A light sandwich lunch is served at 12.55pm. All welcome.

The United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) was formed in 2011 to aid the newly-independent country consolidate peace and establish the conditions for economic and institutional development. In December 2013, however, the country descended into civil war. Caught between the warring parties, UNMISS had to navigate the complex new political environment and rapidly adapt its operations, including by hosting up to 100,000 civilians seeking refuge in its bases. In this talk Dr Klem Ryan provides an insight into the Mission’s evolution and outlines the challenges of implementing its mandate to protect civilians, including the tension between impartiality and capacity-building. He will also discuss the experience of South Sudan in the context of the reassessment of UN peacekeeping globally that is currently underway.

Between April 2013 and December 2014, Dr Klein Ryan worked with the UN peacekeeping mission in the Republic of South Sudan. Since the start of the civil war in December 2013, he coordinated operations to protect civilians inside UN bases around the country and worked on policy issues related to the Mission’s new role in the crisis. He previously worked with the UN in East Timor, supporting security sector reform. He has also served in the New Zealand police and military. Dr Ryan completed his DPhil at the University of Oxford in 2012, where his research focused on how norms and conventions are established and upheld in warfare. His thesis, Fair and Unfair Wars, explored the insights of the ‘regular war’ school of thought and applied them to the problem of limiting contemporary armed conflicts.