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UN extends peacekeeping mission in South Sudan by a year

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UN extends peacekeeping mission in South Sudan by a year

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has extended the mandate of its peacekeeping mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for one year.

This shall include the regional protection force of up to 4,000 troops, and 2,101 international police personnel.

The main mandate of UNMISS remains the protection of civilians threatened by violence, creating conditions to deliver humanitarian aid, and supporting the implementation of the peace agreement.

The resolution adopted on Friday following a 14-0 vote, extends the mandate of UNMISS until 15 March 2020, while maintaining its current force ceiling of 17,000 troops.

However, Russia abstained from the decision, accusing some of the member states including the United States of failing to welcome September’s peace agreement.

“We are disappointed by the stubborn reluctance of colleagues to welcome the Khartoum agreements, which have already proved their viability,” said Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Dmitry Polyansky.

“We believe this is the incorrect signal to be sent both to the parties in South Sudan and also the leading regional powers that made colossal efforts to achieve this.”

Justifying the country’s position, the U.S. deputy ambassador Jonathan Cohen said that the Trump administration “remains deeply concerned by the lack of political commitment from parties at the national level to fully implement all tenets of the agreement.”

Cohen was reflecting on the previous agreements he said were dishonoured.

America’s Cohen called on South Sudan’s leaders to fully adhere to the ceasefire agreements and stop obstructing ceasefire monitors, negotiate security arrangements and power-sharing agreements.

He also said the leaders need to “take action against gender-based violence.”

Russia’s Polyansky said Moscow is also concerned that the resolution which is supposed to outline the mandate of peacekeepers “is overburdened with formulations and wording on gender issues and human rights.”