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UN head urges Security Council to send another 5,500 peacekeepers to South Sudan

December 24, 2013, 12:20 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
Ban Ki-moon noted that the reinforcement of the mission in South Sudan was temporary
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UNITED NATIONS, December 24. /ITAR-TASS/. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has proposed to the UN Security Council to send to South Sudan 5,500 more troops, six helicopters, including three gunships and a transport plane, a letter of the UN Secretary-General says.

It says that as reinforcements for the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) the Secretary-General asks “five infantry battalions, three helicopter gunships, three transport helicopters, one C-130 military transport plane and other resources, as well as three police compounds totaling 423 men.” They will be transferred from other UN missions in the region, in particular, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Liberia, as well as Darfur (a region in the west of Sudan) and Abyei (a disputed territory on the border of Sudan and South Sudan).

“I would be grateful if the Security Council would approve the transfer of the relevant personnel and assets to UNMISS on an urgent basis in order to help ensure the protection of civilians and the protection of United Nations personnel and assets,” Mr Ban wrote in his letter to the Council.

Ban Ki-moon noted that the reinforcement of the mission in South Sudan was temporary. According to him, the UN Secretariat was in consultations on this matter with the countries participants in peacekeeping operations.

On Monday night, the Security Council members started the consideration of the UN Secretary-General’s proposals. The Council meeting will develop a draft resolution that is expected to be adopted on Tuesday. “The situation is obviously urgent and the Security Council will respond urgently. If it’s necessary to take decisions, then we will take decisions by tomorrow (Tuesday MSK),” British Permanent Representative to the UN Mark Lyall Grant told reporters.

UNMISS was established in 2011 after South Sudan acquired independence. The mission, currently comprising about 6,800 troops, including from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, has the authority to protect civilians, which involves the use of force if necessary. According to the latest reports, about 45 thousand people, fleeing violence, have found shelter at UN bases.

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