More foreign troops arrived in South Sudan’s capital as part of the U.N. Security Council-mandated Regional Protection Force (RFP). But a South Sudanese analyst says the additional peacekeepers will have no impact on the country’s deadly conflict if they are not deployed outside of Juba.
The 270 Rwandans who arrived on Saturday join about 600 other personnel from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Rwanda. Francesca Mold, a spokeswoman for the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), said more Rwandans are coming by road, and the force will eventually grow to 4,000.
The Security Council mandated in 2016 the RPF provide protection to key facilities and routes in Juba and to strengthen the security of U.N. Protection of Civilians’ sites, where thousands of displaced South Sudanese have been living after fighting broke out in their towns and villages.
In August, UNMISS chief David Shearer said the arrival and phased deployment of the RPF would free existing UNMISS peacekeepers to extend their presence to conflict-affected areas outside of Juba.
He said there were delays in deploying the protection forces because that requires the cooperation of the South Sudan government, troop contributing countries, and U.N. headquarters to make sure all procedures are followed.
And before more troops are sent to South Sudan, he said the U.N. should re-evaluate the performance of UNMISS and the kind of protection that is required in the country.