UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations said on Friday the first batch of peacekeeping reinforcements has arrived at Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
A 72-officer-strong Bangladeshi police unit that was originally serving the UN mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo reached Juba, said the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), which has been confirmed to Xinhua by UN spokesperson's office.
They are the first of the 5,500 additional peacekeepers and police advisers requested by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and approved by the Security Council unanimously Tuesday.
The Bangladeshi police officers who are trained in crowd management and security will be deployed immediately to help manage the growing population of internally displaced persons, who are now seeking refuge at UN Compounds throughout South Sudan, according to a note released by the spokesperson's office.
The UNMISS reported that approximately 63,000 civilians are now sheltering in UN bases across South Sudan.
According to the mission, heavy fighting broke out between government and rebel forces in Jonglei and Upper Nile states over the past three days. Heavy fighting was also reported Thursday in Malakal, Upper Nile state. Juba, the national capital, remained calm but tense.
Tensions within South Sudan, the world's youngest country which only gained independence after seceding from Sudan in July 2011, developed into open conflict on Dec. 15 when President Salva Kiir' s government said soldiers loyal to former deputy president Riek Machar, dismissed in July, launched an attempted coup.
According to figures from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the conflict has killed thousands and driven at least 121,600 others from their homes in the past 12 days. The humanitarian organizations estimate the figure could be higher.
KHARTOUM, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- South Sudanese army on Friday announced the end of fighting in Malakal, the capital city of Upper Nile State, with a great victory against the forces loyal to former South Sudanese vice-president Riek Machar after four days of violent clashes.
"The fighting ended at 12:00 p.m. local time (GMT 0900)," Philip Aguer, South Sudanese army's spokesman, told Xinhua by phone. Full story
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- A top UN official in South Sudan on Thursday called on the country's political leaders to " give peace a chance," and expressed hope for receiving the first peacekeeping reinforcement on the ground within the next 48 hours.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative, Hilde Johnson, said over 50,000 civilians have sought refuge at UN bases in the world's youngest country, adding that the nationhood painstakingly built over decades of conflict and strife was at stake. Full story