Fri, Jul 22, 2016 - Page 7 News List

UN memo questions UK’s veto on Security Council


UN officials have questioned whether Britain is worthy of being a veto-power on the Security Council after it withdrew police officers from a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan during recent violence without consulting the world body, according to an internal memo seen on Wednesday.

Germany and Sweden also withdrew police without consultation and the UN has barred all three countries from replacing the officers once the situation improves, the internal memo by the UN peacekeeping department said.

“The departure of the police officers has affected the operational capability of the mission at headquarters level and has dealt a serious blow to the morale of its peacekeepers,” said the memo, which is an account of what happened and used by officials to inform UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Heavy fighting involving tanks and helicopters raged in South Sudan’s capital of Juba for several days earlier this month between troops loyal to South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and those backing South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar. At least 272 people were killed.

Britain withdrew two police officers, Germany seven and Sweden three, according to the memo. It also said that the US was reportedly planning to withdraw nine police officers.

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