UN to send 7,000 peacekeepers to South Sudan - Macleans.ca

UN to send 7,000 peacekeepers to South Sudan

World’s newest country plagued by social, economic challenges


The UN is expected to approve the deployment of 7,000 international peacekeepers to South Sudan, which is set to become the world’s newest independent state Saturday. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the mission should focus on protecting South Sudanese civilians and encouraging military and judicial reforms in the new country. After decades of civil war with northern Sudan — ruled by Arabs in Khartoum — South Sudan faces a plethora of social and economic difficulties. More than 80 per cent of the population is illiterate, and The Sydney Morning Herald reports that there are fewer than 500 doctors in the entire country. Furthermore, key elements of a peace deal with the North have not been hammered out. These include agreements on sharing oil, which is mostly extracted in the south and refined in the north. Also, the border has yet to be precisely demarcated, and thousands of northern civilians are fleeing to the south amidst bombing raids and attacks supported by the north’s president, Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Sydney Morning Herald

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