Adopting Resolution 2304 (2016), Security Council Extends Mission in South Sudan, Authorizes Expanded Peacekeeping Force to Bolster Civilian Protection Efforts

SC/12475
12 August 2016
7754th Meeting (PM)

Adopting Resolution 2304 (2016), Security Council Extends Mission in South Sudan, Authorizes Expanded Peacekeeping Force to Bolster Civilian Protection Efforts

The Security Council today renewed the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until 30 June 2017, authorizing the expansion of peacekeeping forces and stressing the priority of civilian protection in its mandate.

Adopting resolution 2304 (2016) by 11 votes in favour to none against, with 4 abstentions (China, Egypt, Russian Federatioin, Venezuela), the 15-member Council demanded that all parties immediately put an end to fighting and that the leaders implement the permanent ceasefire declared in the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.

Condemning in the strongest terms the recent fighting in Juba, the Council further demanded that the Transitional Government of National Unity comply with its international obligations and immediately cease obstructing UNMISS and other humanitarian actors in performing their mandates.  It requested that the Secretary-General identify options to enhance the safety and security of Mission personnel.

The Council decided that UNMISS should include a regional protection force, established for an initial period until 15 December 2016, to be based in Juba, tasked with the responsibility of providing a secure environment.  In order to advance cooperation with the Transitional Government and to create an enabling environment for the Agreement’s implementation, the Council authorized the force to use all necessary means to accomplish its mandate.

By the text, the Council decided to increase the force levels of UNMISS up to a ceiling of 17,000 troops, including 4,000 for the Regional Protection Force, and requested that the Secretary-General take necessary steps to expedite force and asset generation.  The Council recognized that full and unrestricted freedom of movement was essential for the force to carry out its tasks and demanded that the Government provide support as needed.

The Council also requested that the Secretary-General provide detailed information within 30 days on force generation, restructuring the UNMISS force, logistical support and civilian personnel and whether the Transitional Government had maintained its consent to the force’s deployment.

The Council decided that in case of political or operational impediments to operationalizing the force or obstructions to UNMISS in performing its mandate, within five days, the body should consider appropriate measures.  They included measures described in Annex A of the draft resolution, particularly an arms embargo.

Following the resolution’s adoption, Council members voiced concerns, among them the persistently fragile situation in South Sudan and the ongoing humanitarian, political and security crises.  The representative of the United States said that more than one month had passed since violent clashes had begun in early July and UNMISS must carry out its mandate.  “More time means more suffering,” he said, noting that further delays would not help those waiting for humanitarian aid while facing extraordinary challenges on a daily basis.  The regional protection force would use all necessary means to protect civilians until South Sudan’s leaders took necessary steps, he stressed.

“The Council has done its job,” said Senegal’s representative, echoing that sentiment.  The protection of civilians had been central to a number of Council resolutions on South Sudan, he stressed, adding that the incorporation of a regional protection force was a sign of the collective commitment and sustained attention to the situation.

Several delegates pointed out that the basic principles of peacekeeping, including obtaining consent of the State, must be observed.  Egypt’s delegate drew attention to the Council’s increasing tendency to overstep the established principles governing United Nations peacekeeping operations.  The resolution had disregarded the views of the Transitional Government of National Unity, he said, emphasizing that Government consent was a practical, logistical and legal necessity.  Swift action in South Sudan required the utmost care to avoid approaches that could return the country and region to a cycle of violence.

In a similar vein, the representative of Venezuela emphasized the need for more diplomacy and dialogue and less threats and sanctions.  The deployment of the force would worsen the situation on the ground, he said, calling upon Council members to respect the principle of sovereignty.

The representative of South Sudan concurred.  “The adoption of this resolution goes against the basic principle of United Nations peacekeeping operations, which is the consent of the main parties to the conflict,” he said, noting that the text had contradicted the principles of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States, principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.  Recalling that his delegation had provided an official response on the mandate adopted today, he said that the text did not take into account or even consider the views of his Government.

