South Sudan Welcomes 4,000 New United Nations Peacekeepers

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In a move toward peace, the South Sudan government has decided to allow the United Nations Security Council to add 4,000 regional protection forces into the war-torn African country.

To avoid a U.N. arms embargo, president Salva Kiir approved the placement of the peacekeepers after a meeting with U.N. representatives over the weekend, according to a statement by a government minister on Tuesday.

The decision comes after the government, who refused help, claimed it would be a violation of their sovereignty, which they won from Sudan in 2011. The border between the two countries was opened earlier this year for the first time in five years.

Supporters of current President Kiir, an ethnic Dinka, and former Vice President Riek Machar, a Nuer, have been engaged in civil war lasting two and a half years causing countless atrocities, including the assault of foreign aid workers and the deaths of tens of thousands of South Sudanese people.

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The newest country in the world recognized by the United Nations, South Sudan has already allowed 12,000 peacekeepers into the country, but following a rash of violence in the capital city of Juba during the month of July they agreed to increase the number to 16,000. Although a peace agreement between rebel forces and the government was signed last year, conflict has continued to embroil the country.

“The fact that we are getting on the UN plane and going home, does not mean that we are going to forget about them,” United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power said at the end of the visit. “What no one can endure is the legacy of having seen this beautiful newest country of the UN torn apart.”

Other African nations, as well as local residents are supportive of the United Nations intervention in that area, which was approved by the United Nations Security Council. Troops from other African countries will be recruited to join the ranks of the U.N. to protect tens of thousands of people threatened by the ethnic conflict.

Senegalese Ambassador Fode Seck, the co-leader of the Council delegation, said the meeting was “a very positive visit, both on the side of the government and on the side of the UN Security Council… This country is so blessed by nature and it can become the giant of Africa, feeding Africa, exporting and contributing to the continent’s development. Let them believe in themselves.”

 

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About the author: Evan Vitkovski

 

An American writer, filmmaker, journalist, and blogger living in Taipei, Taiwan. So many stories to tell, so little time.

 

Recent posts in International

 

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