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date: 18 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Two years and five months following the country’s independence from Sudan, a political crisis in South Sudan quickly devolved into a civil war marked by violence that could amount to atrocities. At the time, a United Nations peacekeeping operation, UNMISS, was the principal multinational intervention in South Sudan. UNMISS was explicitly mandated to assist the government of South Sudan to fulfil its responsibility to protect and was also authorized to protect civilians when the government was unable or unwilling to do so. Despite this role, UNMISS’s Special Representative of the Secretary-General said that no one could have predicted the scale or speed at which the violence unfolded. This chapter explores whether the atrocities could have been predicted by UNMISS, why UNMISS was unprepared, and what other peacekeeping operations can learn from UNMISS’s experience.

Keywords: South Sudan, United Nations Mission in South Sudan, peacekeeping, protection of civilians, responsibility to protect, atrocity crimes

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