South Sudan’s transitional government agreed to allow 4,000 extra peacekeeping troops to enter the country on Thursday evening after three days of talks with UN diplomats about the security situation of the country that is situated in east Africa.
South Sudan’s Minister of Cabinet Affairs Martin Elia Lomoro said that the government is also committed to ensuring the freedom of movement of UN forces and supporting troops in their role of protecting civilians.
Lomoro, who spoke to reporters after the meeting in Juba, read out other commitments made by south Sudan’s transitional government during the talks which President Salva Kiir and diplomats from the United Nations participated in. He also said that the transitional government will support the distribution of humanitarian aid in accordance with the agreement.
The government in Juba had previously announced its rejection of the decision to deploy additional peacekeeping troops. The UN Security Council threatened to impose a number of sanctions and an arms embargo on the country where about 13,000 peacekeepers serve.
Last month, the UN Security Council which is composed of 15 member states allowed the deployment of a regional protection force composed of 4,000 troops to be part of the UN peacekeeping mission that is already on the ground known as UNMISS (UN Mission in South Sudan).
The Security Council tried to address the government’s reservations about the deployment of African “forces” to South Sudan based on a Security Council resolution to end the internal conflicts in the country.
During a meeting with key ministers of President Salva Kiir’s government, the ambassadors of 15 member states of the Security Council explained the importance and the need to deploy these additional forces that consist of 4,000 soldiers to southern Sudan.
One of the diplomats told AFP on condition of anonymity that South Sudanese ministers “were surprised to see that the Security Council spoke with one voice” and that “They were surprised by the tone of Russia, and also of China, which acted like someone who lost two peacekeepers.”
China and Russia abstained from a Security Council vote that was held on the 12th of August on the resolution that authorised deploying a protection force consisting of 4,000 troops. This force enjoys more powers than the international force consisting of 13,000 troops that is already in the country enjoys. The international force has come under a lot of criticism because it was unable to protect civilians during the fierce fighting that broke out in Juba in July.