South Sudan has agreed to move forward with the deployment of additional UN troops in agreement between its foreign minister and his counterparts from other East Africa states on Monday.
South Sudan earlier rejected calls for a regional peacekeeping force backed by the UN unless it takes part in deciding which countries can participate with the number of troops they can contribute.
United States Secretary of State John Kerry said there is absolutely no second guessing if the force will be deployed after meeting with East African foreign ministers during his Africa trip that will also see him visit Nigeria. The South Sudanese government however said the regional protection still violates its sovereignty. The country’s legislature is expected to vote on a motion to accept the deployment force.
Kerry said that the force is supplementary to the sovereignty and efforts of South Sudan itself, and urged Juba to be committed in “words and deeds.”
Fighting reignited in Juba after clashes between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and then Vice President Riek Machar threatening the fragile peace agreement. Kiir has since left Juba and replaced by Taban Deng Gai. Machar is said to be safe in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
More than 2.5 million people have fled the fighting since July causing a new wave of humanitarian crisis in refugee camps in the region, especially in Uganda.
South Sudanese army has been accused of raping refugees who went to seek protection outside a UN camp in Juba. The government denied the reports by rights groups.