December 28 (JUBA) – At least 27 United Nations Police from its peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) arrived in South Sudan on Saturday, as part of the 5,500 additional troops approved after recent outbreak of violence in the country.
- Fred Yiga, the UN police commissioner for South Sudan (BBC)
The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had on 23 December 2013 asked for more peacekeepers to be deployed in the new nation, which was unanimously approved by its Security Council, a day later.
The world body, in a statement, said the contingent of Bangladesh police officers who are trained in crowd management and security will be deployed immediately to help with the growing numbers of internally displaced persons in various parts of war-torn South Sudan.
An estimated 63,000 civilians are currently seeking refuge in UN compounds throughout South Sudan, after the violence which killed nearly 1,000 people.
The UN reiterated calls for a peaceful end to South Sudan’s ongoing conflict, days after Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional leaders visited the capital, Juba for talks.
“The mission fully supports these intense and ongoing efforts of South Sudan’s neighbours to seek a peaceful resolution to the current crisis”, Hilde Johnson, head of its South Sudan mission said Thursday.
Johnson also welcomed the Security Council resolution increasing the numbers of UN peacekeepers and police by 5,500, saying it would enhance the mission’s capability to protect civilians.
“The scale of the crisis has challenged an already overstretched mission,” she said, stressing that UN personnel must not only protect civilians within their premises, but those generally under threat.
South Sudan has, in the last two weeks, been tense after what government said was a botched coup attempt allegedly planned by its former vice-president Riek Machar.