Two Years After The Juba Clashes: Has Unmiss's Protection of Displaced people Improved?

Thijs Van Laer
Content Type
Working Paper
Global Peace Operations Review
In July 2016, serious fighting erupted in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, when a peace agreement signed less than a year before broke down. Many citizens were killed, often in deliberate, ethnically motivated attacks, while others sought safety in the vicinity of the premises of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Many more had already found relative safety there after earlier violence and atrocities in 2013. As of June 28, 2018, more than 210,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living under UNMISS protection. Despite its responsibility to protect those IDPs, in July 2016 peacekeepers abandoned their positions at the IDP site, and more than 20 civilians were killed. In addition, two Chinese peacekeepers died after a grenade exploded near their armored personnel carrier. Despite repeated alerts, UNMISS did not intervene when government security forces forced their way into a nearby hotel and killed one and sexually abused other UN and humanitarian personnel residing there. Much has been written about the woefully inadequate response by the UN peace operation to these attacks, blamed by a UN inquiry on the lack of leadership, inadequate coordination, and poor troop performance. The mission’s military commander was sacked after the inquiry.
United Nations, Peacekeeping, Displacement, Civilians
Political Geography
Africa, South Sudan