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UN sets benchmarks for deployment of IGAD force in South Sudan

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UNMISS peacekeepers patrols Yei Town on 25 January 2018 (photo UNMISS)
November 18, 2018 (NEW YORK) - The United Nations peacekeeping department set out three benchmarks for the integration of troops that the IGAD plan to deploy in South Sudan within the UN peacekeeping mission and called on the East African bloc to discuss the matter with them.

The matter was raised during a briefing on a joint visit with the African Union to South Sudan on 7-9 October by Jean-Pierre Lacroix, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), to the UN Security Council on Friday.

Lacroix said the United Nations is ready to support the peace process in South Sudan adding that this support will be within the bounds of its mandate. But he was keen to add that it will be ultimately for the Security Council to decide.

"However, the following principles would need to be applied: a continuing priority of protection of civilians in UNMISS’ mandated tasks; the need to preserve a single peacekeeping force with one unified command and control structure; and, that any addition to the force would have to be carried out consistent with the principles of peacekeeping and the standards to which we hold all troop and police-contributing countries," he stressed.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Troika countries which include two permanent members at the Security Council called on the IGAD to discuss the deployment of the IGAD force with the 15-member body.

Last September, before to move to Somalia, former UN Special Envoy for South Sudan Nicholas Haysom supported the deployment of the IGAD force as part of the security arrangement process as agreed in the revitalized peace deal to file the security gap and to bring the parties to fully to observe the ceasefire, disengage force and the troops cantonment process.

He further said the incorporation of the IGAD force in the UN Regional Force within the framework of the UNMISS mandate "(...) would allow this council to engage on the security architecture including the provision of specialist VIP personnel as well as the geography of disengagement which would provide a more conducive environment for a peacekeeping intervention".

The IGAD military leaders held two meetings and formed an assessment team to visit Juba on 10 November.

The assessment committee will submit its report to a meeting of the IGAD chiefs of staff to take place in Addis Ababa on 19 November 2018.

The IGAD will discuss the force and its integration in the UNMISS’s RPF once the region’s military finalize their reports and studies about the implementation process and the security situation.

The IGAD force will include forces from four countries Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and Uganda. Ethiopia has been already participating in the UN regional force deployed in South Sudan while Kenya had withdrawn its troops from the UNMISS to protest the sack of the force commander for failing to protect civilians in November 2016.

(ST)

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  • 19 November 09:19, by Eastern

    UN has always been right on this....We cannot have UPDF slithering around as "peacekeepers" when their sole objectives of coming to South Sudan is not to protect the civilians but to loot resources like timber, gold, etc. Omar Bashir should not just follow the oil down south under the guise of "peacekeeping".....1

    repondre message

  • 19 November 09:21, by Eastern

    Armed goons from neighbouring poor African countries should not posture as peacekeepers so just to benefit from UN logistics and funds as they loot South Sudan to the bones. There MUST be one commmand and control structure under UNMISS...!

    repondre message

    • 19 November 10:29, by Games

      Eastern
      You have nailed it. Uganda and Sudan troops are in the South Sudan for different purposes, not to protect civilians. In Unity State, there are massive displacement right now around the oilfields in the name of oil exploration.

      repondre message

  • 19 November 10:38, by Lenin Bull

    Guys good patriotic comments. The Peace initiatives by South Sudanese themselves is being diluted with foreign interests. Let President Salva Kiir and Dr.Riek be alert to this cunny scheming or else it will be second J1!

    repondre message

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