Regional Protection Force for South Sudan

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Displaced people in South Sudan sought protection at the UN base in Juba during clashes in July. Photo/UNMISS

The UN Security Council has authorized a 4,000-strong Regional Protection Force in response to the persistent violence and instability in South Sudan.

Eleven of the 15 ambassadors voted in favour of the resolution establishing the force, which also includes an arms embargo.

Dianne Penn reports.

The Regional Protection Force will be under the command of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

It will be based in the capital, Juba, and will be authorized "to use all necessary means" to carry out its responsibilities.

Ambassador David Pressman spoke on behalf of the United States, sponsors of the resolution.

"This resolution sets out three priorities for the 4,000-strong Regional Protection Force. First, the force will facilitate safe and free movement in the capital. Second, It will protect key facilities essential to the wellbeing of the people of Juba, and third, it will have the authority to prevent attacks against civilians, the United Nations and humanitarian actors."

South Sudan gained independence in July 2011.

Less than three years later, the country became mired in brutal fighting between forces loyal to the President and the then deputy leader, with scores killed and millions displaced.

Although a peace agreement was signed in August 2015 and a transitional unity government formed earlier this year, clashes last month resulted in more than 200 deaths.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’11″

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