(United Nations) The UN Security Council on Wednesday renewed for one year the United Nations mission in South Sudan, the youngest state on the planet, engaged in a fragile peace process, but still plagued by violence after a civil war.

At the end of Council meetings since March 6, thirteen of its fifteen members voted for resolution 2677 (2023) which renews the mandate of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (Minuss) until March 15, 2024.

China and Russia abstained.

The head of Minuss, Nicholas Haysom, emissary of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, urged the South Sudanese interim government ten days ago to implement its peace agreement to hold “credible” elections in 2024. “.

“2023 is the year of ‘make it or break it’ and a test for all parties to the peace agreement,” the South African diplomat told the Security Council.

Minuss, one of the costliest UN missions in the world with an annual budget of $1.2 billion, “will maintain its strength at a ceiling level of 17,000 soldiers and 2,101 police”, according to a press release from the UN.

By this resolution, “the Security Council mandates the Minuss to carry out four missions: protection of civilians, creation of conditions allowing the delivery of humanitarian aid, support for the implementation of the peace process and monitoring, investigations and reports on violations of international humanitarian and human rights law”.

After the end in 2018 of a civil war that began in 2013 and claimed at least 380,000 victims, President Salva Kiir and his rival Riek Machar formed a transitional government and agreed to join forces into a single army to protect their people hard-hit by conflict and climatic disasters.

However, armed violence continues to bloody this oil-rich country, but where the majority of people live below the poverty line.

Mr. Haysom had acknowledged that there were still “conflicts with an increasingly ethnic or tribal dimension, which, as President Kiir noted, threaten to undo a hard-won peace.”

The United States, sponsors of the creation in July 2011 of this country born of the partition of Sudan, had expressed in early March their “serious concern at the increase in violence against civilians in South Sudan” for a year.