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US Using Intrusive Approach to South Sudan, Russia's UN Security Council Representative Says

© AFP 2023 / TONY KARUMBATrainee soldiers for a new unified army carry wooden rifles while attending a reconciliation programme run by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) at a makeshift barracks in Mapel on January 31, 2020
Trainee soldiers for a new unified army carry wooden rifles while attending a reconciliation programme run by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) at a makeshift barracks in Mapel on January 31, 2020  - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.03.2023
As military clashes persisted after the Civil War in South Sudan ended in 2020, the UN-initiated mission aimed at resolving the dispute. The UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) is being undertaken via a so-called penholders system, which allows permanent Security Council members to draft resolutions and chair related negotiations.
The US is abusing its penholder status on the South Sudanese dossier in the UN Security Council in order to promote its own interests, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Anna Evstigneeva said at a UN Security Council meeting.
Evstigneeva expressed Russia's concerns over the issue, stating that the US-proposed version of the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) mandate for the protection of civilians provides wide freedom of action for peacekeepers without the necessity to coordinate with South Sudan's government.
According to her, such an approach to resolving the problem "is intrusive", as it does not take into account the specifics of the South Sudanese case and carries risks of undermining the peace process at a crucial stage for the country, when it undergoes the end of the transition period and is beginning the preparations for the elections scheduled for December 2024.
Building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in Moscow - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.03.2023
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The official stated that successful work on the settlement of inter-communal conflicts can be carried out only in close coordination with local authorities.
Anna Evstigneeva emphasized that the unwillingness of the US to negotiate in good faith with all members of the UN Security Council, as well as its abuse of its penholder status to promote national interests, demonstrates the crisis in the currently existing UN penholder system. According to her, such US behavior can undermine the trust among the countries which are beneficiaries of the UN program.
Earlier, Russia and China abstained from voting for a UN Security Council resolution that extended the UNMISS mandate until March 15, 2024.
China's charge d'affaires of its permanent mission to the United Nations Dai Bing has also criticized the US for stopping the consultations, pushing the resolution and forcing the voting despite the remaining disagreements over the draft. In this regard, the Chinese envoy called the United States irresponsible and ignorant, stating that the US places its its national positions above the opinions of the countries concerned and over the Council’s collective opinion.
Members of the Security Council meet to discuss threats to international peace and security at United Nations headquarters, Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.03.2023
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The United Nations-initiated UNMISS program was launched one day before South Sudan achieved independence in 2011. Currently, the mission is aimed at resolving the ethnic conflicts which persist in the wake of the 2013-2020 civil war in the country.
According to the UN, UNMISS will maintain its force at 17,000 troops and 2,101 police officers in the region.
The UNMISS is carried out with the help of the so-called penholder system that implies one permanent Security Council member may draft resolutions and guide negotiations on certain topics. The penholder of the South Sudan issue is the US.
According to the UN Security Council report of December 2018, in most cases the holders are the United States, Great Britain and France.
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