South Sudan gives go-ahead for UN force

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Martin Elia Lomuro, Cabinet Affairs Minister in the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan reads a communiqué after the Security Council delegation met President Salva Kiir. UNMISS Photo/Isaac Billy

The South Sudanese government has given the go-ahead for the deployment of a 4,000 strong regional protection force recently mandated by the UN Security Council.

The announcement on Sunday came after Council members, who are currently in the country, met with President Salva Kiir.

Daniel Dickinson has more details.

Civil conflict has raged in South Sudan since December 2013.

Hundreds of people have been killed, over 700,000 have fled across borders as refugees and over one and a half million are displaced inside the country.

It's hoped the 4,000 troops of the Security Council-mandated Regional Protection Force will provide the stability to allow some people to return home.

Martin Elia Lomuro, Cabinet Affairs Minister in the Transitional Government of National Unity read a joint communiqué after the Council delegation met President Kiir.

"The United Nations Security Council and the Transitional Government of National Unity agree to work in a fresh spirit of cooperation to advance the interests of the South Sudanese people, particularly their aspirations for justice, liberty and for prosperity. They agreed that the humanitarian and security needs of the people were paramount. To improve the security situation, the Transitional Government of National Unity gave its consent to the deployment as part of UNMISS of the Regional Protection Force."

South Sudan had initially held back on agreeing to the force saying it was a violation of sovereignty.

There are already some 12,000 peacekeepers serving in the UN mission, known as UNMISS.

South Sudan has also agreed to implement a hybrid court to investigate war crimes.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1'31"

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