By Kidega Livingstone
The Government through the First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai,yesterday said that United Nations should revisethe mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Mission or UNMISS, which was first issued in 2011 when the country got independence.
The mandate is renewed every time when necessary. Mr. Gai described the initial UNMISS mandate as “the best mandate”because it involved capacity building, some degree of economic development, and infrastructure assistance to support development of the new country.
Speaking on behalf of the First Vice President, the Minister of Cabinet Affair, Dr. MartinEliaLomuro, said the government wants UNMISS to be revised to include the elements that were enshrined in 2011 mandate.
“The First Vice President said that the mandate of 2011 was the best because it involved the elements of capacity building, training of some understanding in economic development and some in infrastructure assistance which were beneficial and felt that the United Nations should go back to those mandate which he supported it fully,” Dr. Lomuro told the press.
He spoke to the media following a meeting between the First Vice President and a UN high-level delegation that came from the headquarters in New York to review the mandate of UNMISS. The team came to seek the views and opinions available on the new mandate of the mission.
When South Sudan became independent in 2011, the United Nations established its peacekeeping mission in the country, and the first mandate encompassed elements related to building the capacity of the government officials in the nation.
However, when the conflict erupted in December 2013, The UN Security Council issued a new Resolution 21/55/ 2014,reviewing UNMISS mandate to include protection of civilians who could face threats as a results of the violence.
Following the renewed violence in July 2016, the Security Council authorised the deployment of Regional Protection Force (RPF) in order to protect civilians. These were new elements added to UNMISS mandate since the RPF would be part of UNMISS forces.
According to Dr. Lomuro,the government with the experience of the three different mandates,observed that peace was now returning to the country and advised that UNMISS mandate that involves operations under chapter 7 be reversed back to chapter six, which emboldensdevelopment.
“We believe that peace without development cannot be sustainable and so we have made representation to United Nations’ team and called for discussionswith the First Vice President to have every important discussion on the matter,”Dr. Lomuru added.
On his part, the head of UN delegation that came from New York, Kennedy Kevin, said that the Secretary-General had directed all the United Nations peacekeeper to review their mandates, adding that would start with UNMISS.
“Our mission is to find out the gaps in the implementation of UNMISS mandate in the country,” Mr. Kevin stated as he addressed the press in Juba following the meeting with the First Vice President, Mr. Taban Deng Gai.