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AU Backs Call for Robust African Force in South Sudan

The African Union has backed a request for African troops with a robust mandate to reinforce U.N. peacekeepers in South Sudan.

The AU summit meeting in Rwanda’s capital approved the request, which will go the U.N. Security Council.

The African heads of state were responding to a communiqué on South Sudan put out after a meeting with regional leaders and the United Nations on Saturday.

The communiqué issued by IGAD Plus, a body representing East African countries plus Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria and Algeria, called on the U.N. Security Council to extend the U.N. mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, with a revised mandate.

That revised mandate, it specified, should include the deployment of a regional protection force to separate South Sudan’s warring parties.

AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui confirmed the AU support for the IGAD plus request.

“There is the idea of promoting deployment of an African force within the U.N.  All the questions have been accepted by the summit itself.  So you will find them in the decision which will be made public,” said Chergui.

Chergui told journalists the AU envisions sending an African force with a robust “peace enforcement” mandate to South Sudan, like the African intervention brigade in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.




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