Robyn Dixon and Carol J. Williams
Los Angeles Times
December 25, 2013

CHRISTMAS-SURGE-PEACE-US-TROOPS-CAI-120109-COLORThe United Nations Security Council authorized an urgent increase in peacekeeping forces for South Sudan on Tuesday in a bid to keep the world’s newest country from sliding into prolonged ethnic bloodletting only two years after gaining independence.

International officials said they had found a mass grave and cited reports of several more. Tens of thousands of people were seeking shelter in or near U.N. bases. Regional analysts said the number killed in the remote, impoverished country probably was already in the thousands.

In July 2011, Sudan’s mostly Christian and animist south seceded peacefully from the Arab, Muslim north after decades of civil war, creating South Sudan. Analysts cite that as a notable achievement of President Obama’s first term, and the new country has been lavished with international aid and investment to help establish itself.

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