Egypt abstains from voting on resolution deploying regional protection force in Sudan

Saturday 13-08-2016 01:10 PM

Security Council members voting in favour of measures presented by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to prevent and combat sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

CAIRO, Aug 13 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt abstained from voting on Friday on a UN Security Council resolution, deploying a 4,000-strong regional protection force within the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

The Security Council adopted the resolution with 11 votes in favour while Egypt, Russia, China and Venezuela abstained.

According to Reuters, the resolution comes on the heels of a new wave of conflict that hit South Sudan in July between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those backing former Vice President Riek Machar, raising fears of a return to full-scale civil war.

The fighting marked a blow to the peace agreement, signed in August 2015, aiming to bring an end to the civil war that began in December 2013.

Egypt’s foreign ministry said in a statement ,quoting the Egyptian delegation at the Security Council as saying, that the Southern Sudanese government's approval to deploy forces is “an operational and practical necessity”.

The delegation said the adopted resolution disregards the stance of the transitional government from the deployment of regional protection force and signals at a number of measures to be taken against South Sudan in case its government disapproves of it.

Egypt proposed different formats of the resolution taking into account the consent of all parties, to “unite the council” but there was “insistence” to make arrangements and deploy forces without granting the government of South Sudan a chance to accept or reject the resolution.

Last week, the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi met with the chairperson of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).

Sisi  affirmed then Egypt’s keenness on consulting with the government of South Sudan and the African members of the Security Council over the deployment of regional protection force.

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