JUBA AUGUST 12, 2016 (CISA) – South Sudan government has opposed a proposal to station extra foreign troops in the country under UN command.
“We do not want the protection force to be under the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS),” Information Minister Michael Makuei said in a statement August 10, Reuters reported.
The UN Security Council is negotiating a US-backed proposal for an additional 4,000-strong force to ensure peace in Juba, under UNMISS command.
The proposal would impose an arms embargo if Juba failed to accept. Makeui said that having the force under UNMISS was aimed at “turning South Sudan into a protectorate” and instead stated that the force should be independent.
He further accused UNMISS, which currently has 12,000 troops, of failing to protect civilians. Last week the government said it would allow a deployment of African troops to Juba, after fighting between President Salva Kiir’s forces and fighters loyal to his rival, former vice president Riek Machar, killed dozens of people and drove tens of thousands from the capital last month.
In a statement on August 7, IGAD and other African nations pushed for the additional troops, saying they should be put under UN command.
Machar withdrew his troops to outside of Juba after a ceasefire ended street battles in the capital in July and called for the foreign troop deployment to act as a buffer between the rival forces.
The world’s youngest nation has been affected by civil conflict between the two warring sides. A shaky peace deal was agreed a year ago, but it was frequently violated. Machar returned to Juba as deputy president in April but later President Kiir appointed a new deputy to replace him in late July.