Edith M. Lederer of the Associated Press is reporting that the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a new peacekeeping force for South Sudan on Friday, assuring the world's newest nation on the eve of its independence of military and police support to help maintain peace and security.
The council authorized the deployment of up to 7,000 military personnel and 900 international police, plus an unspecified number of U.N. civilian staff, including human rights experts.
The council acted ahead of independence celebrations on Saturday in South Sudan's capital, Juba, when the mainly ethnic African South officially broke away from the Arab-dominated North, whose capital is in Khartoum.
South Sudan's independence is the culmination of a 2005 peace deal that ended more than two decades of civil war, but there are fears the conflict could be reignited because troops from the North and South are facing off in the contested oil-rich border region of Abyei. Northern troops and forces loyal to the South are also fighting in Southern Kordofan, a state just over the border in the North.
This is a great example of support for the burgeoning nation amid reports of conflict. Hopefully other nations will come forward individually and publicly in support of South Sudan, actions that will help the new nation maintain its independence.
Read more at the Associated Press.
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