Keeping the Peace in South Sudan: UN and India’s Operations

The most recent sovereign state or nation with broad recognition as of 2023 is South Sudan, which declared its independence from Sudan on July 9, 2011. The landlocked nation of South Sudan is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including a significant amount of rich, rain-fed agricultural land that could be irrigated, as well as forest, aquatic, and mineral resources, including oil. To meet the nation’s energy and security demands, it also has a number of prospective hydropower sites on the White Nile River that have the capacity to produce up to 3,000 MW. 

South Sudan is also rich in resources such as Oil, teak, gum Arabic etc. Numerous untapped natural resources, including gold, are thought to exist in significant quantities. 90% of the land area in the nation is thought to be suitable for agriculture. among the crops:  pineapple, groundnuts, sorghum, millet, wheat, cotton etc .

Despite the fact that the nation is well renowned for its important resources, it is also well known for its violent conflicts. The continuous hostility between South Sudan and Sudan over oil profits and border clashes has made problems there worse. The disputed oil-producing area of Abyei, institutional and human capacity limitations, a limited economic basis, and crumbling infrastructure are among the primary roadblocks.  Threats to peace, security, and stability continue to arise from within as well as outside the country. The most important problems for South Sudan are peace, security, and stability.

Challenges South  Sudan is  Experiencing

Less than a year after the former Sudan was divided into the Republic of Sudan in the north and the new Republic of South Sudan, also known as North and South Sudan, the two nations were once more at war. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) of 2005, which was negotiated with international assistance for years, and the subsequent attempts to maintain a peaceful division of the North and South appear to have been in vain. A CPA-mandated referendum held in the South in January 2011 had a decisively partition outcome. In actuality, the North did not accept the referendum’s results or surrender itself to its drastically diminished status as a nation that had lost one-third of its land and three-quarters of its oil. The South, on the other hand, was virtually incapable of engaging in a fruitful negotiation because of internal division, insecurity, and incapacity. As a result, the split occurred while a number of important issues remained unsolved. After the South gained independence, warfare started up once again almost immediately. Conflicts between the northern Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and liberation forces in areas that favoured union with the South first took place along the border.

Major causes on conflicts in South Sudan is oil and weak institutions . While most countries’ reliance on oil has shown to be a significant short-term barrier to both economic growth and democratisation, it is a lifeline for developing countries in the long run. Sudan is no different, making oil the greatest direct cause of violence. The two most significant economic sectors of South Sudan are oil and agriculture. Oil accounts for virtually all exports and 90 percent of total revenue, while agriculture continues to be the major source of income for more than four out of every five people

A decade after independence, South Sudan is still mired in a web of instability and economic stagnation due to weak institutions and ongoing cycles of warfare. Major issues include a lack of employment possibilities and food insecurity, which are exacerbated by poor service delivery, infrastructural gaps, eviction, and recurrent climate shocks. South Sudan has had a lot of violence and turmoil both during the civil war and since separating from Sudan in 2011. Despite a brief period of relative peace, the cumulative consequences of years of violence, persistent vulnerabilities, and inadequate basic services mean that more than 7 million people in South Sudan still require humanitarian aid. More than half of the population is at risk from hunger. The crisis has left about 4 million people homeless, either as refugees or internally displaced individuals.

Many of the problems that resource-rich nations have with corruption exist in South Sudan. Opportunities for corruption are growing as a result of the oil industry’s lack of openness and management skills gaps. Since the country’s declaration of independence, there have been several reports of new oil contracts being negotiated and perhaps granted without using a transparent and competitive bidding procedure.

PEFA (governmental Expenditure and Financial Accountability Program) is now evaluating South Sudan’s governmental spending, procurement, and financial accountability systems. The evaluation is still not complete, however according to the World Bank (2012), South Sudan barely disclosed half of their expenses. Additionally, allegedly because to security concerns, the GOSS has been reticent to disclose data on oil profits.The South Sudanese region, which is independent, is included in the Sudan Public Expenditure Review of 2007.Some government revenue sources—including non-tax earnings for the ministry—appeared to be outside of budget including  non-tax revenue from police registration fees, ministry services, and travel charges.

