace in South Sudan and conducive to the maintenance of stability of the transitional government.”
Egyptian representative Ihab Moustafa said the consent of “any government” to deploy troops on its land was a practical, logistical, and legal necessity. He said this resolution “disregarded” the position of the South Sudanese government. Moustafa asked if the Council would “bear the responsibility for the safety and security of those forces.”
South Sudanese ambassador Akuei Bona Malwal expressed his government’s "rejection of the just-adopted resolution as it did not take into account or even consider the points of view” of his country. He said it was “unfortunate that the Council chose to take this route.” Malwal said the adoption of the resolution went against “the basic principles of UN peacekeeping operations” by including the possibility on an arms embargo in the annex of the text. He also said it went “against the UN charter which urges members of the United Nations to respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and political independence of other states.”
Chapter seven of the UN charter calls on the Security Council to determine the existence of any threat to peace and take action “to maintain or restore international peace and security.”