Having determining that the situation faced by South Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region and acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the Security Council by its resolution 1996 (2011) of 8 July 2011 established the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) for an initial period of one year as from 9 July 2011 with the intention to renew for further periods as may be required.
According to the original mandate UNMISS was to support the Government in peace consolidation and thereby fostering longer-term state building and economic development; assist the Government in exercising its responsibilities for conflict prevention, mitigation, and resolution and protect civilians; and help the authorities in developing capacity to provide security, establishing the rule of law, and strengthening the security and justice sectors in the country. The initial authorized strength of the Mission stood at up to 7,000 military personnel, including military liaison officers and staff officers, up to 900 civilian police personnel, including as appropriate formed units, and an appropriate civilian component, including technical human rights investigation expertise.
Following the political and security crisis, which broke out with violence in South Sudan’s capital Juba on 15 December 2013, the Security Council, by its resolution 2132 (2013) of 24 December, approved Secretary-General’s recommendation to temporarily increase the overall troop and police strength of UNMISS. The interim troop level was raised to 12,500 personnel and the police component to 1,323 personnel, including appropriate formed police units, through temporary transfers from existing peacekeeping operations through inter-mission cooperation.
In March 2014, the Secretary-General further recommended that the Security Council should keep these increased troops and police levels for at least another 12 months, and temporarily shift Mission’s focus from mainly peacebuilding activities to: protecting civilians; facilitating humanitarian assistance; monitoring and reporting on human rights; preventing further inter-communal violence; and supporting the IGAD process as and when requested, and within available capabilities. The protection priority would be for displaced people sheltering in United Nations compounds and other locations, and would expand once conditions were created for their safe return home, he said, adding that the new posture of UNMISS would be in place until the two sides to the conflict finalized a political agreement.
By unanimously adopting resolution 2155 (2014) of 27 May 2014, the Security Council decided that Decides that UNMISS would consist of a military component of up to 12,500 troops of all ranks and of a police component, including appropriate Formed Police Units, of up to 1,323 personnel; and authorized UNMISS to use all necessary means to perform the following tasks:
(a) Protection of civilians
i. To protect civilians under threat of physical violence, irrespective of the source of such violence, within its capacity and areas of deployment, with specific protection for women and children, including through the continued use of the Mission’s child protection and women’s protection advisers;
ii. To deter violence against civilians, including foreign nationals, especially through proactive deployment, active patrolling with particular attention to displaced civilians, including those in protection sites and refugee camps, humanitarian personnel and human rights defenders, and identification of threats and attacks against the civilian population, including through regular interaction with the civilian population and closely with humanitarian, human rights and development organizations, in areas at high risk of conflict including, as appropriate, schools, places of worship, hospitals and the oil installations, in particular when the Government of the Republic of South Sudan is unable or failing to provide such security;
iii. To implement a Mission-wide early warning strategy, including a coordinated approach to information gathering, monitoring, verification, early warning and dissemination, and response mechanisms, including response mechanisms to prepare for further potential attacks on United Nations personnel and facilities;
iv. To maintain public safety and security within and of UNMISS protection of civilians sites;
v. To exercise good offices, confidence-building and facilitation in support of the Mission’s protection strategy, especially in regard to women and children, including to facilitate inter-communal reconciliation in areas of high risk of conflict as an essential part of long-term State-building activity;
vi. To foster a secure environment for the eventual safe and voluntary return of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, including, where compatible and in strict compliance with the United Nations Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (HRDPP), through monitoring of ensuring the maintenance of international human rights standards by, and specific operational coordination with the police services in relevant and protection-focused tasks, in order to strengthen protection of civilians;
(b) Monitoring and investigating human rights
i. To monitor, investigate, verify and report publicly and regularly on abuses and violations of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, including those that may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity;
ii. To monitor, investigate, verify and report specifically and publicly on violations and abuses committed against children and women, including all forms of sexual and gender-based violence in armed conflict by accelerating the implementation of monitoring, analysis and reporting arrangements on conflict-related sexual violence and by strengthening the monitoring and reporting mechanism for grave violations against children;
iii. To coordinate with, and offer technical support to, where appropriate, the African Union’s Commission of Inquiry for South Sudan;
(c) Creating the conditions for delivery of humanitarian assistance
i. To contribute to the creation of the conditions for the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including by helping to establish the necessary security conditions and by exercising its good offices, confidence-building and facilitation, so as to allow, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law and United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian assistance, the full, safe and unhindered access of relief personnel to all those in need in South Sudan and timely delivery of humanitarian assistance, in particular to internally displaced persons and refugees;
ii. To ensure the security and freedom of movement of United Nations and associated personnel where appropriate, and to ensure the security of installations and equipment necessary for implementation of mandated tasks,
(d) Supporting the Implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement
i. To ensure proper coordination with the Joint Technical Committee (JTC), the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM), and Monitoring and Verification Teams (MVTs), as appropriate;
ii. To provide mobile and dedicated fixed site security to IGAD’s MVM, as established in line with the decisions of the 31 January and 13 March meetings of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government; and iii. To provide support to the work of the MVM as described within the Cessation of Hostilities (CoH) Agreement.
Full text of Security Council resolution 2155 (2014).