September 18, 2018
JUBA – The IGAD leaders will ask the United Nations Security Council to enable Sudan, Uganda, Djibouti and Somali troops to join the Regional Protection Force (RPF) deployed in South Sudan.
The decision was taken during the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government held, in Addis Ababa, on 12 September 2018, and made public in a communiqué released on Monday 17 September.
“Resolves that IGAD shall engage the UN Security Council (…) and shall request for a further review of its mandate to allow Sudan, Uganda, Djibouti and Somalia as guarantors, to contribute forces to enhance the protection and security throughout the implementation of the R-ARCSS”.
They further decided that the “Chiefs of Staff assess the operational needs and elaborate the necessary tasks of the RPF in light of the current situation on the ground,” said the statement.
The IGAD countries among others will be tasked with the protection of the opposition leaders once they return to the country to take part in the transitional government. The matter was considered during the peace talks violence similar to what happened in the South Sudanese capital in July 2016.
In August 2016, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) decided in its Resolution 2304 (2016) to deploy additional 4,000 troops to beef up the existing 13,000 UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) force.
But its deployment had been delayed due to a disagreement between Juba and the United Nations over the RPF’s tasks. Also, the UN mission failed to mobilize the needed troops.
Kenya seemingly refused to join the force following the withdrawal of troops in November 2017. President Kenyatta was angered by the sack of a Kenyan general from the command of the UN forces in Juba for his failure to protect civilians in July 2016.
The IGAD leaders also decided that for the time being SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar can “stay in a country of his choice in the region”. Sudan on Monday disclosed he is residing in Khartoum.
– Sudan Tribune | Published: September 17, 2018