Security Council extends UNMISS for one year

6 Jul 2012

Security Council extends UNMISS for one year

5 July 2012 - Emphasizing the need for South Sudan to become economically prosperous and live side by side with Sudan in peace and security, the Security Council today extended UNMISS for 12 months.

Leaving the mission mandate unchanged, the 15-member world body stressed the priorities of protecting civilians through early warning and response and reporting any flows of personnel, arms and related material across the border with Sudan.

The Council expressed deep concern at the humanitarian situation caused by "heightened insecurity along the Sudan/South Sudan border region and the conflict in Sudan's Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile States, as well as inter-communal violence and widespread food insecurity".

It demanded that all parties immediately cease hostilities and human rights abuses against civilians, especially gender-based violence.

South Sudan gained its independence on 9 July 2011, becoming the world's newest country. The day before, the Council established UNMISS for an initial period of one year to consolidate peace and help establish necessary conditions for development.

The mission acts under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, which directs it to protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence, particularly when the government fails to do so.

The Council also called on the government to improve women's participation in public decision-making and in revising the country's constitution to be able to "counter negative societal attitudes about women's capacity to participate equally"

It underlined the importance of UNMISS' peacebuilding tasks, especially security-sector reform, support for the justice sector, building human rights capacity and state-building.

In addition, the Council called on UNMISS to participate in regional coordination, including with other UN missions in the area, to stem the threat posed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA).

Led by Joseph Kony, the LRA is notorious for carrying out massacres in villages, mutilating its victims, abducting boys for use as child soldiers and forcing girls into sexual slavery. The group operated mainly in northern Uganda until 2004, but then moved to regional countries, including South Sudan.