UN: Russia considering withdrawal from South Sudan force

By REUTERS
January 17, 2012 08:54

 
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UNITED NATIONS - Russia is considering withdrawing its military helicopters servicing the UN peacekeeping force in South Sudan after voicing alarm at attacks on Russian personnel there, a senior UN official said.

The statement by Susana Malcorra, undersecretary-general of the UN Department of Field Support, came during a recent increase in tribal violence in a remote area of South Sudan that caused some 60,000 people to flee.

"My sense is that at this point in time, Russia is seriously considering whether to stay or to leave South Sudan," Malcorra told Reuters in an interview.

The departure of Russia, which provides key services for the UN Mission in South Sudan, or UNMISS, could complicate matters in Africa's newest country, an impoverished oil-producing state struggling to establish a functioning security sector that is under the control of the Juba government.

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