Ban Wants to Nearly Double Peacekeeping Forces in S. Sudan

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon advised the Security Council that 5,500 additional soldiers and over 400 more police should be sent to South Sudan to reinforce the current UN mission there amid increasing violence in the fledgling nation.

Ban Wants to Nearly Double Peacekeeping Forces in S. Sudan

Additional security forces would add to the nearly 7,000 soldiers that currently make up the UN mission in South Sudan. The reinforcements would come from other UN missions in Africa, according to a letter from Ban to the Security Council, AFP reported.

The Secretary-General said earlier Monday from UN headquarters in New York that allegations of rights violations in South Sudan will be investigated.

“(The UN Mission in South Sudan) is protecting civilians at its bases, supporting humanitarian deliveries, monitoring the human rights situation and investigating reports of abuses,” he said. “We have lost two peacekeepers in the past week and one was wounded. I commend our brave peacekeepers, as well as the mission’s staff and leaders."

Two Indian peacekeepers were killed last week during an alleged rebel ambush on a UN compound.

Tens of thousands of people have fled the country amid fighting between rebels supporting former Vice President Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir’s forces. Last week, Machar denied he was preparing a coup, as alleged by Kiir.

Fighting began last week in the capital of Juba, then spread to other cities in South Sudan, the youngest country in Africa since breaking from Sudan in 2011.

Hundreds of people have been killed as a result of the dispute, according to reports. UN compounds are housing over 40,000 civilians, the Secretary-General said Sunday.

Machar is of the Nuer community while Kiir is of the majority Dinka ethnic group. Their rivalry is feared to be fuel for further conflict between the groups.

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