September 29, 2016 (JUBA) – The African Union has stressed on the necessity of reaching an enhanced coordination between the its Peace and Security Council, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), regional bloc (IGAD) and the African non-permanent Members of the UNSC to reach consensus on details and measures of deploying the Regional Protection Forces (RPF) in South Sudan.
- A general view of a meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council (Photo courtesy of the African Union)
The AUPSC made the call at the end of its 626th meeting, held on 19 September.
Members of the AUPSC underlined the importance of deploying the RPF, pursuant to UNSC resolution 2304 (2016) of 12 August 2016, and in total coordination with the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU), with a view to reaching a consensus on all the details related to forming the RPF, as well as its deployment, mandate and areas of operation, within the framework of the ruling principles of peacekeeping, and enabling the RPF fulfill its mandate;
It further urged the TGoNU to avail the revised matrix on the implementation of its 2015 peace deal to all relevant stakeholders to assess its implications.
The continental body called upon all regional and international stakeholders to support the implementation of the accord and to encourage all efforts to ensure peace in conflict-hit South Sudan.
African leaders, in July, backed plans to deploy RPF to South Sudan after recent fighting between rival forces left hundreds dead.
The force was expected from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan and Uganda. These troops are expected to boost the 12,000-strong UN peacekeeping force is already in the world youngest nation, but the AU force would have a stronger mandate.
South Sudan government had opposed the deployment of the force, despite evidence that its peace deal remains under threat.
Meanwhile, the AUPSC said it welcomes the readiness of Arab Republic of Egypt to actively participate in the regional protection force in South Sudan.