6 June 2014

East Africa: Ethiopia to Lead IGAD Forces in South Sudan

Photo: ERTA
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Heads of State and Government at the 21st extra ordinary summit in Addis Ababa in May 2013.

Ethiopia will lead the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) forces to be deployed in South Sudan under the UN peacekeeping mission in that country, said Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On 27 May 2014 the UN Security Council approved the deployment of three battalions of IGAD peacekeeping forces to South Sudan to protect teams of monitors assigned to verify reports of violations of a temporary cease-fire.

They will also try to prevent further fighting between South Sudan government forces and forces loyal to the former Vice President Riek Machar.

The troops will be part of the existing UN mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, whose mandate now provides a focus on civilian protection.

The Security Council said last week that the 2,500 troops which will come from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda should begin deploying as soon as possible.

An adviser to Ethiopia's Prime Minister, Getachew Reda said the verification process should be finalized by IGAD member countries shortly and this would be followed by the deployment of the three battalions.

The force would be commanded by an Ethiopian General; and he said the peacekeeping mission would also aim to enforce the 9 May 2014 truce signed by President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in Addis Ababa.

- Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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