The Norwegian Armed Forces have 16 officers in the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The contribution consists of military liaison officers and staff officers.
The staff officers work in the UNMISS Headquarters in the capital Juba and are responsible for personnel, operations, planning, training, education and information. The military liaison officers are stationed at a number of locations across the country. They serve as links between military forces, and they have close contact with South Sudanese authorities.
South Sudan became the world's youngest nation when the country broke away from Sudan after a referendum on 9 July 2011. The United Nations played a leading role in working out the peace agreement between the parts, in an area plagued with civil war and unrest for decades. Today, the relationship between the two countries is tense at times, especially when it comes to border issues and distribution of the oil resources in the area.
Shortly after its independence, South Sudan experienced internal conflicts and unrest. This laid the foundation for the UN Mission. Different ethnic conflicts have caused severe political problems, and armed rebel groups have gained control in some areas in the north of the country. In December 2013, the country broke into civil war. As of 2015, the conflict is still ongoing, with brutal attacks and more than 730,000 refugees, according to the UN. A new peace agreement between the warring parties was signed in August 2015.
The conflict has led to a stronger UN presence in the country. The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) works to secure peace in the country, protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian work. The mission has up to 12,500 military personnel, while the police mission has up to 1,323 personnel.