• No_Ads
today's Pick
Regional nations approve military force for S. SudanPublish Date: Jan 22, 2014
Regional nations approve military force for S. Sudan
  • mail
  • img
UPDF troops arrive in S. Sudan
newvision

NAIROBI, Kenya - East African nations have approved a 5,500-strong military force for war-torn South Sudan to end weeks of bitter fighting that has devastated the young nation, Kenya's foreign minister said Wednesday.

Thousands have been killed and half a million civilians forced to flee the fighting between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels allied to his sacked deputy Riek Machar.

"The Security Council within IGAD has already adopted a resolution allowing 5,500 troops into South Sudan," Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed told reporters, referring to the seven-member Intergovernmental Authority on Development.

IGAD is mediating deadlocked talks in Ethiopia between the warring parties, to end a conflict in which the United Nations says atrocities have been committed, including mass killings, sexual violence and widespread destruction.

Uganda, an IGAD-member, has already sent troops to South Sudan on its own and taken a key role in the fighting in support of Kiir, and it was not clear if those soldiers would be included in the force.

Rebel chief Machar has demanded Kampala withdraw all forces, claiming Ugandan fighter jets have tried to kill him, and has questioned the neutrality of IGAD as a mediator.

A draft cessation of hostilities deal seen by AFP and put to delegates in Addis Ababa proposes an IGAD-led team to monitor the proposed deal on the ground.

Mohamed said the force would "support the monitoring and verification of cessation of hostilities, to ensure that peace and normalcy return to the Republic of South Sudan".

But she also said the force could be deployed "even before" a deal was agreed.

Mohamed said that Kenya -- which deployed troops in South Sudan to help evacuate citizens trapped in the fighting -- has been approached to send in troops as part of the force.

"Some countries have already agreed to send troops, others are considering," Mohamed said, initially saying Kenya would be willing to take part, but then later saying a decision had yet to be made.

The draft IGAD ceasefire accord presented to peace delegates meeting in Addis Ababa, notes the "scale of human suffering... with great loss of human life", since fighting broke out on December 15.

It also specifically highlights that both sides must "refrain" from attacking civilians, including summary executions, use of child soldiers as well as "rape, sexual abuse and torture".

Fighting has spiralled into ethnic killings between members of Kiir's Dinka people -- the country's largest group -- and Machar's Nuer. Many fear the conflict has spun out of the control of the politicians who sparked it.

An emergency regional summit of IGAD leaders planned for Thursday in Juba has been cancelled, but the same issues of striking a deal will be discussed at the African Union in Addis Ababa next week.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Increased cases of violence worry Archbishop Lwanga
THE Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese, Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga has expressed concern over increased cases of violence in families...
Pope Francis leads Easter celebrations
Pope Francis celebrated Easter mass on Sunday with a message of social solidarity as the world's Orthodox marked a holiday marred by bitter divisions over Ukraine and clashes broke out in Jerusalem....
Saudi woman defies driving ban, husband fined
A Saudi woman defied the kingdom's ban on female driving, getting behind the wheel of her husband's car before police detained the couple and fined the man, a newspaper said Sunday....
Four French journalists
Four French journalists held captive in Syria for almost a year were free and "in good health" on Saturday....
Tributes have continued to flow for former West Budama North County MP William Oketcho Odumu who died at Mulago hospital in Kampala....
Pope Francis washed the feet of a dozen elderly and disabled people including a Libyan Muslim during an Easter ritual in Rome on Thursday imitating Jesus Christ's humility....
WIll the national ID registration process be completed in the scheduled 4 months timeframe?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter