By Julius N. Uma
July 3, 2012 (JUBA) - A civil society organisation has accused the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) of having
done very little, as required by Chapter VII of the United Nations (UN) Charter, to make citizens fully understand their mandate in the country.
Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), in a press briefing on Tuesday, specifically cited the protection of the civilian population role of UNMISS and the limitations of the UN body as some of the puzzling issues that need to be clearly spelt out in latter’s new mandate.
"…the citizens are asking continuous questions such as why is UNMISS
allowing Sudan Army forces to kill/attack the citizens of South Sudan?
What exactly is the meaning of protection of civilian population? Why
is UNMISS far from doing sustainable development initiatives? What is
meant by UNMISS operating in integration with other UN agencies?"
Edmund Yakani, CEPO’s Coordinator asked.
The organisation comes days before South Sudan marks its first
independence anniversary due on 9 July, during which the mandate of
UNMISS, which will formally end on that day, will have to be renewed.
Last month, South Sudan President, Salva Kiir, told lawmakers that his
office, under the leadership of the Vice President, Riek Machar, who
spearheaded the review of the UN mandate in South Sudan, had concluded
"After a careful study, we have submitted official recommendation to
the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on how we would like the mandate to be refocused upon its renewal, including a serious review of the Chapter Seven," Kiir told MPs during the opening of the National Assembly.
Yakani, however, credited UNMISS for supporting South Sudan government in strengthening rule of law institutions, policing services, human
rights and the security sector, but urged the organisation to embark
on follow-up mechanisms to assess the impacts of their capacity
building training conducted in the society.
"UNMISS is witnessed in applying approach of non-sustainable capacity
building in form of three days of training on human rights, policing
services and other security sector agencies. But the main problem is
that, the training of the three days is not always followed up," he
told journalists in Juba, South Sudan’s capital.
Meanwhile, under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, the UN body in South
Sudan is tasked with; support for peace consolidation and thereby
fostering longer-term state building, economic development; supporting
the Government of the Republic of South Sudan in exercising its
responsibilities for conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution;
protecting civilians; and supporting the government in developing its
capacity to provide security, establish rule of law, and to strengthen
the security and justice sectors.