Also speaking today were representatives of the United Kingdom, Russian Federation, China, Spain, Japan, Ukraine, New Zealand, Angola, Uruguay, France, and Malaysia.

The meeting began at 3:06 p.m. and ended at 4:15 p.m.

Resolution

The full text of resolution 2304 (2016) reads as follows:

The Security Council,

Recalling its previous resolutions 1996 (2011), 2046 (2012), 2057 (2012), 2109 (2013), 2132 (2013), 2155 (2014), 2187 (2014), 2206 (2015), 2223 (2015), 2241 (2015), 2252 (2015), and 2302 (2016) and statements by its President S/PRST/2014/16, S/PRST/2014/26, S/PRST/2015/9, S/PRST/2016/1, and S/PRST/2016/3,

Reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and national unity of the Republic of South Sudan, and recalling the importance of the principles of non-interference, good-neighbourliness, and regional cooperation,

Reiterating its grave alarm and concern regarding the political, security, economic, and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, resulting from the internal Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) political dispute, and subsequent violence caused by the country’s political and military leaders since December 2013, and emphasizing there can be no military solution to the situation in South Sudan and noting the “Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan” as the framework for durable peace, reconciliation and national cohesion in South Sudan,

Condemning in the strongest terms the fighting in Juba, South Sudan 8-11 July 2016, including attacks against civilians, United Nations personnel, premises and property, and requesting the Secretary-General expedite investigation into these attacks, expressing deep concern at the tense and fragile security situation in the rest of the country, including armed clashes and violence involving the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and SPLA-In Opposition (SPLA-IO), and armed groups, reminding all parties of the civilian character of protection of civilians sites in South Sudan, and recalling resolution 2206 (2015), which states in part that those who engage in attacks against United Nations missions, international security presences, or other peacekeeping operations, or humanitarian personnel may be subject to sanctions,

Further condemning the clashes that took place at the United Nations Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, South Sudan on 17-18 February, and requesting the United Nations Secretariat to ensure that the lessons learned from that incident are applied in the future operation of the mission,

Commending the work of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), and noting with concern that the extensive resources needed to protect civilians at the United Nations Protection of Civilians sites has limited UNMISS’s presence outside the United Nations Protection of Civilians sites,

Condemning the continued obstruction of UNMISS by the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan, including severe restrictions on freedom of movement and constraints on mission operations which may be in violation of its obligations under the Status of Forces Agreement,

Strongly condemning all human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including those involving extrajudicial killings, ethnically targeted violence, rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence, recruitment and use of children, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests and detention, violence aimed at spreading terror among the civilian population, targeting of members of civil society, and attacks on schools, places of worship, hospitals, and United Nations and associated personnel, by all parties, including armed groups and national security forces, as well as the incitement to commit such abuses and violations, further condemning harassment and targeting of civil society, humanitarian personnel and journalists, and emphasizing that those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights must be held accountable, and that South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unity bears the primary responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity,

Taking note of the decisions adopted by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Plus Heads of State and Government in their 16 July 2016 Communique for deployment of a “regional protection force,” the African Union Assembly 18 July 2016 communique endorsing the IGAD Plus Heads of State and Government 16 July 2016 communique, and the 5 August 2016 Communique of the Second IGAD Plus Extra-Ordinary Summit on the Situation in South Sudan which notes the Transitional Government of National Unity’s consent to deployment of such a force in principle and welcoming the readiness expressed by member states in the region to increase their contribution of troops to UNMISS for this purpose,

Encouraging countries in the region, the African Union Peace and Security Council, and IGAD to continue firmly engaging with South Sudanese leaders to address the current political crisis,

Determining that the situation in South Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

“1.   Demands that all parties immediately end the fighting throughout South Sudan, and further demands that South Sudan’s leaders implement the permanent ceasefire declared in the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (Agreement) and ceasefires for which they respectively called on 11 July 2016, and ensure that subsequent decrees and orders directing their commanders control their forces and protect civilians and their property are fully implemented;

