The Netherlands to extend its participation in the UN Mission in South Sudan

The cabinet has approved the extension of the Netherlands' participation in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) by one year. UNMISS, whose role is to protect civilians, currently has nine Dutch staff members. This number will be reduced temporarily to seven: six staff officers at the UNMISS headquarters in Juba and one civilian police official. The number of civilian police officials may be increased at a later date, to a maximum of 15.

Image: ministry of Defence

The Netherlands has been participating in UNMISS since its establishment in 2011, the year in which South Sudan became an independent African country. Violent conflict broke out there in 2013, causing hundreds of thousands of people to flee.

Despite the peace agreement that was signed in August 2015, the situation in South Sudan remains alarming. Violence is still going on in certain parts of the country, and 6 million people now need emergency aid, including 1.6 million displaced persons who are too afraid to return to their homes. The Netherlands is also active in South Sudan with regard to development cooperation and humanitarian aid.