World Bulletin / News Desk
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has relented to international calls for an Eastern Africa protection force to be deployed in the troubled country.
However, one local analyst told Anadolu Agency on Saturday that Kiir’s government must convince its public that such a force can help bring stability.
Intense lobbying was seen at an extraordinary meeting of the eight-country Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on Friday in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
Since the removal of South Sudan’s opposition leader Riek Machar as first vice president on July 15 and the subsequent sacking of ministers belonging to his SPLM/A-IO movement, the IGAD has been stern in its calls for an intervention force.
IGAD leaders agreed that chiefs of staff of the member countries should go to Juba and find ways of realizing the plan, Executive Secretary Mahboub Maalim told reporters after the meeting broke up late on Friday.
Kiir was also called on to reinstate SPLM/A-IO ministers sacked following the July 15 event that brought the country to the edge of total collapse, according to a senior IGAD official speaking anonymously to Anadolu Agency.
The president was represented in Addis Ababa by a transitional unity government delegation led by Gen. Taban Deng, former right-hand man and confidante of the now estranged Machar.
However, a spokesman for the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) ,Bol Makeng Yol, criticized the decision to being foreign troops to the country, claiming his government has managed to control the situation.
"I don't see the necessity of foreign forces deployment. Juba is at peace and trust is gaining momentum between the new opposition leadership and the government; this is a mere conspiracy against the government by the IGAD to achieve their agenda of regime change," Makeng told Anadolu Agency.
Augustino Ting Mayai, a South Sudanese political analyst working for the Juba-based Sudd Institute for Strategic Studies, said the deployment of foreign to protect displaced people, civilians and politicians was vital for stability.
"It depends how this force will be deployed. If they are deployed like UN peacekeepers who only sit in the compound without surveillance then their coming will have no impact," Ting said.
Ting said a majority of South Sudanese were opposed to foreign forces because many had seen the negative impacts of outside troops in Somalia, Iraq and Libya.
"The government is required to go back again to aware citizens … without that, their work will be difficult," he added.