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S. Sudan against deployment of peacekeepers without Juba’s approval

September 28, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudan does not support the move to increase the numbers of United Nations troops in the young nation, the foreign affairs spokesperson said, a day after Britain hinted on deploying 370 soldiers to the war-torn country.

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South Sudan’s foreign affairs spokesperson, Mawien Makol (Photo: Citizen News)

Mawien Makol Arik, the South Sudanese foreign affairs ministry official, said government should fully be involved in negotiations for the deployment of extra peacekeepers in the country.

“We are not for the increment of the troops of the UN in south Sudan,” said Arik.

“The government is so sceptical about the increasing size of the troops because the country has already signed peace,” he added, referring to the long-awaited peace agreement signed last month to end the 20-months of conflict in the young nation.

The British Prime Minister David Cameroon told reporters that Britain would send 370 soldiers to help train and advise the12,000 strong peacekeeping force in South Sudan.

“Ditto in South Sudan. If we can, as peacekeepers, help to maintain a level of decency to enable development in that country, there will again be less poverty, less migration, less issues that affect us back home,” Cameroon told Sky News television Sunday.

The United Kingdom will send troops to Somalia, another conflict ridden African nation.

South Sudan says sending more foreign troops must be made with the consent of Juba.

“We do not need protection but what we need is the building capacity of our people and we are very much concerned with size increase of the troops,” stressed the top diplomat.

“We just need UN to facilitate the capacity of our SPLA [Sudan Peoples Liberation Army] soldiers and capacity of people that are concerned with provision of security,” he added.

Arik said the move to deploy peace keepers into South Sudan should not be decided by others.

The UN troops in South Sudan are charged to provide protection to civilians facing imminent threat from violence. At least 200,000 civilians are at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites across the country having fled their homes following deadly clashes between the country’s warring factions. An agreement to end the conflict was signed last month and a Transitional Government of National Unity is expected to be in place later this year.

(ST)

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