Monday, December 23, 2013

Ban's letter to Security Council on UNMISS's reinforcement

Civilians fleeing fighting and seeking refuge are pictured outside a compound of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in Bor. 18 December 2013
23 December 2013
Dear Mr. President,
I have the honour to refer to Security Council resolution 1996 (2011) establishing the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in Which the Council, inter alia, authorized me to take the necessary steps to ensure inter—mission cooperation, as appropriate and subject to the conditions stated therein.
As you are aware, and as stated in my press briefings of 19 and 23 December 2013, and in our briefings to the Security Council on 17 and 20 December 2013, I am deeply concerned about the growing violence in many parts of South Sudan, human rights abuses and killings fuelled by ethnic tensions. The displacement of civilians is growing and spreading. Efforts to facilitate a political solution to the crisis are ongoing but have yet to gain traction.
UNMISS is doing everything it can, within its means and in a very fluid situation, to protect civilians, as well as United Nations and international personnel on the ground. In light of the deteriorating security situation in South Sudan, I have taken steps to urgently strengthen the protection capabilities of UNMISS.
Accordingly, in light of the urgent priority requirements of UNMISS for the protection of civilians and the protection of United Nations personnel and assets, 1 have decided to pursue, through inter-mission cooperation, the
. following transfers to UNMISS from other missions, in particular
MONUSCO, UNAMID, UNISFA, ONUCI and UNMIL: five infantry battalions, three attack helicopters, three utility helicopters, one C130 military transport aircraft and other enablers (5,500 all strengths), and three Formed Police Units totaling 423 personnel.
The human rights investigation capacity of UNMISS is being urgently strengthened With the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The Secretariat is in the process of obtaining the consent of the troop- and police-contributing countries concerned and is coordinating closely With the peacekeeping operations concerned to ensure that the timing and duration of this proposed temporary re-deployment does not prejudice the implementation of their respective mandates.
I would be grateful if the Security Council would approve the transfer of the relevant personnel and assets to UNMISS On an urgent basis in order to help ensure the protection of civilians and the protection of United Nations personnel and assets.
Given the extraordinary time constraints placed upon the Secretariat, the assistance of Member States, including Council Members, is requested for air and other transportation to ensure the timely deployment of United Nations personnel. With regard to potential financial implications, the Secretariat will need to request additional funding through the established channels.
I would be grateful if you could bring this letter to the attention of the members of the Security Council at the earliest opportunity.
Please accept, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration.

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