Advance team of UN peacekeepers arrive in South Sudan

AP News
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Posted: May 01, 2017 10:06 AM

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The U.N. says an advance party of peacekeepers with a bolstered mandate to use force have arrived in South Sudan, the first blue helmets with a greater authority to protect civilians in the troubled East African nation.

Shantal Persaud, a spokeswoman for the U.N. mission in South Sudan told The Associated Press Monday that at least 13 peacekeepers from a regional protection force mandated by the Security Council have arrived in the capital of Juba.

She said the troops will reinforce existing engineering operations and help to prepare camp sites for the 4,000 peacekeepers expected to arrive by July this year.

South Sudan's government had earlier blocked the force from entering the country, claiming they are not needed and would violate South Sudan's sovereignty.