UN considers increasing force in south Sudan

UNITED NATIONS — The United Nations is considering increasing its force in high-risk areas along southern Sudan's border with the government-controlled north ahead of a crucial independence referendum.
But UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy warned the Security Council Monday that a beefed-up UN force would not be able to prevent or contain a north-south clash.
He said the best tool to prevent a return to civil war is to promote agreement between the two sides on key outstanding issues that include borders, voting rights and control of oil-rich Abyei ahead of the Jan. 9 referendum.
Sudan's UN Ambassador Dafa Alla echoed this view, saying increasing the U.N. force will not help the parties achieve a settlement.