UN Votes to Increase Troops in South Sudan to 12.5K
80% increase as Security Council calls for 'immediate cessation of hostilities'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 24, 2013 2:36 PM CST
UN peacekeepers salute during a memorial for two colleagues who were killed on Thursday, in the UNMISS compound in Juba, South Sudan Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013.   (AP Photo/UNMISS)

(Newser) – The UN Security Council has voted to temporarily increase the UN peacekeeping force in conflict-torn South Sudan to 12,500 troops from 7,000, a nearly 80% increase. The resolution adopted unanimously today by the UN's most powerful body will also increase the UN's international police contingent from 900 to 1,323. To reach the new levels, the council authorized the temporary transfer of troops, police, and equipment from UN missions in Congo, Darfur, Abyei, Ivory Coast, and Liberia. The UN also wants attack helicopters for South Sudan.

The council condemned the fighting and violence against civilians and ethnic communities that have caused hundreds of deaths across South Sudan, and reported human rights violations by all parties. It called for "an immediate cessation of hostilities and the immediate opening of a dialogue."