The UN Security Council [official website; press release] on Thursday adopted a resolution [RES/2057 (2012), PDF] granting a one-year mandate extension for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) [official website] through June 15, 2013. The Council left the South Sudan [BBC News backgrounder; JURIST news archive] mandate unchanged, stressing the need to protect civilians, establish monitoring mechanisms and report the flow of personnel, arms and related material across the border of neighboring Sudan [BBC News backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. Along with the adoption of the resolution, the Security Council called both on member states to increase their support for South Sudan, and on the country's government to take greater responsibility for civilian protection. Additionally, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Thursday called [HRW report] on South Sudan to mark its first anniversary on July 9 by releasing all unlawfully detained prisoners, guaranteeing freedom of speech and ratifying all key international human rights treaties. South Sudan was recognized as an independent state [JURIST report] in July 2011, making it the world's 193rd nation.
South Sudan is still facing human rights violations and need for improving the situation with Sudan. In late June UNMISS urged [JURIST report] the government to adopt a plan to prevent further inter-communal violence [press release] in Jonglei State. UNMISS provided nine recommendations for the country to avoid similar violence and conflicts in the future, including the development a "comprehensive, multi-sectorial plan with short, medium and long-term actions to respond to the main causes of the violence in Jonglei State" while maintaining support for the peace process that has already launched. In February HRW had called on [JURIST report] South Sudan to investigate the ethnic conflict sparked by the attacks made on Murle villages and to prosecute those responsible for the violence. In December around 6,000 to 8,000 armed Lou Nuer youths calling themselves "White Army" invaded the Murle villages for 12 days, robbing and burning houses and killing thousands of people. In response the Murle groups initiated retaliatory attacks on Lou Nuer and Bor Dinka areas which lasted until February 4. In April the Sudanese government declared a state of emergency [JURIST report] on the South Sudan border after the arrest of four people who the Sudanese claim were arrested for aggression against the north in the contested Heglig oil fields.