“2.   Demands that the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan comply with the obligations set out in the Status of Forces Agreement between the Government of South Sudan and the United Nations, and immediately cease obstructing UNMISS in the performance of its mandate, and further demands the Transitional Government of National Unity immediately cease obstructing international and national humanitarian actors from assisting civilians, and facilitate freedom of movement for the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism and calls on the Transitional Government of National Unity to take action, to deter, and to hold those responsible to account for, any hostile or other actions that impede UNMISS or international and national humanitarian actors;

“3.   Urges the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Monitoring Mechanism (CTSAMM), UNMISS, and the parties to the Agreement to convene a Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements workshop in Juba to determine by 31 August 2016 the maximum number, type and armaments of security forces to remain in Juba and to assist in executing and verifying the redeployment of those forces and armaments to agreed locations by 15 September 2016 and further urges the IGAD, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission, UNMISS and the parties to the Agreement to review the status of the Joint Military Ceasefire Commission, the CTSAMM, the Joint Operations Center, the Joint Integrated Police, the Strategic Defense and Security Review, the National Architecture, cantonment, and the unification of forces and to develop revised proposals to ensure their efficacy by 30 September 2016;

“4.   Decides to extend the UNMISS mandate, as set out in resolution 2252 (2015), until 15 December 2016, and authorizes UNMISS to use all necessary means to carry out its tasks;

“5.   Emphasizes that protection of civilians must be given priority in decisions about the use of available capacity and resources within the mission, stresses that UNMISS’s mandate as set out in paragraph 8 of resolution 2252 (2015) includes authority to use all necessary means to protect United Nations personnel, installations and equipment to deter violence especially through proactive deployment and active patrolling, to protect civilians from threats, regardless of source, to create conditions conducive to delivery of humanitarian assistance by international and national actors, and support implementation the Agreement, and stresses that such actions include, but are not limited to, within UNMISS’s capacity and areas of deployment, defending protection of civilians sites, establishing areas around the sites that are not used for hostile purposes by any forces, addressing threats to the sites, searching individuals attempting to enter the sites, and seizing weapons from those inside or attempting to enter the sites, removing from and denying entry of armed actors to the protection of civilians sites;

“6.   Requests the Secretary-General to take all appropriate steps and, in consultation with troop and police contributing countries, to identify options, including seeking the support of Member States, to enhance the safety and security of UNMISS’s personnel to enable UNMISS to execute effectively its mandate in a complex security environment, including through improving UNMISS’s early warning, surveillance, and information gathering capacities, enhancing quick response and crisis management capacity, including providing appropriate training and equipment, implementing more effective casualty and medical evacuation procedures, and taking active and effective steps to improve the planning and functioning of UNMISS’s safety and security facilities and arrangements;

“7.   Recalls its resolution 2086 (2013) and reaffirms the basic principles of peacekeeping, as set forth in Presidential Statement S/PRST/2015/22, including consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force, except in self-defence and defence of the mandate, and recognizes that the mandate of each peacekeeping mission is specific to the need and situation of the country concerned;

“8.   Decides further that UNMISS shall include, consistent with paragraph 7 above, a Regional Protection Force established for an initial period until 15 December 2016, which will report to the overall UNMISS Force Commander, to be based in Juba, with the responsibility of providing a secure environment in and around Juba, including in support of the outcomes of the Permanent Ceasefire and Transitional Security Arrangements Workshop, and in extremis in other parts of South Sudan as necessary, and stresses that the Regional Protection Force will carry out its mandate, as set forth in paragraph 10, impartially and in strict compliance with international law, including, as applicable, international humanitarian law;

“9.   Stresses the critical importance that the Regional Protection Force has a clear, conditions-based exit strategy and express its intent to consider the presence of the Regional Protection Force in light of the changing situation on the ground;

“10.  To advance in cooperation with the Transitional Government of National Unity the safety and security of the people of South Sudan and to create an enabling environment for implementation of the Agreement, authorizes the Regional Protection Force to use all necessary means, including undertaking robust action where necessary and actively patrolling, to accomplish the Regional Protection Force’s mandate, to:

