S SUDAN: Government to Accept More UN Peacekeepers

JUBA SEPTEMBER 6, 2016 (CISA)The government of South Sudan on September 4, agreed to accept 4,000 extra peacekeepers in a bid to avoid an arms embargo threatened by the United Nations Security Council.

The government however said details of the deployment were still being discussed following a meeting in the country’s capital, Juba, between President Salva Kiir and the UN Security Council, led by US Ambassador Samantha Power, reported Reuters.

“To improve the security situation the Transitional Government of National Unity gave its consent to the deployment, as part of UNMISS, of the regional protection force,” the South Sudanese government and the UN Security Council said in a joint statement.

The 15-member council last month authorized the deployment of a 4,000-strong regional protection force as part of the 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping mission already on the ground, known as UNMISS following deadly violence in Juba in mid-July between President Kiir’s troops and soldiers loyal to opposition leader Riek Machar.

During the meeting, the council further pledged to discuss imposing a possible arms embargo on South Sudan if UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon reports back in mid-September that the government was not cooperating on the force and was obstructing the work of peacekeepers on the ground.

“The Transitional Government of National Unity commits to permit free movement to UNMISS in conformity with its mandate, including protecting civilians,” read the statement.

According to the joint statement, the countries contributing troops to the force UNMISS and the government would “continue to work through the modalities of deployment.”

East African regional bloc IGAD pushed for a regional protection force and has pledged to provide the troops.

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