The Security Council today renewed the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) until 12 August, determining that the situation in that country constituted a threat to international peace and security.
Unanimously adopting resolution 2302 (2016), the Council authorized UNMISS to use all necessary means to carry out its tasks.
Speaking before the adoption, Samantha Power (United States) said that, only a few days ago, hundreds of people had been killed and thousands of others had been displaced in South Sudan. To respond to the deteriorating security situation, UNMISS must have a capacity while in consultation with regional forces and troop-contributing countries. “Time is not on our side,” she said, stressing that tensions could escalate into violence. Drawing attention to the “very disturbing” reports emerging from the country, she said that the international community must be alert.
Speaking in explanation of position after the vote, Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta (Egypt) said his delegation had joined in the consensus given the crucial role that UNMISS played in the protection of civilians, sometimes putting their own lives at risk. The rapid response to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) request had demonstrated the commitment of African countries to put an end to the violence in South Sudan, he said, noting that the diverse nature of positions needed to be borne in mind as proposals on the matter were considered. Recalling that 12 days remained before there was a need for the Council to find consensus on extending the Mission’s mandate, he underscored that South Sudan’s people were suffering and that the Council must work to prevent the spiral of violence. Peace in South Sudan could only prevail if efforts were rallied between the Council and the African Union, he said, adding that trust needed to be rebuilt between factions and the root causes of the conflict must be examined. He also expressed hope that next week’s Intergovernmental Authority summit would lead to a solution as soon possible.
Liu Jieyi (China) endorsed the mandate extension and expressed hope that the conflict parties would honour their ceasefire commitments. Supporting the role of IGAD as the main channel of negotiations, he said the challenge was now to find a solution that reflected the situation on the ground and respected the sovereignty of States, as well as the principles of peacekeeping. Noting that two Chinese peacekeepers had recently lost their lives in South Sudan, he expressed support for the positive role of UNMISS and stressed that the Council should strengthen consultations with, and heed the opinions of, the concerned countries.
Also speaking, Elbio Rosselli (Uruguay) said that a few hours ago, a new version of the text had been circulated, with a different expiration date. It could be a significant change, he said, urging the Council members to not repeat that action.
The meeting began at 5:06 p.m. and ended at 5:20 p.m.
The full text of resolution 2302 (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 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,
“Determining that the situation in South Sudan continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,
“Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations,
“1. Decides to extend the mandate of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS), as set out in resolution 2252 (2015), until
12 August 2016, and authorizes UNMISS to use all necessary means to carry out its tasks;
“2. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter.”