(a)   Facilitate the conditions for safe and free movement into, out of, and around Juba, including through protecting the means of ingress and egress from the city and major lines of communication and transport within Juba;

(b)   Protect the airport to ensure the airport remains operational, and protect key facilities in Juba essential to the well-being of the people of Juba, as identified by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General;

(c)   Promptly and effectively engage any actor that is credibly found to be preparing attacks, or engages in attacks, against United Nations protection of civilians sites, other United Nations premises, United Nations personnel, international and national humanitarian actors, or civilians;

“11.  Requests the Regional Protection Force to carry out these tasks as determined by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, recognizes that full and unrestricted freedom of movement is essential for the Regional Protection Force to carry out these tasks and demands the government provide support as needed for the Regional Protection Force to fulfill its mission and calls upon IGAD countries to continue to insist that the South Sudanese fulfil their commitments in this regard;

“12.  Notes consultations between the Transitional Government of National Unity and the states of the region referenced in the 5 August 2016 Communique of the Second IGAD Plus Extra-Ordinary Summit on the Situation in South Sudan, expresses its intention to review the results of these consultations and to consider potential action, including any appropriate updates to the mandate of the Regional Protection Force, arising from the results of those consultations;

“13.  Urges member states in the region to expedite contributions of rapidly deployable troops to ensure the full deployment of the Regional Protection Force as soon as possible;

“14.  Decides to increase the force levels of UNMISS up to a ceiling of 17,000 troops, including 4,000 for the Regional Protection Force, and requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps to expedite force and asset generation;

“15.  Requests the Secretary-General to strengthen UNMISS’s strategic communications capacity to undertake messaging on the ongoing impartial nature of UNMISS activities, including those of its Regional Protection Force;

Reports

“16.  Requests that the Secretary-General provide detailed information within 30 days on force generation, restructuring of the UNMISS force, logistical support and enablers, and civilian personnel to implement the mandate, as well as whether the Transitional Government of National Unity has maintained its consent in principle to deployment of the Regional Protection Force and not imposed any political or operational impediments to operationalizing the Regional Protection Force or obstructed UNMISS in the performance of its mandate, and requests the Secretary-General to review needs on the ground, and provide an updated assessment of the Regional Protection Force’s operations, deployment, and future requirements, as well as any political or operational impediments to operationalizing the Regional Protection Force and obstructions to UNMISS in performance of its mandate, within 30 days after the adoption of this resolution, and every 30 days thereafter;

“17.  Decides that if in any of the reports pursuant to paragraph 16 above the Secretary General reports political or operational impediments to operationalizing the Regional Protection Force or obstructions to UNMISS in performance of its mandate, due to the actions of the Transitional Government of National Unity, within five days of receipt of such report it shall consider appropriate measures including those measures described in the draft resolution in Annex ;

“18.  Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Council on implementation of the UNMISS mandate including UNMISS’ Regional Protection Force, and to present the recommendations on the steps to adapt UNMISS to the situation on the ground and to increase efficiency of the implementation of its mandate in a comprehensive written report covering issues including strengthening safety and security of United Nations personnel and facilities to be submitted within 90 days of the date of adoption of this resolution, and further expresses its intention to consider the Secretary-General’s recommendations within the context of the next UNMISS mandate extension;

“19.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

Annex — Draft Resolution

Determining that the situation in South Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region,

Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,

Arms Embargo

“1.   Decides that, for a period of one year from the date of adoption of this resolution, all Member States shall immediately take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the territory of South Sudan, including to the Government of South Sudan or the SPLA-IO, from or through member state’s territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related materiel of all types, including weapons and ammunition, military vehicles and equipment, paramilitary equipment, and spare parts for the aforementioned, and technical assistance, training, financial or other assistance, related to military activities or the provision, maintenance or use of any arms and related materiel, including the provision of armed mercenary personnel whether or not originating in their territories;