In addition to failing to adequately educate the public about oil earnings, the GOSS has not been doing a good job of monitoring the allocations to states. The relationship between police corruption and violations of human rights seems to be the most troubling. The South Sudan Police Service (SSPS) is insufficiently staffed unprofessional, and overburdened by the security issues facing the nation.

At the primary police-training academy, evidence of violence and rape was found by UN inspectors in February 2011. Throughout the year, there were several complaints of arbitrary incarceration, torture, and protracted pre-trial custody in unsanitary settings.

Additionally, police, troops, and local officials have been accused of harassing employees, stealing assistance supplies, and stealing vehicles, according to the UN and humanitarian aid organisations. Last August, police forces physically attacked South Sudan’s UN human rights head.

The nation frequently experiences illegal killings, theft, and unlawful arrests and detentions. Violence against people is an everyday occurrence and the  state is becoming worse in condition.

Contribution of India and UN in South Sudan

India has a long and illustrious history of participating in UN peacekeeping. India has bolstered UN reinforcements by continuing to be one of the major suppliers of troops to its Peacekeeping force since the UN and India share a shared strategy of fostering world peace through non-violence. Arguably the best instances of how India is committed to both the contemporary demands of the world and its ancient beliefs is the UN and India working together for the common goal of world peace.

The continuing wars in South Sudan have also been a focus of activity for India and the UN. India has consistently provided South Sudan with a lot of help throughout the years. UNMISS, or the United Nations operation in South Sudan, is South Sudan’s UN peacekeeping operation. By resolution 1996 (2011) of the UN Security Council, UNMISS was created on July 8, 2011.The mandate for UNMISS is as follows: support for maintaining the peace and promoting long-term state building and economic growth ,Assist the South Sudanese government fulfill its obligations for conflict prevention, mitigation, and resolution while safeguarding civilians and also help the South Sudanese government build its capacity to provide security, create the rule of law, and improve the justice and security systems.

The United Nations medal has been given to a total of 836 Indian Army soldiers who are part of the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan for their efforts to maintain an ongoing state of peace in the world’s youngest nation.With roughly 2,400 soldiers, India is the second-largest troop contributor to the 18,300-person peacekeeping force in South Sudan.In addition to protecting civilians, fostering the delivery of humanitarian aid, assisting in the implementation of a revitalised peace agreement, and monitoring and looking into human rights, the 73 nationals serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are also charged with protecting civilians.

Recently, the Speaker of the Transitional National Assembly, Jemma Nunu Kumba, led a group of South Sudanese lawmakers to India. At the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the Indian president welcomed the team and said that India is delighted to be a key troop donor to the UN Peacekeeping Missions in South Sudan.

According to Droupadi Murmu, India is pleased to contribute a significant number of troops to the UN peacekeeping missions in South Sudan.President Droupadi Murmu emphasised on April 5 that South Sudan may learn from India’s experience in parliamentary democracy, including the creation of a new constitution, and that India will provide full assistance throughout the procedure. At the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Ms. Murmu welcomed a group of South Sudanese lawmakers led by the Speaker of the Transitional National Assembly, Jemma Nunu Kumba. She expressed India’s pride at contributing a significant number of troops to the UN peacekeeping missions in South Sudan.The President stated that South Sudan’s ongoing political process, including the creation of a new Constitution, may profit from India’s experiences in parliamentary democracy. She said that India will offer South Sudan its complete assistance in this endeavor. Ms. Murmu emphasized the warm and friendly ties that exist between India and South Sudan, saying that in addition to peacekeeping operations, Indian troops are also playing a significant humanitarian role and fostering closer ties between the two nations. The Indian president went on to say that India  is committed to assist South Sudan grow. She expressed her optimism that South Sudanese youth will benefit from the training and capacity-building opportunities provided by the ITEC and ICCR scholarship programmes sponsored by India.

India has had a long-standing relationship with the people of South Sudan, despite the fact that it is a new nation. Strong and cordial ties exist between the two nations – 450 Indian citizens now reside in South Sudan. Some of them have established enterprises in Juba, while others work for other firms. Several Indian people are employed by Christian missionary groups in South Sudan. Aside from the 2,000 Indian army personnel already stated, UNMISS also has 40 police officers and a few other civilian officials on staff. India has consistently served as a solid support for South Sudan during its difficult times and is continuing to do so.

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