Rwanda is prepared to send more peacekeepers to be part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the acting Defence and Military Spokesperson, Lt Col René Ngendahimana, has confirmed.
He disclosed this yesterday after the U.N. peacekeeping chief, Hervé Ladsous said during a visit to South Sudan’s capital, Juba, on Tuesday that the first peacekeepers from Rwanda, Nepal and Bangladesh will begin arriving in the next few weeks.
“That is true. There is an additional force required by the UN and, Rwanda is ready to contribute an additional battalion,” Ngendahimana told The New Times.
Rwanda presently maintains over 1,800 troops as part of UNMISS.
According to a UN statement, the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, told President Salva Kiir of South Sudan that it is clearer than ever that the problems the country faces must be solved through political rather than military means.
4,000 extra troops
Speaking to the media later in the day, Ladsous said the UN was sparing no effort to speed up the deployment of the 4,000 extra troops of the Regional Protection Force earlier mandated by the Security Council.
The troops from the three countries will later be followed by Ethiopian forces and troops from other countries.
Ladsous was yesterday expected to chair yet another meeting of troop contributors to check the status of the deployments.
During a media briefing in Juba, he indicated that the deployment of the Regional Protection Force “is a very high priority item for the Security Council.”
Ladsous said: “We are working actively on it, we did lose time because getting clearance, authorisations here was slow, but we are sparing no effort to speed up and in the next few weeks you will see the first vanguard of the Regional Protection Force being deployed.”
The Frenchman who is stepping down as the head of UN peacekeeping at the end of the month was joined in South Sudan by the Under-Secretary-General designate, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, another French diplomat, who will take up the position in April.