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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir, center, attends the departure ceremony of the South Sudan People’s Defence Forces, at SSPDF headquarters in Juba, Dec. 28, 2022.

South Sudan Sends 750 Soldiers To Join East Africa Force In DR Congo

South Sudan is sending 750 troops to join the East Africa Force trying to bring peace in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. This is despite its own struggles to restore peace back home.

President Salva Kiir officially deployed troops to the Eastern DR Congo to join an East African regional force to end decades of bloodshed in that country.

The troops join contingents from Kenya, Burundi, and Uganda, in what is seen as a test of the East African Community’s ability to respond to violence in the region and stabilize the country.

Addressing the troops in Juba, Kiir also advised the force to maintain the highest level of professionalism.

“You are now going on a mission to achieve and keep peace in Congo,” he said. “Now, you are going on a peacekeeping mission, only your caps will change to blue caps. This is because you will participate in a joint operation between all the countries of East Africa. I warn you of the need to show discipline and order, and to carry out orders.”

He also instructed the troops not to commit crimes such as rape.

“SPLA during the liberation struggle was very disciplined. I don’t want you to go and cause chaos or disorder. Don’t go and engage in the raping of women and girls,” he said.

The Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Angelina Teny said that as a member of the EAC, South Sudan has a stake in the security and stability of the DR Congo.

“We were asked to contribute to a battalion. And we have been preparing all this time and the battalion is ready today. They have just received their final orders from the president and commander-in-chief. They will now be on their way for that operation,” she said.

South Sudan soldiers at the Army headquarters in Juma prepare for deployment to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 28, 2022. (Sheila Ponnie/VOA)
South Sudan soldiers at the Army headquarters in Juba prepare for deployment to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 28, 2022. (Sheila Ponnie/VOA)

Teny also said the EAC had given regional backing to South Sudan’s troop deployment in the eastern DRC. She described the country’s troop deployment as a positive move by a country grappling with its own security issues.

“We are very proud today because the flag of the Republic of South Sudan is going to be flying as a region continuing to contribute to stability and peace,” she said. “This is a great opportunity for us to change the image of this country.”

South Sudan’s troops will be stationed in Goma city. They will also conduct operations to restore normalcy to the region, where Congolese troops are fighting the M23 rebel group.

Source: VOA 

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