Support for UN mission in South Sudan

31 March 2011

Support for UN mission in South Sudan

The SP has voted to back the prolongation of the Dutch contribution to the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMIS). In the SP’s view, the peacekeeping mission must be supported in order to make possible the peaceful secession of South Sudan. SP development spokesman Ewout Irrgang explains: ‘The Dutch contribution of twelve military observers, fifteen police trainers and a few officials may be limited, but that doesn’t alter the fact that it’s an important mission.’

In terms of territory, South Sudan is around fourteen times the size of the Netherlands. The nascent country’s region has a long history of war, and the population for the most part lives in extreme poverty. At the beginning of this year the people of South Sudan voted almost unanimously for independence from the North. Before this can be realised, however, there remains much to be settled, including the border demarcation with North Sudan and the division of the national debt. The UN mission is principally about implementation of the peace agreement between the two halves of the country, which dates to 2005. The Dutch presence will continue until mid-October at the latest. The UN Security Council is expected to take a decision on a new, probably more civilian-oriented mission to the new African country by the end of May.

You are here