By Skynews/Evelyne Wareh
The UK is to send an extra 100 troops to South Sudan in a United Nations peacekeeping role. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon says the deployment will help “tackle instability that leads to mass migration and terrorism”.
The additional soldiers will take the deployment in the African nation to 400, the size of a small battalion. One of their duties will be to provide and staff a field hospital to support other UN staff. There is a fragile peace in South Sudan after an agreement was signed in August 2015 to end a civil war which began in December 2013, killing tens of thousands of people. Hundreds more were killed in renewed fighting which began in July.
The first UK personnel arrived in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, in June. The main body of the deployment is due to arrive next year. UK troops have already carried out engineering work to strengthen infrastructure – provided by two engineer squadron groups – and given advice to the UN mission in South Sudan. Announcing the deployment on the morning of a UN Peacekeeping Conference in London, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said it “underlines how we are stepping up our global commitments”.
He added: “Backed by a rising defence budget, it’s part of our effort to tackle the instability that leads to mass migration and terrorism. It will help keep Britain safe while improving lives abroad.”
The conference, being held at Lancaster House in central London, will be attended by 80 ministers and representatives from governments and organisations. They will discuss how peacekeeping missions can be better planned.