South Sudan approves additional UN peacekeeping forces News
South Sudan approves additional UN peacekeeping forces

South Sudan consented [UN News Centre report] to the addition of another 4,000 UN peacekeeping troops to the existing force of 14,000 soldiers, under intense pressure from the UN, US and the rest of the international community. The announcement was made in a joint statement issued Sunday at the end of a meeting between South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit [Britannica profile] and the UN Security Council (UNSC) [official website] delegation led by the Missions of Senegal and the United States. South Sudan Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Elia Lomoro stated that a plan containing specifics of the deployment is expected by the end of September, and that the plan would include a “review of procedures related to movement of [UN Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS)] [official website] and streamlining the bureaucratic processes.” However, US ambassador and co-leader of the UNSC delegation, Samantha Power [official profile], expressed concerns [NYT report] over criminality in the country as well as existing ethnic, tribal, and political conflicts. Many analysts are also skeptical about any positive difference the additional peacekeeping forces could make pointing out that the troops did not intervene in the ethnic clashes that erupted in late 2011 and 2012 claiming hundreds of victims, including many children, right in their presence.

Human rights concerns have been widespread concerning South Sudan. Last month UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein [official profile] said that South Sudan government (SPLA) security forces have killed and raped citizens [JURIST report] and looted and destroyed public and private property. In July Chaloka Beyani [official profile], UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), condemned [press release] recent attacks on IDPs and civilians [JURIST report] in South Sudan. In June UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] expressed shock [JURIST report] at the increasing number of children recruited and killed in armed conflicts in several countries, including South Sudan. In May Amnesty International [advocacy website] reported [JURIST report] that dozens of detainees in South Sudan are being held in inhumane conditions. In April six human rights organizations called [JURIST report] for the next UN Secretary-General to do everything he or she can do to protect innocent civilians whose nation faced armed conflict, including South Sudan. In March the UN Human Rights Council decided to investigate [JURIST report] allegations of human rights abuses in South Sudan.