“2.   Decides that the measure imposed in paragraph 1 of this resolution shall not apply to the supply, sale or transfer of:

a)    Arms and related materiel, as well as training and assistance, intended solely for support of or use by UN personnel, including UNMISS and the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA);

b)    Non-lethal military equipment intended solely for humanitarian or protective use, and related technical assistance or training, as notified in advance to the Committee;

c)    Protective clothing, including flak jackets and military helmets, temporarily exported to South Sudan by United Nations personnel, representatives of the media and humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel, for their personal use only;

d)    Arms and related materiel temporarily exported to South Sudan by the forces of a State which is taking action, in accordance with international law, solely and directly to facilitate the protection or evacuation of its nationals and those for whom it has consular responsibility in South Sudan, as notified to the Committee;

e)    Arms and related materiel, as well as technical training and assistance, to or in support of the African Union Regional Task Force intended solely for regional counter-LRA operations, as notified in advance to the Committee;

f)    Arms and related materiel, as well as technical training and assistance, solely in support of the implementation of the terms of the peace agreement, as approved in advance by the Committee;

g)    Other sales or supply of arms and related materiel, or provision of assistance or personnel, as approved in advance by the Committee;

“3.   Stresses the importance that notifications or requests for exemptions pursuant to paragraph 2 above contain all relevant information, including the purpose of the use, the end user, the technical specifications and quantity of the equipment to be shipped and, when applicable, the supplier, the proposed date of delivery, mode of transportation and itinerary of shipments;

Inspections

“4.   Underscores that arms shipments in violation of this resolution risk fueling conflict and contributing to further instability, and strongly urges all Member States to take urgent action to identify and prevent such shipments within their territory;

“5.   Calls upon all Member States, in particular States neighbouring South Sudan, to inspect, in accordance with their national authorities and legislation and consistent with international law, in particular the law of the sea and relevant international civil aviation agreements, all cargo to South Sudan, in their territory, including seaports and airports, if the State concerned has information that provides reasonable grounds to believe the cargo contains items the supply, sale, or transfer of which is prohibited by paragraph 1 of this resolution for the purpose of ensuring strict implementation of these provisions;

“6.   Decides to authorize all Member States to, and that all Member States shall, upon discovery of items the supply, sale, or transfer of which is prohibited by paragraph 1 of this resolution, seize and dispose (such as through destruction, rendering inoperable, storage or transferring to a State other than the originating or destination States for disposal) of such items and decides further that all Member States shall cooperate in such efforts;

“7.   Requires any Member State when it undertakes an inspection pursuant to paragraph 5 of this resolution, to submit promptly an initial written report to the Committee containing, in particular, explanation of the grounds for the inspections, the results of such inspections, and whether or not cooperation was provided, and, if prohibited items for supply, sale, or transfer are found, further requires such Member States to submit to the Committee within 30 days a subsequent written report containing relevant details of the inspection, seizure, and disposal, and relevant details of the transfer, including a description of the items, their origin and intended destination, if this information is not in the initial report;

Panel of Experts and Sanctions Committee

“8.   Decides that the tasks of the Committee established pursuant to resolution 2206 (2015) shall also include examining and taking appropriate action on information regarding alleged violations or non-compliance with the measures imposed by paragraph 1 of this resolution;

“9.   Decides further that the tasks of the Panel of Experts established pursuant to resolution 2206 shall also include gathering, examining and analyzing information regarding the implementation of the measure in paragraph 1 of this resolution, and reporting to the Committee;

“10.  Decides to remain seized of the matter.”

Statements

DAVID PRESSMAN (United States) highlighted the urgency for action.  Despite some Member States’ concerns raised in previous deliberations, more than one month had passed since violent outbreaks in early July and the Mission must carry out its mandate.  Further delays would not help those waiting for humanitarian aid while facing extraordinary challenges on a daily basis.  The Council could not wait any longer to provide necessary tools to UNMISS, he said, adding that the regional protection force would use all necessary means to protect civilians until South Sudan’s leaders took necessary steps.  “More time means more suffering,” he said.

PETER WILSON (United Kingdom) said adopting the resolution was a vital decision that created a protection force under the Mission.  The Government had the primary responsibility to protect its own people.  That, however, did not mean obstructing the Mission in fulfilling its mandate and humanitarian actors from assisting civilians.  Commending the efforts of regional organizations to fulfil commitments, he called upon the international community to step up efforts to stop the violence.

