15 December 2017

Japanese troops arrive in South Sudan

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A 130-strong Japanese military team arrived in South Sudan on Monday to take part in a United Nations peacekeeping mission.

Members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) will counter insecurity and protect civilians in the war-torn nation blighted by three years of civil conflict, the local UN mission -- UNMISS -- confirmed to Anadolu Agency.

Earlier this month, Kenya started withdrawing its soldiers from the South Sudan UN-backed peacekeeping mission. Kenya had said it would pull its forces from UNMISS following the unceremonial dismissal of its commander, Lt. Gen. Johnson Mogoa Kimani Ondieki.

In the two and a half years since civil war erupted, South Sudan has been the scene of atrocities including civilian massacres, the forcing of children into militias, the burning of emergency food supplies and the widespread rape of women and girls, including aid workers. Tens of thousands have been killed.

"The arrival of new peacekeeping personnel from Japan clearly demonstrates Japanese commitment to supporting UN efforts to improve conditions in some of the world’s most destabilizing conflicts,” UNMISS acting spokeswoman, Shantal Persuad said.

South Sudan, the world’s newest country, won its independence from Sudan in 2011 after more than two decades of guerrilla struggle.

2016.11.21 / 22:58
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