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U.N. bolsters peacekeeping mission in South Sudan

Jan. 7, 2014 at 11:55 AM

JUBA, South Sudan, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- The United Nations said it borrowed from a neighboring peace mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo to help with security in South Sudan.

The United Nations said three military helicopters on loan from the U.N. peacekeeping missing in the Democratic Republic of Congo were deployed to Juba, the South Sudanese capital. The U.N. Mission in South Sudan said the helicopters would be used to transport personnel and equipment to U.N. peacekeeping bases in the country.

South Sudan, the world's newest nation, descended into chaos last month when President Salva Kiir accused former Vice President Riek Machar of launching a coup. Machar was sidelined when Kiir reshuffled his Cabinet last year but denies trying to topple the government.

Parties to the conflict agreed to sit down at the negotiating table in neighboring Ethiopia in an effort to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis.

The U.N. mission denied reports that rebel forces were advancing on Juba but said the situation in Bor, a town in the restive state of Jonglei, remained "tense." The U.N. Mission in South Sudan said Monday it was struggling to provide protection to the estimated 9,000 civilians gathered at its compound there.

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