S. Sudan Agrees To Re-Deployment of Regional Forces
South Sudan government has finally accepted the deployment of a UN-mandated regional force to Juba after months of hesitation.
“I would like to inform the people on behalf of the transitional government of national unity that your cabinet has resolved unanimously to allow the deployment of the regional protection force anytime from now,” deputy Information Minister Akol Paul Kordit said.
The announcement came after lengthy deliberations during a cabinet meeting chaired by President Salva Kiir, but no details were given about when and where the force would be deployed.
Following an outbreak of fighting in July, the UN Security Council authorised the deployment of an additional 4,000 troops from East Africa with a stronger mandate than the 13,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission UNMISS.
Kiir initially opposed the deployment of additional troops as a breach of national sovereignty but later agreed to their deployment on September 4.
Since then his government has been accused by the UN of dragging its heels and failing to take concrete action.
The Security Council has threatened to impose an arms embargo on South Sudan if the government blocks the deployment.
Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda will contribute infantry troops to the new force and Rwanda has also offered to deploy tactical helicopters, which South Sudan has in the past opposed.
The UN wants the regional force to be authorized to use all necessary means to ensure security in Juba.