SOUTH SUDAN REJECTS THE PROPOSAL TO DEPLOY 4000 ADDITIONAL PEACEKEEPING TROOPS





United States’ proposal for UNSC to deploy 4000 additional peacekeepers in the region is rejected by the government of South Sudan. Government spokesman Michael Makuei said the proposal "seriously undermines the sovereignty of the Republic of South Sudan as a U.N. member state”. He also added that this was a new form of colonialism and urged African leaders to “take care and be vigilant”.South Sudan was accused of committing atrocities in the region after the civil war escalated in 2013 and killed tens of thousands of people. After the accusations of UN, US made a proposal for the United Nations Security Council to deploy an additional peacekeeping force of 4000 blue helmets in the region. While the purpose of the draft was “to protect the key installations like the airport of the capital Juba and the civilians”, it also authorized a new regional force that could use “all necessary means” to ensure stability. Although last week Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) executive secretary Mahboub Maalim said that the government of South Sudan has accepted the deployment of troops with no condition, South Sudan’s council of ministers issued a statement on the 8th of April, expressing their concerns on the proposal and the lack of clearness on the scope and mandate of the mission. The proposal includes a possibility to impose an arms embargo if the South Sudanese government rejects the proposal but another voting session is required for the embargo to come into force. Therefore, it is yet to be revealed. UN’s Effectiveness on PeacekeepingAlthough UN has been conducting peacekeeping missions since 1948, the debates revolving around the effectiveness of these missions have been quite controversial, especially after the failure to prevent the 1994 Rwandan Genocide from happening, which caused 800.000 people to lose their lives. There are some cases UN calls “successful” like Guatemala, Mozambique, Tajikistan, El Salvador, Cambodia and Namibia; on the other hand, there is Srebrenica, Somalia, Burundi, Rwanda and Sierra Leone that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Therefore, the effectiveness of peacekeeping missions and troops are being questioned. Furthermore, there are serious claims about the peacekeepers in South Sudan and their failure to protect the civilians even in UN camps. Witnesses told Associated Press that women and children were being raped in front of the peacekeepers, and they were just standing by. When UN accused South Sudan of sexual crimes, government spokesman Michael Mukaei didn’t deny the claims but stated that all necessary measures were being taken to prevent such things from happening again. He also added that UN accusations were misleading and these crimes were generally committed by peacekeepers. Under UNMISS, there is more than 12.000 blue helmets in the region but couldn’t stop at least 50.000 people from dying since 2013, which is another reason to question the effectiveness of UN peacekeepers. When the serious claims in South Sudan and other regions are considered, it is not difficult to understand why South Sudanese government made such a decision. Last week, Burundi also rejected a proposal to deploy 228 peacekeepers in the region and expressed the same concerns, claiming that the proposal was seriously undermining the country’s sovereignty. These last incidents show how African countries started questioning the legitimacy and effectiveness of UN in their regions. Öykü Deniz Aytemiz

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