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Security Council selects five nonpermanent members

Rwanda, Argentina, Australia, South Korea and Luxembourg have won nonpermanent seats on the UN Security Council. The five countries will assume their new roles in January for a two-year term.

Each country needed at least 129 votes, a two-thirds majority, from among the 193 member states of the UN General Assembly. Argentina received 182 votes, South Korea scored 149, Rwanda got 148, Australia took 140, and Luxembourg sneaked in with 131.

In the Asia-Pacific region, South Korea needed a second round of voting to beat Bhutan and Cambodia, and in the "Western European and Others" group, Luxembourg beat Finland after a runoff.

The delegation for the Democratic Republic of Congo objected to Rwanda's joining the Council, accusing its neighbor of harboring war criminals sought by international authorities. A UN report also cast a shadow over Rwanda's election to the 15-member body - which has the ability to impose sanctions and authorize military interventions. According to the Security Council's "Group of Experts," Rwanda and Uganda, despite their denials, support M23 rebels in their fight against Congolese government troops in the east of the country.

Each year the Council renews five of its 10 nonpermanent seats, assigning them on a regional basis. Germany, Colombia, India, Portugal and South Africa will rotate out to make room for the new members.

The permanent members, each of which has veto power, are the United States, China, France, Britain and Russia.

mkg/ccp (AFP, Reuters)