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South Sudanese lawmakers call for 'restrictions' on troop deployment

07 September 2016, 13:21

Juba - While most lawmakers in South Sudan have welcomed government's decision to accept the deployment of a regional protection force, some lawmakers have called on conditions to be placed on such a commitment, VOA News reports

The South Sudanese government had initially opposed the move to have troops deployed to the region but caved to international pressure after the United Nations Security Council met with President Salva Kiir during a rare visit to the turbulent east African country.  

Reports last week indicated that South Sudan had agreed to the deployment of a 4 000 strong regional protection force after first rejecting the peacekeepers as a violation of its sovereignty.

The UN already had 12 000 troops in the country and South Sudan had been wary of giving it more authority.

However, Zacharaih Matur, a Member of Parliament (MP), shifted the government's focus once again on Tuesday, when he proposed that the country should be given a say in choosing which troops should be deployed and the type of equipment weapons they would use. Matur also said it should be clear which countries the troops were from.

Rights and dignity of women 

"It seems we are surrounded by quite a number of hostile nations that have vested interest in our country. They would like to get a chance to get in and exploit us," Mutur was quoted as saying in Juba.

Another MP, Flora Solomon, expressed hope that that the rights and dignity of women would be protected. 

"I think this force, when they come, they will be helping us more because we are now tired... "Since 2013, women are the victims of this senseless trouble which has come to South Sudan, and I hope these forces will help the situation of prevention of violence against women,”Solomon said.

A South Sudanese analyst, Professor James Okuk, has since cautioned against Matur's suggestions, claiming that government would not be able to negotiate conditions for the deployment due to a restriction barring member states of the United Nations from negotiating with the Security Council once an agreement has been made between the two parties.

According to the Okuk, the international community would not tolerate a volatile situation that caused harm to civilians and noncombatants in a foreign country, a report by Metrotell said.

- News24


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