UN mission hopeful of mandate renewal in South Sudan

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-16 21:24:29|Editor: pengying
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JUBA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) said Thursday it was hopeful of renewing its mandate in the war-torn country which expires mid-December.

Head of UNMISS David Shearer said the Strategic Review Team from New York is expected soon in the country to help conduct consultations with the government and various groups before delivering the findings to the UN Security Council.

"The Strategic Review Team is due to arrive from New York at the end of the month to look at the situation in South Sudan and consult with a wide range of people including the government, humanitarian community as well as UNMISS. The team will also spend two days in Addis Ababa where they will meet other South Sudanese groups including the opposition," he said in Juba.

He disclosed that the team's findings will help inform the decision of the Security Council between now and next year on the renewal of the UNMISS mandate that expires on December 15 2017.

"We are hopeful that the meetings and findings they have here will be able to inform the Security Council as part of that mandate renewal," Shearer revealed.

The UNMISS Head, who met with President Salva Kiir on Tuesday, also hailed the mediation role by the Concerned Citizens Committee in diffusing the recent standoff between the government and former army (SPLA) chief Paul Malong.

Shearer, who acknowledged receiving a letter seeking help from Malong who was recently released from house arrest, added that he was grateful with the Statesmanlike manner in which the situation was resolved, hence saving the country from another crisis.

According to Shearer, about 1,800 Rwandan and Ethiopian troops will arrive between now and December.

"We are waiting for the deployment of the remainder of the Rwandan battalion, which is around 900, and the Ethiopian battalion, which is about the same number. They will be coming between now and Christmas," he said.

South Sudan descended into violence in December 2013 after a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy turned rebel chief Riek Machar led to split within the SPLA, leaving soldiers to fight alongside ethnic lines.