The United States is calling on the United Nations to send 4,000 more peacekeepers to South Sudan just days after a U.N. report found that its own peacekeepers in the war-torn country had contributed to the February massacre of internally displaced persons in the South Sudanese city of Malakal, where at least 30 people were killed,
Washington’s ambassador to the U.N. this week circulated a draft resolution to the 15-member Security Council, seen by Reuters, that would approve a regional protection force "to use all necessary means, including undertaking robust and active steps and engaging in direct operations where necessary," to secure Juba and protect the airport and other key facilities.
Meanwhile a U.N. report released Friday said the organization's own peacekeepers failed through a “combination of inaction, abandonment of post and refusal to engage” to protect people who were attacked by gunmen within a U.N. Protection of Civilians site in the city of Malakal.
That means that peacekeepers at the site simply ran away or said they did not have the authority to engage in the fighting despite being greenlighted to do so as part of their mission.
WATCH:The World Today - FORGOTTEN SUDAN
The report also said gunmen were able to acquire weapons and carry out the attack due to failure by the peacekeepers to stop weapon smuggling.
The end result was tragic, “ensuring that civilians would be placed in serious risk in the very location to which they had come for protection,” the report added.
Beyond failing to do their job, U.N. peacekeepers have been embroiled in sexual abuse scandals involving children being paid for sex and raped at the hands of soldiers.
A report last March revealed that at least 98 girls from the Central African Republic were sexually abused by U.N. peacekeepers and French troops, with four of the girls forced to have sex with a dog by a French commander. The soldiers were deployed as part of the U.N.'s mission in CAR known as MINUSCA.
While advocating for more U.N. ground forces in the country, the U.S. itself has been accused of fueling the five-year conflict in South Sudan since its independence in 2011.
In June, The Intercept reported that rebel forces in South Sudan used child soldiers and that the U.S. State Department, under Hillary Clinton, sent arms despite a law that bans providing military assistance to nations that arm children.