More than 30,000 new UN peacekeepers to be added by 50 countries – Obama

© Aziz Taher
More than 30,000 new troops from over 50 nations will be added to the UN’s peacekeeping mission, US President Barack Obama announced on Monday.

Obama stressed that for the UN to keep its peacekeeping mission from bending under “unprecedented strains,” more nations will need to commit troops.

“Our collective security depends on it,” he said.

Obama said the US itself will expand its support for peacekeeping missions, promising additional resources, more military officers, logistical support and construction projects.

The news comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that Beijing will commit 8,000 troops and $1 billion to the UN’s peacekeeping efforts.

Currently, there are more than 100,000 uniformed personnel taking part in the UN’s peacekeeping mission, including some 90,000 troops and 13,500 police officers from 122 nations around the world, according to the international body’s own data. The UN is currently involved in 16 peacekeeping operations around the globe.

In addition to troops, Obama said nations around the world are also contributing medical units, helicopters and “capabilities to counter [improved explosive devices]” so that peacekeepers can remain safe.

However, Obama also said “abuse by peacekeepers has to end.” The president noted that some peacekeepers have been involved in rape and assault, which “undermines the core mission” of the UN by undermining the confidence of local communities.

Just last month, the head of the UN peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic resigned over rape and murder allegations against his forces.

“We must insist on zero tolerance for abuse,” Obama said.