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UN Security Council increases number of peace corps in South Sudan

Fri 27, December 2013 Kategori Asia-Europe
UN Security Council decided to send 5,500 extra troops and 440 police for UN peace-keeping mission in conflict-torn South Sudan, increasing the number of UN soldiers in the region to 12,500.

In a decision taken with a consensus vote, the Security Council also condemned attacks against civilians and UN military personnel in South Sudan.

South Sudan, the world's newest country, has been ravaged by violence since November 15 when President Salva Kiir accused his sacked vice-president Riek Machar of masterminding a failed coup.

Machar, for his part, has denied any involvement in the alleged coup attempt.

Nevertheless, forces loyal to the former VP are reportedly now in control of the Jonglei and Unity states.

On Tuesday, UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released a statement saying more than 81,000 people have been displaced by the crisis in the country.

UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon emphasized the importance of protecting civilians in a letter to the Security Council on Monday, in which he also demands delivery of 5,500 thousand extra-soldiers, three attack helicopters, three multi-purpose helicopters, one C130 military transport aircraft and extra police forces to South Sudan.

"The world is watching -- and the world is acting,” Ban minutes after UN Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted the resolution to deal with unfolding crisis – now with the reports of horrific attacks, extra-judicial killings, rapes and first mass grave uncovering in the African country.

Mr. Ban commended UNSC for acting "quickly and decisively” to respond to the situation in South Sudan in less than 24 hours.

The new contingents to South Sudan will arrive from existing UN missions in Darfur of Sudan, Congo, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Abyei region on South Sudan border. South Sudan is a large country about the size of France.

Ban did not set a specific timetable for the arrival of the new UN troops since the troop contributing countries have to give their permission for this operation first.

Welcoming the resolution that call for "an immediate cessation of hostilities, opening of dialogue and demanding that all parties cooperate fully with our peacekeeping mission, UNMISS,” Ban said the new troops would help boost security, reinforce peacekeeping bases and provide critical assets.

Ban thanked world leaders from across Africa and around the world for their "flexibility and collective determination to respond to the crisis," adding that he counted on the UNSC member states to provide UNMISS with the necessary tools.

But, Ban warned that even with new and additional UN capabilities, United Nations will not be able to protect every civilian in need in South Sudan.

"The parties are responsible for ending the conflict. This is a political crisis which requires a peaceful, political solution," he said.

"I underscore their responsibility to protect civilians -- and remind them that those responsible for crimes will be held accountable," Ban said.

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