UN seeks renewal of mission in war-torn South Sudan

December 15th marks the end of the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

The world body is however seeking to renew the mandate, as conflict continues to ravage the World’s youngest nation.

Sporadic fighting continues in parts of the country, displacing millions and forcing more than 200 thousand South Sudanese to shelter in UN civilian protection camps.

The United Nations has since 2013 been increasingly involved in South Sudan’s conflict.

Through UNMISS, the agency has been providing protection to almost half a million South Sudanese nationals who were running away from ethnic targeted killings.

The war there started in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his then-deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against his government. Machar denied the allegations but then went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.

A peace deal signed in 2015 resulted in the formation of unity government led by the two leaders but that did not last long as war broke out in July 2016 forcing Machar to flee the capital.

He is currently in South Africa where he went to seek medical treatment but has not been able to get back to his country.

Regional leaders and the international community have urged the two factions to engage in dialogue to end the conflict.