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JUBA - 28 Jul 2017

Two battalions of regional protection force to arrive in Juba soon

File photo
File photo

The first battalions of the regional protection force (RPF) of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) are expected to arrive in the country soon, the government spokesman said Friday.

"We are informed that the first battalions that will be arriving here will be one battalion from Ethiopia and another battalion from Rwanda. These are the two battalions that will be arriving immediately. We don’t know when will they be moving in but that’s what we have learned so far," South Sudan’s Information Minister, Michael Makuei said after the cabinet meeting.

In August 2016, the UN Security Council following request by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) approved the deployment of 4,000-strong RPF force to secure South Sudan’s capital Juba in the outbreak of war in July 2017.

South Sudan’s government agreed after first rejecting the regional protection force as a breach of the country’s national sovereignty.

Minister Makuei said the delay of the regional protection force was not from the government, noting that the peacekeepers of the RPF have already been allocated land by the government.“The delay of the RPF is not on outside but no their side, so we are still waiting for them up to that time when they come,” he said.

The 4,000 peacekeepers of the RPF will be based in the capital Juba to bolster the UN mission's capacity to provide protection to civilians.