South Sudan: UN mission chief meets President Kiir, pledges commitment to regional force
Special Representative and head of the UN Mission in South Sudan David Shearer (left) meets with President Salva Kiir in the capital Juba. Photo: UNMISS/Isaac Bill26 January 2017 – The newly arrived head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, David Shearer, has met with President Salva Kiir in the country’s capital of Juba, where he reiterated the Mission’s commitment to supporting peace efforts.
According to a UN spokesperson, in a meeting yesterday, Mr. Shearer told President Kiir that the UN and UNMISS are there to support the Government and help the people of South Sudan, and said his job will be done when the conditions in the world’s youngest country permit UNMISS to leave. He added that he had come to South Sudan with an open mind.
Mr. Shearer also met with the South Sudanese Minister of Cabinet Affairs. The UN said Mr. Shearer was pleased to hear the Minister reiterate South Sudan Government’s commitment to the deployment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF) mandated by the UN Security Council in August 2016.
UNMISS was deployed in July 2011, just as South Sudan gained independence from Sudan. The current strength of the Mission is some 13,000 uniformed personnel and more than 2,000 international and local civilian staff.
South Sudan has faced ongoing challenges since a political stalemate erupted into full blown conflict in December 2013. The crisis has produced one of the world’s worst displacement situations with immense suffering for civilians.