Ethiopia to send troops to South Sudan

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Addis Ababa, 29 May 2014 (WIC) - Ethiopia is ready to send troops to South Sudan to prevent renewed fighting between government and rebel forces.

Soldiers from Ethiopia, which shares a border with South Sudan, may arrive in the war-torn nation “within weeks” Bloomberg reported quoting Getachew Reda, an adviser to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

The troops numbering 2,500 will be deployed as part of the United Nations-approved force and comprise of Kenyan and Rwandan forces.

“Deterrence by its nature involves taking action when there are spoilers,” Getachew said. “They will have to deal with anything and anyone that stands in the way of the discharge of their responsibility.”

UN Force

The UN Security Council yesterday adopted a resolution increasing the UN force in South Sudan to 12,500 troops, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement.

The mission will include the deployment of a task force from the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, an East African bloc that includes Ethiopia, to protect civilians and monitor the truce, Ban said.

The UN force can use “all necessary means” to protect and deter violence against civilians through “proactive deployment, active patrolling” in areas that may include oil installations, according to the resolution.

Machar said in March that peacekeepers would be treated as the enemy if they deployed in oil fields he seeks to control. A spokesman for the insurgents, Lul Ruai Koang, said he couldn’t immediately comment when called today.

Troops to protect cease-fire monitors will be deployed in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity, the three states hardest hit by the fighting, Getachew said.