PETR V. ILIICHEV (Russian Federation) said his delegation had abstained from the vote as agreement had not been reached on such key issues as the consent of the South Sudanese authorities.  Stressing that consent was a cornerstone of the principles of peacekeeping and was also critical for practical reasons, he said paragraph 10 of the resolution should be implemented in close cooperation with Juba and called on both the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the United Nations to work constructively with the Government.

LIU JIEYI (China), emphasizing that African people should resolve African issues in an African way, expressed support for the lead role that IGAD was playing in South Sudan.  As the situation was still very severe and complicated, the international community must make efforts to bring the parties back to the trajectory of implementing the peace agreement.  The regional protection force established by the resolution must conduct full consultations with the transitional Government and obtain its agreement.  His country had abstained from the vote because the principles of peacekeeping had not been reflected in the text.  Noting that the African Union’s Peace and Security Council would hold a conference on 18 August to discuss the deployment of the regional protection force, he expressed hope that all parties at the meeting would reach a consensus on key issues.

FODÉ SECK (Senegal), welcoming the resolution’s adoption, said the Council was responding to the pressing pleas of the IGAD Plus Summit.  “The Council has done its job,” he said, stressing that the protection of civilians had been central to a number of Council resolutions on South Sudan.  The incorporation of a regional protection force was a sign of the collective commitment and sustained attention to the situation in South Sudan, he said, adding that today’s resolution would make it possible for UNMISS to protect civilians and to work closely with regional actors.

Mr. TORO (Venezuela) said he had not voted in favour of the text as it had been drafted without consulting with the Transitional Government.  In that regard, the deployment of the regional protection force would worsen the situation on the ground.  Calling upon the Council members to respect the principle of sovereignty, he stressed the need for more diplomacy and dialogue and less threats and sanctions.

JUAN MANUEL GONZÁLEZ DE LINARES PALOU (Spain) said the text was not perfect and that the situation on the ground required an arms embargo.  Any delay in implementing the resolution would worsen the security situation in South Sudan.  Drawing attention to the help requested by regional actors, he said “inaction is not an option”.  It was the Governments’ responsibility to protect their populations and South Sudan must not miss the opportunity to do so.

KORO BESSHO (Japan) said his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution because it believed that action was urgently needed.  Japan, as a troop-contributing country, believed that the regional protection force would contribute to South Sudan’s stability.  Noting that the basic principles of peacekeeping, including consent, must be observed, he stressed that the close cooperation between the transitional Government, the countries of the region and the United Nations should continue.  Hostile acts, threats and harassment against peacekeepers — including the obstruction of their freedom of movement — were unacceptable, he said, adding that the implementation of the August 2015 agreement was vital to achieve lasting peace and sustainable development in South Sudan.  For that reason, he urged the parties to fully abide by the ceasefire and to work seriously on the implementation of the agreement.  Underscoring the Council’s commitment to the people of South Sudan, he stressed that “we must help South Sudan achieve its promise by standing by the country when it needs us most”. 

VOLODYMYR YELCHENKO (Ukraine) said his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution as the Council could no longer watch idly as the situation worsened in South Sudan.  The content of the resolution, as called for by the region and accepted in principle by the Government, should help to stabilize the situation on the ground.  However, sustainable peace could not be achieved unless the South Sudanese leaders fulfilled their commitment under the agreement, including holding accountable those who committed crimes such as rape.  Rejecting all attacks on UNMISS personnel, he called on the Government to lift all restrictions on the Mission’s operations in order to allow it to effectively carry out its mandate.

GERARD VAN BOHEMEN (New Zealand) expressed regret that the Council was unable to reach a unanimous decision.  Highlighting the deteriorating security situation, he said that the Council must act urgently and decisively.  Regarding the deployment of a regional protection force, he acknowledged the need to consult with the State.  However, he emphasized that the Council must take necessary action when it came to ensuring international peace and security alongside the protection of the people of South Sudan.

