48 Killed in Attack on UN Peacekeeping Base

elvisApril 18, 2014

I don't know; does anybody think about South Sudan?

From the link: "Today's peacekeeping operations are not neutral. On the contrary, they are mandated to work with host-state governments to build state institutions and most recently to support government security forces to eliminate illegal armed actors. This holds true even if the government is a party to a conflict or committing abuses."

"(CNN) -- Heavily armed militants staged an attack on a U.N. peacekeepers' base that was sheltering civilians in South Sudan on Thursday, killing at least 48 people and seriously injuring dozens more, a U.N. spokesman in the country said Friday.

The attack on the U.N. base in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, began when militants used rocket-propelled grenades to breach the compound, U.N. spokesman Joseph Contreras said.

Contreras said the gunmen then opened fire at the base, where peacekeepers had been hosting and protecting nearly 5,000 civilians.

Details about how the attack ended were not immediately available, but the death toll is expected to rise, Contreras said. A search of the site continued Friday, he said."

Looks like Ms. Giffen, quoted below, was (sadly) prescient.

How the U.N. should handle South Sudan

By Alison Giffen, Special to CNN

"Editor's note: Alison Giffen is co-director of the Future of Peace Operations program at the Stimson Center, a nonprofit and nonpartisan international security think tank. She has worked on the protection of civilians and peacekeeping in South Sudan since 2007 and lived in Sudan from 2007-2009. The views expressed are her own."

snip- "Finally, this crisis should force U.N. stakeholders to re-examine the assumptions underlying UNMISS's mandate, and modern peacekeeping more broadly. Today's peacekeeping operations are not neutral. On the contrary, they are mandated to work with host-state governments to build state institutions and most recently to support government security forces to eliminate illegal armed actors. This holds true even if the government is a party to a conflict or committing abuses.

These mandates dilute scarce resources. Of greater concern, however, is that peacekeeping operations like UNMISS can find it difficult to hold governments to account for abuses while trying to cajole them to move toward democratic institutions. Moreover, when peacekeeping operations are seen as partial to one side, opposition groups are more likely to view the United Nations as a party to the conflict rather than an impartial protector or trusted arbiter.

With this in mind, UNMISS needs to take a position of strict impartiality. High level U.N. officials have indicated that a repositioning is underway, with Undersecretary General for Peacekeeping Operations Herv Ladsous recently saying: "Clearly, in the present situation we are treating all sides equally"

The United States and other U.N. Security Council members must reinforce this redirection by sending strong messages to U.N. headquarters, UNMISS, armed forces on all sides and the people of South Sudan. The message should be that UNMISS has essentially shifted into neutral, but that neutral does not mean passivity in the midst of violence.

Looking ahead, a new Security Council mandate should be negotiated that focuses on the impartial protection of civilians, rather than a reliance on the government of South Sudan. The United States and U.N. members will have to depend less on UNMISS and become much more directly involved in the state and society-building. Such a drastic transformation of UNMISS can help it reduce the violence in South Sudan today and help to avoid similar crises in the future."

Here is a link that might be useful: CNN Story Today

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david52 Zone 6

I have no idea what Alison Giffen is talking about.

"Dozens of civilians sheltering in a UN base in the South Sudan town of Bor have been killed in an attack by armed youths, the UN says.

Toby Lanzer, the UN's top aid official in South Sudan, told the BBC that the youths broke through the gates and opened fire.

UN peacekeepers returned fire and eventually repelled the attackers, he said.

Almost 5,000 civilians are sheltering at the base in the war-ravaged town.

Thousands of people have been killed in South Sudan since fighting began in December between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his former deputy, Riek Machar.

More than one million people have fled their homes in the conflict, some to neighbouring countries.

Mr Lanzer said a group of about 350 youths had left the centre of Bor, in Jonglei state, and approached the base on Thursday morning, allegedly wanting to present a petition.

"They managed to force the gate open, they came in and started shooting indiscriminately," he told the BBC.

"It is the bravery of the peacekeepers that managed to repel the attack. Unfortunately we have had significant loss of life. I can't confirm the number but I can tell you it runs into the dozens."

Mr Lanzer, the UN assistant secretary general in South Sudan, said the youths were dressed in civilian clothing and it was not clear who they were.

"It was totally unprovoked and I think that meting out violence on a group of civilians who are sheltering and seeking protection from the United Nations is not only cowardly it is abominable," he said.

Mr Lanzer added that the UN had stepped up security following the attack.

"We have further reinforced our base and we will send very clear signals to anybody who wishes to approach us with any intent of wrongdoing," he said.

"We've got clear rules of engagement and we will use force if at all necessary to protect people whose sole purpose for being inside our base is to stay alive."

South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011 after a long and bloody conflict to become the world's newest state.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 7:44PM
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I''m confused by your opening line was the word what missing before does ir is a it does anybody think about South Sudan.
We thought a lot a bout it several years ago when the Christian minority were being slaughtered by the Muslim government.
There were a number of Hollywood celebrities that spent a good amount of time raising money for the people of the region (of course the right mocked their good deeds)
They have oil!

The country has only been independent 3 years and there is a civil war mostly along ethnic lines between Dinka & Nuer both of who fought against the government of Khartoum for 2 decades!
Hard to tel the knives from the wounds!
The current government believes rebels are hiding in UN camps.
China needs to sort this one out since China consumes most of the new countries oil & has been fronting credit big time.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:01PM
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No, Labrea, no missing words. Thanks, though. I really meant just that: "I don't know; does anybody think about South Sudan?" I really didn't till the article caught my attention.

Wow, you have been paying attention.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 8:38PM
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nancy_in_venice_ca Sunset 24 z10

does anybody think about South Sudan?

You're not familiar with the Sudan divestment campaign?

From 2005: SF Chronicle -- WASHINGTON / Lee says CalPERS isn't considering Sudan divestment / Research indicates retirement fund has stock interests there

From 2006: The Nation -- Divestment and Sudan

From 2008: NYT -- Sudan divestment campaigns gain momentum

From 2011: LAT -- CalPERS divesting from companies operating in Iran, Sudan

From 2014: FT -- Sudan proxy war hits Wall Street roadblock

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:39PM
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david52 Zone 6

Heard of Darfur?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2014 at 9:43PM
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