Operation ASLAN is the name for the deployment of Australian Defence Force personnel to the United Nations' Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The ADF has contributed personnel to UNMISS since 23 September 2011 and the ADF's commitment assists the UN to protect the people of the Republic of South Sudan through the monitoring of human rights and the delivery of humanitarian aid.
ADF personnel are not deployed in combat roles; instead they fill important UNMISS headquarters positions such as military liaison officers, operations, aviation and logistics support roles. The ADF contingent comprises of up to 25 personnel from Air Force, Navy and Army who deploy to Operation ASLAN for between six and nine months. Defence, along with other government agencies, is closely monitoring the situation in South Sudan.
On 9 July 2011, the Republic of South Sudan became the newest country in the world, following a six-year peace process than began with the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005. The new United Nations Mission in South Sudan was established to support the new Republic of South Sudan to build a viable and secure future for its people. UNMISS is helping to establish conditions for nation-building and development in South Sudan.
Following a political and security crisis, which broke out with violence in South Sudan's capital Juba, on 15 December 2013, the Security Council, under UNSCR 2132 of 24 December 13, approved a temporary increase in troop numbers from 7,000 to 12,500 and the police strength from 600 to 1,323 personnel.
On 27 May 2014, the Security Council reprioritised its Mandate (UNSCR 2155) towards the protection of civilians, human rights monitoring, and support for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and for the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement.
On 25 Nov 14, UNSCR 2187 extended the Mandate to 30 May 2015 while reinforcing the role of the protection of civilians, and continuing the role of monitoring, investigation of human rights, and creating the conditions for the deliver of humanitarian assistance. On 28 May 15 (UNSCR 2223) the Mandate was extended another six months and its focus sharpened on the protection of civilians.
On the 26 Aug 15, President Kiir signed the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Compromise Peace Agreement and ceasefire with Mr Riek Machar, the leader of the opposition forces. Even with the signing of the Peace Agreement there are continued reports of complex assaults and fighting between both sides. On 09 Oct 15, the UN Security Council voted on a new Resolution, confirming the current mandate for a further two months (until Dec 15) but extending it through the wording of UNSCR 2241, which tasks UNMISS with monitoring both the Compromise Peace Agreement and the ceasefire.
The conflict in South Sudan has seen tens of thousands killed, hundreds of thousands flee the country as refugees and millions displaced inside the country.
For more information visit UNMISS.