UN South Sudan to focus on protecting civilians, human rights

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Security Council chamber. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine

Peacekeepers in South Sudan have been authorized to use "all necessary means" to protect civilians and to monitor and investigate human rights.

That's according to a resolution adopted by all 15 members of the UN Security Council on Tuesday.

The resolution revises and extends the existing UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate to address the security, political and humanitarian crisis the country has faced in the past 6 months.

The mandate is a significant departure from the previous one which focused on several State-building tasks.

South Sudan's Ambassador to the UN, Francis Deng, says more emphasis should have been place on state-building.

"Failure to help build a functioning State could lead to serious problems with the United Nations and the international community might be later called upon to address. Capacity building should therefore be seen as a form of preventive strategy. We therefore hope that it will be given serious consideration and included in the next extension of the UNMISS mandate."

UNMISS has been protecting up to 80,000 civilians who have sought refuge at its bases around the country, ever since violence began in late December 2013.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’28”

 

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