UNITED NATIONS - Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has spoken to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and several other leaders as he seeks to bolster the UN force in South Sudan to protect civilians from worsening violence in the country, his spokesman said Tuesday.
The United Nations chief has proposed reinforcing the United Nations mission in the Republic of South Sudan with 5,500 more peacekeepers as well as additional assets. The mission currently has 7,000 troops and police in the country.
“On the situation in South Sudan, the secretary general has been speaking to many leaders, reaching out for their support for bolstering the capacity of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the country to allow it to do its utmost to protect civilians and for stepping up efforts to find a political solution to the crisis,” the spokesman said in a statement.
Besides the Pakistani leader, Ban has spoken with Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union and Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Dessalegn, President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, President of Malawi Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda, President of Tanzania Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina and Prime Minister of Nepal Khil Raj Regmi.
Tens of thousands of people have been displaced by the conflict in South Sudan, including some 45,000 now seeking protection at UNMISS bases.
Pakistan is the largest troop contributor to the UN peacekeeping operations around the world.