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SOUTH SUDAN: Kiir wants UN peacekeepers out

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South Sudan Government Spokesman and Information minister Michael Makuei. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By JOEPH ODUHA in Juba (THE EAST AFRICAN)

South Sudan has protested the renewal of the mandate of the UN peacekeepers in the country.

Information minister and government official spokesperson Michael Makuei said last Thursday’s decision by the Security Council on the United Nations Mission in South Sudan’s (UNMISS) mandate was unfair and totally unacceptable.

Mr Makuei said Juba was not consulted on the matter.

“This renewal is not acceptable. It is unfair decision because the government was not consulted,” Mr Makuei said on phone.

Passing of resolution

The UN Security Council last Thursday renewed the peacekeeping mission’s mandate until March 15, 2019, with the passing of resolution 2406.

The resolution tasked UNMISS to continue its work to protect civilians, through the proactive deployment of its peacekeeping troops across the war-torn country.

The new mandate also authorised UNMISS to back the implementation of the 2015 Peace Agreement and current peace processes, including through the High Level Revitalisation Forum led by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad).

It also maintains the overall force levels of UNMISS, with a ceiling of 17,000 troops, including the Regional Protection Force (RPF).

The sovereignty
However, the Information minister said the renewal of the UNMISS mandate was uncalled for as it raised concerns about the sovereignty of the young nation.

“Well, that decision was uncalled for. It was a decision imposed upon the government of the Republic of South Sudan.

“We don’t know why this automatic renewal without consulting the government of South Sudan,” he said.

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