I don't know about you, but if I were a UN peacekeeper headed to newly-independent South Sudan, I think I'd want a better acronym for the mission than UNMISS, which was agreed upon unannimously today by the UN Security Council.
The UN News Center reports that
Resolution 1996 establishes the UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) for an initial period of one year. Headed by the newly-appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Hilde Johnson of Norway, the peacekeeping mission will consist of up to 7,000 military personnel and up to 900 civilian police personnel as well as a civilian component.
The new forces will assume responsibility from the previous UNMIS operation which was deployed as part of the 2005 negotiated settlement between factions in Sudan's north and south, and set the stage for the creation of an independent South Sudan.
But as Reuters notes, considerable uncertainty remains. One point of contention is the fate of the current UNMIS operation.
Khartoum has made clear it is against a continuing U.N. peacekeeping presence. That has raised concerns about what will happen to strife-torn Southern Kordofan region and other areas when the U.N.'s existing UNMIS mandate ends on Saturday.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the unmoved mover of UN politics, "urged the Government of Sudan for technical and practical reasons for an extension of the mandate of the United Nations in Sudan," which is set to expire tomorrow, "at least until the situation (in Southern Kordofan) calms down." Speaking with jounalists during a brief stop in Khartoum today, Ban warned that "We can not afford to have any gaps."