U.N. chief "Ban Ki-moon" asked U.N Security Council to send 5,500 more peacekeepers in South Sudan to better protect civilians from violence that threatens to plunge Africa's youngest country into civil war.
Ban made the recommendation for the two-thirds increase in the size of the force in a letter to the 15-member council, in which he also called for 423 more police officers. There are currently some 6,700 U.N. troops and 670 police officers in the U.N. force in South Sudan, which is known as UNMISS.
The Security Council met on Monday to discuss the situation in the land-locked oil-producing nation and is likely to adopt a resolution approving the increase in peacekeepers on Tuesday.
British U.N Ambassador "Mark Lyall Gran” said that "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".
Ban said the additional troops would be drawn from other nearby U.N and African Union missions, such as those in Democratic Republic of Congo, the Sudanese regions of Darfur and Abyei, Liberia and Ivory Coast, adding that five infantry battalions, three attack helicopters, three utility helicopters, one C130 military transport aircraft and three police units should be transferred to South Sudan
Ban wrote in his letter to the council "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". He said the United Nations was obtaining the consent of the troop and police contributing countries and coordinating with the "peacekeeping operations concerned to ensure that the timing and duration of this proposed temporary re-deployment does not prejudice the implementation of their respective mandates" .