JUBA, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- South Sudan on Wednesday told visiting high-level Strategic Review Team from the United Nations assigned to collect views on the pending review of the mission's mandate to return development at the core of the peacekeeping mission.
First Vice President Taban Deng Gai said the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate under Chapter Six in 2011 prior to outbreak of conflict had been effective as it involved capacity building, infrastructure development to support development of the youngest nation.
"The mandate (chapter 6) of 2011 was the best, because it involved the elements of capacity building, training of some understanding in economic development and infrastructure assistance which were beneficial and the UN should go back to that mandate," Gai told journalists after meeting with the UN delegation from New York in Juba.
The UN Strategic Review Team is in the war-torn country to seek views from government, UNMISS, humanitarian agencies and later will move to Ethiopia to meet with members of the armed opposition.
The views collected from these sources will help shape the upcoming mandate renewal of UNMISS that expires on Dec. 15.
Kennedy Kevin, the head of the UN Strategic Review Team said that the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres had directed all the UN peacekeeping mission globally to be reviewed starting with UNMISS.
"Our mission is to find out gaps in the implementation of UNMISS mandate in the country," he said.
The initial UNMISS mandate in South Sudan after winning independence from Sudan in 2011 hugely focused on building capacity of government officials, but eruption of brutal conflict in December 2013 reversed these.
The revised mandate under chapter 7 came to the fore after the UN Security Council resolution 2155 (2014) authorized the UNMISS to have a ceiling of 12,500 military troops of all ranks and a police component of up to 1,323 personnel to use all necessary means to perform the many tasks detailed in its text.
However, Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomuro disclosed that since peace was returning to the country the UNMISS mandate under Chapter Seven need be reversed to Chapter Six to focus on development.
"We believe that peace without development cannot be sustainable and so we have presented these views to the UN team with the First Vice President to have very important discussion on the matter," he said.