Published on : Thursday, December 26, 2013
Responding to the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, the Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution which, among others, called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and overall increased force levels of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
In resolution 2132 (2013) the 15-member body decided that the Mission would augment its military component up to 12,500 troops of all ranks, as well as a police component up to 1,323, including appropriate Formed Police Units.
Authorizing the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps to facilitate inter-mission cooperation, the Council also approved the appropriate transfer of troops, force enablers and multipliers from other missions, in particular the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID), United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
Speaking after the vote, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the urgency and collective resolve of the Council, stating he was “determined” to ensure that UNMISS had the means to carry out its central task of protecting civilians.
He expressed deep concern about the reports of ethnically targeted violence, including extrajudicial killings and mass graves. The displacement of civilians was spreading, with 45,000 people seeking protection at the bases of the South Sudan Mission.
“There is no military solution to this conflict,” he underlined, adding that it was a political crisis and required a peaceful, political solution. The United Nations was working closely with parties on the ground to establish a basis for negotiations.
The Secretary-General also thanked the troop- and police-contributing countries and commended the peacekeepers. Emphasizing that those responsible for attacks on peacekeepers and civilians would be held personally accountable, he stated: “They should know the world is watching.”
However, even with ongoing support, he cautioned, the strengthening of the Mission’s protection capabilities would not happen overnight and even with additional capabilities, every civilian in need would not be protected. The parties were responsible for ending to end the conflict.
Having called upon President Salva Kiir and opposition political leaders to come to the table and find a political way out, the Secretary-General concluded: “Now is the time for South Sudan’s leaders to show their people and the world that they are committed to preserving the unity of the nation that was born out of their long struggle for independence.”
Francis Mading Deng ( South Sudan) said that his country’s people “do not want to fall back into the abyss of war from which they have suffered for over half a century”. South Sudan was experiencing a period of complex internal conflict and the Government, under very difficult circumstances, was doing as much as it could to restore calm and stability to the affected areas in the country.
He expressed “deep appreciation” for the proactive response of the Secretary-General and the Council, exemplified by the decision to reinforce the Mission, saying that “it had been heartening” to witness the protection provided by the Mission in its compounds to tens of thousands of civilians.
source: United Nations