South Sudan opposes drones for peace mission

2015-10-10 07:23
South Sudan President Salva Kiir. (File, AFP)

South Sudan President Salva Kiir. (File, AFP)

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New York - South Sudan told the United Nations on Friday that it opposed the use of surveillance drones to help track ongoing fighting in the world's youngest nation.

The comments came as the Security Council approved a resolution that asks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to deploy more helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) to strengthen the UN mission in South Sudan.

South Sudan's Ambassador Francis Mading Deng told the 15-member council that the use of UAVs was a "contested" issue and complained that the move was decided without consultation with Juba.

Such a decision will "invite controversy, and potential disagreement and hostility, when harmony and co-operation are what the situation calls for," Deng said.

Warring sides

The UN has made successful use of drones in its mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo, allowing peacekeepers to survey areas that are hard to access or too dangerous to deploy the blue helmets.

Russia and Venezuela abstained from the vote largely in protest at the new provision on the use of UAVs and another section on the threat of sanctions, but the resolution was adopted by a vote of 13 in favour.

Russian deputy ambassador Petr Iliichev said it was time to engage with South Sudan's warring sides to advance peace and not "frighten them off with the threat of sanctions."

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir signed a peace accord on August 26, a few days after rebel leader Riek Machar committed to the agreement, but fighting has continued.

Read more on:    south sudan  |  central africa

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