JULIO HELDER MOURA LUCAS (Angola) said he had voted in favour of the resolution in order to bring peace to South Sudan with the international community’s support.  Stressing the need to achieve durable peace and ensure the delivery of humanitarian assistance, he commended the work carried out by the United Nations and regional organizations.  The deployment of the Regional Force would indeed contribute to the peace process.  While the basic principles of peacekeeping called for consent of concerned parties, he emphasized that the lack of support provided by the Government of South Sudan might have a negative impact on the successful implementation of the Mission’s mandate.

ELBIO ROSSELLI (Uruguay) said his delegation had voted in favour of the resolution, well aware of the grave situation unfolding in South Sudan.  In adopting the text, the Council had taken into account the views of IGAD and the African Union, as well as the need to adapt the Mission’s mandate to the situation on the ground.  UNMISS should work with the Government to ensure the resolution’s quick and full implementation, he said, recalling that the primary responsibility for the protection of civilians lay with the State.  The Government of South Sudan must cease its obstructionist activities and allow UNMISS to fulfil its mandate.

Mr. AWAD (Egypt) said his delegation had abstained due to its reservations over what it saw as the Council’s increasing tendency to overstep the established principles governing United Nations peacekeeping operations.  Recalling the adoption several weeks ago of resolution 2303 (2016), which had authorized the deployment of a police unit in Burundi without that Government’s consent, he stressed that Government consent was a practical and logistical necessity as well as a legal one.  In the context of South Sudan, the Council had adopted a resolution that disregarded the views of the Transitional Government of National Unity as well as the IGAD statement emphasizing coordination with the Government.  The text had considered the South Sudanese Government’s agreement “in principle” but without holding direct consultations, and, in what amounted to extortion, it threatened further measures in case of the Government’s non-compliance.  Expressing support for UMISS and its work, as well as for the efforts of IGAD to bring peace to South Sudan, he said Egypt had attempted to reach a compromise on the text.  Regrettably, such last-ditch efforts at achieving unity had not borne fruit.  Swift action in South Sudan was important and it required the utmost care to avoid approaches that could undermine the political process or return the country and the region into a cycle of violence.

ALEXIS LAMEK (France) pointed out the scale of human rights violations in South Sudan, noting that the resolution had taken into account the concerns of the Council Members and was an example of collaboration with the regional organizations.  The deployment of regional forces could create right conditions to bring peace back to South Sudan.  Expressing France’s commitment to provide necessary support, he said that the situation on the ground required better responses to ensure successful outcomes.

RAMLAN BIN IBRAHIM (Malaysia) said the adoption demonstrated the Council’s willingness to solve multifaceted challenges.  The peace process had not been sustained, he said, calling on South Sudan’s leaders to urgently prioritize the security of its people, regardless of their ethnicity.  UNMISS was working in close cooperation with the National Unity Government and it must be better equipped to perform its mandate.  Underscoring the need to resume a dialogue between the concerned parties, he commended mediation efforts by the regional organizations.

AKUEI BONA MALWAL (South Sudan), recalling that his delegation had provided an official response on the mandate adopted today, expressed his rejection of the text as it did not take into account or even consider the views of his Government.  South Sudan had, in good faith, accepted in principle the deployment of the protection force as stated at the second IGAD Plus summit on 5 August.  His Government did not object to the entire draft of today’s resolution, but only to the new elements of the protection force and the pre-empting of the meeting between the Government and the Regional Chief of Defence Staff.  The 5 August IGAD communiqué had clearly outlined that the modalities of that force, including its composition, mandate, armament, deployment, timing and funding, would be agreed upon by the Transitional Government of National Unity and the troop-contributing countries.  It was also unfortunate that the resolution contained an annex on an arms embargo, given that the resolution was a peacekeeping text.  “The adoption of this resolution goes against the basic principle of United Nations peacekeeping operations, which is the consent of the main parties to the conflict,” he said, adding that it also went against the principles of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of States enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

For information media. Not an official record.