South Sudan agrees to 4,000 UN troops

The move follows months of turmoil since the formation of a unity govt in April

South Sudan agrees to 4,000 UN troops

World Bulletin / News Desk

 South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, ravaged by almost three years of civil war, has given consent to the deployment of an additional regional force of 4,000 troops that will serve under the United Nations to beef up security in the capital, Juba. 

The government clarified its position Sunday on a UN resolution on sending troops after a meeting between a UN Security Council delegation and President Salva Kiir. 

“To improve security, the transitional government of national unity gave its consent to the deployment of a regional force recently authorized by United Nations Security Council,” South Sudan’s Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Elia Lomoro said in a joint press statement by the UN delegation and the government. 

The Security Council said the troop-contributing countries, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and the government will continue to work out the details of the deployment. 

The UN approved the deployment of 4,000 regional protection troops last month following renewed fighting that left 300 dead and displaced thousands from their homes. The vote to send troops followed a week of tough negotiations, with China, Russia, and Egypt voicing concerns over deploying UN peacekeepers without the government’s full consent.

 The government had vowed not to cooperate, citing sovereignty issues and the possibility of clashes between the country’s army forces and foreign soldiers. But a resolution which passed 11-0 with four abstentions gave the UN far more authority in South Sudan, backed by thousands of additional troops and lethal force if needed, to protect civilians and pressure armed antagonists in the conflict including government soldiers. 

Sudan and Uganda said they will not contribute to the regional protection, given their direct roles in the conflict. Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda are expected to contribute the bulk of the troops. 

South Sudan’s war has raged for two-and-half years, fuelled by growing stockpiles of weapons. The unity government was formed in April to end the conflict, which has so far claimed the lives of tens of thousands of people and displaced 2.4 million. 

Renewed fighting between soldiers loyal to president Salva Kiir and those backing ex-rebel leader Machar broke out in July sending Machar into exile after his base was bombed using helicopter guns by Kiir’s forces.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Eylül 2016, 08:05