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South Sudan says no neighboring countries in regional force


Radio Tamazuj: Security Council arrives in South Sudan for negotiations

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, left, takes members of the UN Security Council, including US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, right, on a tour outside the presidential compound in the capital Juba, South Sudan.

The decision was reached during a meeting between President Salva Kiir and the UN Security Council delegation late Sunday.

The U.N. already has 12,000 peacekeepers in the country, and South Sudan has been wary of giving it more authority. Ateny described it as a diplomatic victory for the government.

Cabinet Minister Martin Elia Lomuro told reporters the government must agree on the number of troops, the countries they come from and the arms they carry.

So far Kiir’s government had rejected the idea of a new force, saying it would violate national sovereignty. The UN said it would consider an arms embargo if the South Sudanese government objected to deployment of the force.

The council authorized the new force following several days of heavy fighting involving tanks and helicopters in Juba in July between troops loyal to Kiir and those backing former Vice President Riek Machar.

Ambassador Samantha Power spoke Saturday as the U.N. Security Council continued a rare visit to the country on the brink of renewed civil war.

Speaking here during the Depositing of Instrument of Ratification on the accession to the treaty for the establishment of the EAC by the Republic of South Sudan, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, East African, Regional and International Cooperation Dr Augustine Mahiga said the Summit is slated for Dar es Salaam on September 8, 2016.

However, it’s uncertain the additional force will be able to protect the local populations or bring stability to the war-torn country.

United Nations peacekeepers have been deployed in South Sudan since 2011, when the country gained independence from 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 Russian Federation, and also of China, which acted like someone who lost two peacekeepers”.

“They want to go out”, he said, adding a protection force would restore security and allow people to go home. He said Machar had wanted to assassinate him that day but that he managed to flee.

“Our aim is to ensure that refugees access to quality services according to global standards, but our long-term strategy is to provide them with the tools and means that enable them to become more self-reliant and less dependent on humanitarian assistance”, Okoth-Obbo said.