March 21, 2017 (JUBA) – South Sudan additional Regional Protection Force (RPF) will be deployed in the next few weeks, said the outgoing head of U.N. peacekeeping operations Hervé Ladsous on Tuesday.
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The head of the UN peacekeeping mission, Herve Ladsous speaking in Juba (UNMISS photo)
Ladsous conducted a two-day visit to Juba where he discussed with the President Salva Kiir and South Sudanese officials the deployment of the additional 4000 peacekeepers and the national dialogue process the government proposed to reach a political solution for the over three-year crisis.
In a press conference held before to leave the troubled country, the French diplomat admitted the slowness implementation of the UN Security Council decision following the deadly Juba clashes in July 2016 to deploy the regional force, stressing they spared no efforts to speed up its deployment.
“I think I can say that in the next few weeks you will see the first vanguard of the Regional Protection Force being deployed here in Juba and that I think will be a very important signal that things are moving ahead,” he said.
he further said he would chair a meeting in New York with the troops’ contributors on Wednesday “o check where we are on these deployments”.
He further indicated that troops from Rwanda, Nepal, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and others will take part in this force.
He explained that the delay was caused by tergiversation of the South Sudanese government to accept the resolution in a first time followed by the time to get the land to build camps and facilities.
“We need to sort out the details, we need the clearances to get the equipment in, and all that was painfully slow here. So now we are clearing the obstacles, and it is my hope that now we will be able to proceed much more quickly,” he asserted.