Rwandan Peacekeepers have arrived South Sudan on Wednesday to maintain peace following the heavy fighting in Juba between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and those backing former Vice President Riek Machar.
About 120 peacekeepers were deployed to South Sudan, which is the first detachment of 4,000 extra troops approved by the U.N. last year to help protect the capital of Africa’s newest country.
David Shearer, the U.N. Secretary General’s special representative in South Sudan, told a news conference that the recruits who arrived this weekend would join a battalion from Nepal and Bangladesh attached to the regional protection force (RPF). He also added that the arrival of the troops marks the beginning of the phased deployment of the RPF,”
The RPF has been given the commission to enforce peace in Juba and protect the capital’s sole international airport and other important facilities as well as stopping anyone “preparing attacks, or engages in attacks” against U.N. sites, aid workers or civilians and would confront South Sudanese government troops if needed.
“Having additional troops means we can carry out more tasks related to our mandate to protecting civilian and build a durable peace,” Shearer said.