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South Sudan offers security pledge to U.N.

  |   July 12, 2013 at 10:51 AM
UNITED NATIONS, July 12 (UPI) -- South Sudan's government is committed to improving its overall track record by ensuring the protection of civilians, its envoy to the United Nations said.

The U.N. Security Council voted to extend the mandate for the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan for a year. South Sudan became an independent country two years ago but has struggled to ensure peace because of lingering conflict with Sudan.

Francis Mading Deng, the South Sudanese envoy to the United Nations, told the Security Council in a Thursday meeting the government was committed to improving the rule of law and protection of its citizens.

Hilde Johnson, U.N. special envoy for South Sudan, said Monday the country has experienced "many setbacks and problems" since independence in 2011.

Deng said he shared the Security Council's concern for security in the country and welcomed a proposal to reconfigure the peacekeeping force to focus on "high-risk areas."

The resolution extending the mandate expressed deep concern for national security but a deep commitment to maintaining the peace.

The mission is mandated to use "all necessary means, within the limits of its capacity" to ensure stability in South Sudan. It is authorized under a Chapter VII resolution, permitting the use of force if necessary."

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