SOUTH SUDAN:UN APPROVES ROBUST PEACE FORCE

JUBA,–The UN Security Council has authorized 4,000 additional peacekeepers in South Sudan, despite opposition from the conflict-ridden country. The UN has said it will consider an arms embargo if South Sudan doesn’t cooperate.

The US-drafted resolution for 4,000 additional peacekeepers in South Sudan authorizes peacekeepers to “use all necessary means, including undertaking robust action where necessary” to protect UN personnel and facilities.

The Juba-based force was also authorized to take “proactive” measures to protect civilians and “promptly and effectively engage any actor that is credibly found to be preparing attacks or engages in attacks.”

The resolution brings the total number of peacekeepers in the country to 17,000. Troops from Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda will make up most of the new force.

The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has been criticized for not protecting civilians last month when camps it administers came under attack. It has also been denounced for failing to intervene as government soldiers reportedly gang-raped women outside a UN camp in July.

The resolution passed with 11 votes in favor. Russia, China, Venezuela and Egypt abstained, citing a failure to get permission from South Sudan.

South Sudan criticized the resolution and said it would not cooperate.

“The adoption of this resolution goes against the basic principle of UN peacekeeping operations which is the consent of the main parties to the conflict and also goes against the UN Charter,” said Akuei Bona Malwal, the country’s UN ambassador. “Consent of South Sudan… would have been important as it would have given the force all the necessary freedoms to carry out the outlined mandate tasks.”

US Deputy Ambassador David Pressman said South Sudan’s government has actively blocked UN personnel from carrying out work in the country.

Source: Name News Network