U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL EXTENDS PEACEKEEPING MISSION IN SOUTH SUDAN

UNITED NATIONS, The UN Security Council extended the mandate of the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan, known as UNMISS, for another year until Dec 15, 2017.

In a resolution adopted here, the 15-nation council decided to increase the overall force levels of UNMISS by maintaining a ceiling of 17,000 troops, including 4,000 for a new regional protection force, and increasing the police ceiling to 2,101 personnel.

The council also demanded all parties in South Sudan to immediately end the fighting across the county and implement the ceasefire agreement.

Wu Haitao, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN, noted, after the adoption of the resolution, that the South Sudanese transitional government has announced its unconditional acceptance of deployment of the regional protection force.

"The international community should take this opportunity to call on all parties in South Sudan, to implement the peace agreement and return to the track of political solution, in order to achieve peace, stability and development, as early as possible," he said.

Wu said, the Security Council should send out "more positive messages and signals" in order to encourage the parties in South Sudan to meet each other halfway, to make joint commitment for national peace, stability and sustainable development.

"When it comes to sanctions, the Security Council should exercise prudence, in order to avoid reversing the current positive momentum," he added.

"The Chinese government is consistent in its support of the peace process in South Sudan and has provided its assistance to South Sudan within its capacity," said Wu.

"China stands ready along with the international community to continue with its constructive role in assisting South Sudan to achieve peace and stability," he said.

South Sudan has faced ongoing challenges since a political face-off between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar erupted into full-blown conflict in Dec, 2013. The crisis has produced one of the world's worst

displacement situations with immense suffering for civilians.

Despite the Aug, 2015, peace agreement, that formally ended the war, conflict and instability have also spread to previously unaffected areas in the Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr-El-Ghazal regions of South Sudan.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and more than two million displaced in South Sudan, since late 2013, according to the UN.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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