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CEPO Statement on UNMISS Mandate renewal

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) is urging the UN Security Council member states to seriously take some key steps on UNMISS mandate renewal, CEPO believe that it is essential for the new mandate to have a concrete focus on  priorities.

Some of the key priorities that CEPO is urging includes management of protection of civilians sites (POC), the organization is strongly saying never do a mistake of thinking about handling the POC issue easily.  The conflicting parties in South Sudan that signed the peace agreement need to do a lot of work on creating conducive conditions for voluntary return. By rushing to close the POCs will be a mistake and United Nation mission in South Sudan (UNMISS),  need to partner with the upcoming government to look at  the POC and issues of occupying individuals houses , and revenge attacks among the communities.

Another essential priority is to establish the RPF but the contribution of the RPF troops should be from countries without history of taking side with any of the conflict parties during the violence days, otherwise the communities will not respect the UN Blue Helmet because, they communities will see the troops as equal actors that have contributed to the violence in one way or another. For that purpose, keep Sudan and Uganda’s role for regional political relevance.  Get Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia for peacekeeping that have the strengths of influence on the parties’ signatory to the peace accord.

Build local capacities for dialogue, engage with the communities for fostering productive and consultative dialogue among themselves as an alternative approach for preparing the communities for interaction with the states. The local capacities for dialogue should embrace community-led reconciliation, social cohesion and trust building.

Support civil society actors at their various levels with experts who can help the civil society engagement on interaction with the state for delivering peace and stability through the R-ARCSS.

Strengthen the rule of law and human rights protection by offering in kind technical help for the rule of law and human rights protection sector as a way of laying down the ground for state obligation for delivering democratic transformation. 

Mr Edmund Yakani, Executive Director of CEPO says UNSC should decide on the content of UNMISS mandate that will not allow the blue Helmet be abuse and keep UNMISS have human value in their engagement in South Sudan.

Finally CEPO calls upon USA as pen holder to be keen in the framing and driving the process for the new UNMISS mandate making sure that the new mandate should not undermine the importance of POCs, including technical support to civil society and the RFP as well, however, CEPO will be mobilizing other civil society for oversight reporting on the performance.