UN Council approves 6,000 more S. Sudan peacekeepers
UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – The United Nations Security Council agreed on Tuesday to almost double the size of the peacekeeping force in troubled South Sudan, adding nearly 6,000 extra soldiers and police.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon had called for the UNMISS force to be increased to counter a major outbreak of violence, and member states agreed to increase the military contingent to 12,500 troops.
A parallel civilian police deployment will reach 1,323.
But the vote only increased the maximum permitted size of the force. Member states must still commit more troops to UN command, and Ban warned this “will not happen overnight.”
In the meantime, Council members demanded an end to hostilities between forces loyal to South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and to his rival deposed vice president Riek Machar.
Their statement expressed “grave alarm and concern regarding the rapidly deteriorating security and humanitarian crisis” and warned that those responsible for war crimes would be held responsible.