UN Security Council approves thousands more S.Sudan peacekeepers

UNITED NATIONS Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:12pm EST

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UNITED NATIONS Dec 24 (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council approved plans on Tuesday to almost double the number of United Nations peacekeepers in South Sudan as soon as possible to protect civilians from worsening violence that has pushed the world's newest state to the verge of civil war.

The 15-member council unanimously authorized a request by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to boost the strength of the U.N. mission in South Sudan to 12,500 troops and 1,323 police, up from its previous mandate of 7,000 troops and 900 police. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols, editing by G Crosse)

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