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East African peacekeepers to be deployed in S. Sudan: IGAD


March 9, 2014 (JUBA) – Five East African countries have expressed willingness to send peacekeeping troops to protect South Sudan’s oil field and other key installations, a mediator from the regional bloc (IGAD) said last week.

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IGAD’s chief mediator for South Sudan peace talks, Seyoum Mesfin, speaks to the press following the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement between the South Sudanese government and rebels in Addis Ababa on 23 January 2014 (Photo: AFP)

Seyoum Mesfin, IGAD’s special envoy, said the proposed stabilisation force "will be modest, neutral and deterrent force that will secure vital installations including oil fields”, citing Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi as the countries willing to contribute peacekeepers to the new nation.

The regional bloc, in a statement issued last week, said it was in consultation with the African Union and United Nations over the proposed regional stabilisation force.

The new proposal, mediators argued, was part of the Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (MVM) of the South Sudanese crisis, which erupted in mid-December after a dispute among the presidential guards in the capital, Juba.

A South Sudanese official on Saturday vehemently denied an earlier report that Juba had requested the IGAD member countries to deploy troops to protect its oil fields.

Ateny Wek Ateny, the spokesperson for the presidency told Sudan Tribune that the proposal came from individual member countries of the East African regional bloc.

“What has been attributed to me to have said in Khartoum is incorrect. My statements were recorded and I have the audio. What has been said is not what I said. It is a misrepresentation of the statements I made before our ambassador and the other officials who were at the press conference with me," Ateny clarified.

"I did not say the government of the republic of South Sudan had asked for deployment of troops from IGAD member countries. I said the government of the republic of South Sudan had received a proposal from individual IGAD member countries seeking to deploy troops to protect oil fields," he stressed.

Ateny said his government was still studying the proposal before taking any decision.


About 10,000 people have reportedly been killed and nearly a million displaced when violence broke out in Juba and later extended to three of the country’s 10 states.

Since then, however, IGAD mediators led by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn have been trying to devise ways of ending the conflict, which saw a 23 January ceasefire deal it brokered violated by both warring factions.

South Sudanese rebels led by its former vice-president, Riek Machar have said a ceasefire could only hold, if Ugandan troops currently fighting alongside the South Sudanese army (SPLA) pull-out of the nearly three-months conflict.

Last month, the United States voiced similar concerns when it issues a strongly worded statement demanding the complete withdrawal of foreign troops involved in South Sudan, saying it contravened the cessation of hostilities deal.

Observers have expressed concerns that negotiations between South Sudan’s two warring parties have been slow, with little optimism for a break through, but the mediator on the contrary say "very good progress" had so far been made.

Both parties, according to IGAD’s special envoy, have agreed in principle to the "Declaration of Principles and framework for dialogue" that set the ground rules for denunciation of the violence that hit the country last year.

Meanwhile, a civil society conference is due on March 20 in the Ethiopian capital to get difference perspectives on the ongoing peace process.

A team of South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM) leadership, officials say, was also expected to convene in Addis Ababa, to develop an agenda, modalities, and timeframe for review and self-assessment of the party.

Last week, the United Nations said it urgently requires $75 million to meet the needs of South Sudan’s displaced persons in the first six months of 2014.


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  • 10 March 2014 07:56, by Kiir

    Useless deployment of troops to protect money only while hundreds of thane are drying in UN camps. Kenya and Rwanda should not be involved to protect S. Sudan oil.

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    • 10 March 2014 09:04, by Mi diit

      So Kiir and Museveni’s SPLA, UPDF, JEM, SPLA-N, etc, cannot protect the oilfields and have to look for more armies to help them.

      repondre message

      • 10 March 2014 10:21, by chol

        Hey coward Mi Diit you left your wives and kids behind in juba UN camps why don’t you come to pick them up before it too late.you are not brave than you think you are

        repondre message

        • 10 March 2014 10:35, by Rommel

          That’s an incredibly stupid and evil comment! Are you saying that you’re going to do harm to unarmed women and children!? There’s nothing brave about that... It’s cowardice. That incompetent idiot Salva Kiir only survived this rebellion with the help of Uganda, and so you really shouldn’t be boasting.

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          • 10 March 2014 11:33, by Rommel

            Salva Kiir didn’t have enough troops. He was quite simply outnumbered. The men that fought the war with Khartoum largely went home in 2006 and were replaced by erstwhile mercenaries from Khartoum. The Ugandans have provided him with the necessary respite in which to create new battalions and new divisions. The man is a fool.

            repondre message

          • 11 March 2014 06:25, by Toney Toney Matot

            Dear Rommel,
            I used to respect and admire your comments on this web always due to your wisdom and intellectuality manners but you seem to have been convince by some other elements who does not want Kiir to head the nation. if you were to be in the movement since than,you would have known that CDE Salva is not so ambitious for leadership.He can simply quit the seat but, should he do that,

            repondre message

            • 11 March 2014 06:30, by Toney Toney Matot

              Con. we will be in chaos.this war which is being fought in South Sudan have nothing to do with democracy at all,but it is a war of ngun deng prophecy.please come back and comment in the way you used to defeat Mi Diit (James Gatdet Dak).Thanks

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      • 10 March 2014 10:31, by Rommel

        Mi diit:
        There’s yet no *evidence* that JEM and SPLA-N are involved in this conflict. Your assertion is just a desperate attempt at appealing for military assistance in the form of supplies, weapons, ammunition and logistical support from Khartoum — assistance that I’m sure you have received. There is speculation that Eritrea is supplying the rebels through Sudan.

        repondre message

      • 10 March 2014 13:35, by Muorcienggok

        Miidit your comments are always negative, that clearly shows you are a fool and an idiot. Be educated that there is no nation for one tribe and let me assure you, this war will never be won by you though you have offered your asses to the West, Ethiopia and Sudan and the evidence is the seizure of the weapons that were about to be delivered to you.

        repondre message

        • 10 March 2014 14:16, by Thokidine

          Hi Muorchaathnggok
          U are too bias to condemn Midiit. Him is more educated than u would imagine but with this country being led by foolish majority, they don’t see and view others’ comment as valuable due to their incompetence. to tell the truth, this country has been liberated from Dinka had it not been the intervention of your husband (Uganda. If a nation could not be owned by one tribe, why

          repondre message

      • 10 March 2014 13:48, by Muorcienggok

        midiit, you went to school but is it as if what you studied is hatred otherwise a real academician is suppose to be an intellectual who analyses things, what will you achieve from civil war which will drag on for years, in which lives will be lost, infrastructure will be ruined and resources will be under utilized? This war is meaningless, what haven’t you been given that u r fighting for?

        repondre message

      • 10 March 2014 14:03, by Muorcienggok

        midiit you let us down in 1991 but we forgave u , you came back to enjoy the fruit which other people have sacrificed their blood for until you became 75% in our army with fake ranks but still you did not appreciate us. still your greedy hearts tell you it is better to make coup in which you will have Nuer’s nation had you succeeded. Iam convinced that nothing will satisfy u n r potential enemies

        repondre message

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