UN extends its mission in South Sudan as Juba objects to use of “drones”

New York, October 9, 2015 (SSNA) — The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Friday passed a resolution extending operation of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to the 15th of December 2015 and allows the peacekeepers to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones to help monitor and track the ongoing civil war.

The resolution also calls for enforcement of the implementation of the IGAD-Plus’s compromise peace agreement.

South Sudan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Francis Mading Deng, was outraged at the meeting venue after the resolution was adopted by a vote of 13, with Russia and Venezuela abstaining.

Francis was critical of the UN’s use of drones in the violence-wracked nation, saying Juba was not consulted and that the use of UAVs will invite hostility.

"Without consultation with the government is to invite controversy, and potential disagreement and hostility, when harmony and cooperation are what the situation calls for," Francis complained.

On September 15, Russia, Angola, and Venezuela blocked the US-backed resolution which carries sanctions against South Sudanese army Chief Paul Malong Awan and rebel General Johnson Olony.

Meanwhile, Herve Ladsous, the United Nations’ Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations disagrees. He states that the use of drones is essential for early warning which is necessary for the protection of civilians.

“We believe there is a requirement to deploy UAVs for enhanced early warning, necessary to protect civilians as well as for the safety and security of peacekeepers,” he said.

Ladsous added that talks between UN and Juba about the use of UAVs will continue.

The latest UN’s resolution requires UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to report to the Security Council within six months.

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