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South Sudan to send 750 troops to join regional force in DRC | Conflict News


Soldiers have traveled to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to join a new regional force to try to calm the latest wave of fighting there.

South Sudan’s military says more than 700 personnel will travel to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to join a new regional force to try to calm the latest deadly clashes there.

South Sudan’s military spokesman, Major General Lul Ruai Koang, told the AP news agency on Monday that the government was working to provide 750 soldiers with the equipment needed for combat missions.

The United Nations earlier this year extended an arms embargo on South Sudan, citing continued deadly violence as the country was slow to implement a 2018 peace agreement that ended its five-year civil war. According to local authorities and the United Nations, thousands of people are still being killed.

A South Sudanese military spokesman did not say how long troops would be sent to eastern Congo. “The forces are still training and they are still at a prepared level,” he said.

Earlier this year, leaders of the seven-nation East African Community decided to create and deploy a regional force to the eastern DRC, where dozens of armed groups are active.

Diplomatic tensions rose when Kinshasa accused smaller neighbor Rwanda of supporting the armed group M23, something United Nations and US officials have also pointed out in recent months.

Kigali denied the allegation and accused Kinshasa of colluding with the FDLR, a Rwandan Hutu rebel group formerly formed in the DRC following the 1994 Tutsi genocide in Rwanda.

Kenya has a leading role in regional forces and in peace efforts. A South Sudanese military spokesman told the AP after Kenyan President William Ruto visited South Sudan over the weekend.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir last week said his country would contribute to regional security despite its own domestic challenges.

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