South-Sudan: UN extends mandate of peacekeeping mission in South Sudan

The United Nations Security Council renewed the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan until 15 March 2018, determining that the situation in South Sudan constituted a threat to international peace and security.

The decision was taken unanimously by the fifteen members of the Security Council, and it comes while the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD is expected to organise the revitalization forum of the 2015 peace agreement in South Sudan on 18 December.

The 15‑member organ authorized the Mission to use all necessary means to carry out its tasks as set out in resolution 2327 (2016), which had extended its mandate through 15 December 2017.

After the adoption on Wednesday, Yasuhisa Kawamura, Council President for December, read out a statement in support of a High-Level Revitalization Forum sponsored by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to be convened by the end of December.

The Council acknowledged that the conflict in South Sudan continued to cause great suffering and expressed deep regret that the parties had not heeded its calls for a permanent ceasefire or unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance. It demanded that all parties immediately do so and, noted the government’s ceasefire initiative, called for it to stand by its ceasefire and for the opposition to reciprocate.

In addition, the Council cited findings that the parties had failed to implement important elements of their peace accord, and that conditions for credible elections did not presently exist.

The Council said it strongly supports the convening of an inclusive forum as proposed by IGAD to get the agreement back on track and aim for substantive progress on the initiative when it convenes at the end of December. For that purpose, it called for strong, coordinated, and cohesive regional support.

The Council strongly urged all parties to engage constructively in the process without preconditions. As a first priority and a sign of commitment, the Council called on all parties to end hostilities as they had pledged.

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