4-Nation U.N force in Eastern Africa could be expanded

The final communiqué of the Khartoum meeting said discussions were undertaken to expanding the RPF of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to include troops from Sudan, Uganda, Somalia and Djibouti. Photo : IGAD

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADV) – Army Chiefs of Staff of the eight Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) will meet on 19 November 2018 in Addis Ababa to receive the assessment of the Regional Protection Force (RPF), sources told ADV.

The RPF is backed by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) that is presently composed of troops from Sudan, Uganda, Somalia and Djibouti.

The Djibouti-based IGAD that was created in 1996 includes Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Uganda.

The assessment of the RPF by field commanders will seek to determine whether the RPF needs to be expanded or not, sources told ADV in Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

The decision for the IGAD army chiefs of staff to meet again next November obtained from the meeting in Khartoum on Monday after deliberations on the outcome of the Extraordinary IGAD Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on September 12.

The final communiqué of the Khartoum meeting said discussions were undertaken to expanding the RPF of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to include troops from Sudan, Uganda, Somalia and Djibouti.

The communiqué also indicated that the meeting emphasized the need to reconsider the status of the RPF as well as defining its tasks, in the light of the situation in South Sudan State.

Sudan’s Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Awad Mohamed Ahmed Ibin Auf urged all the South Sudanese parties to press for sustainable solutions to the security challenges in their country.

He also called on the IGAD member states to utilize all the mechanisms for implementing the outcome of the Chiefs of Staff meeting.

Conferees received a comprehensive report by the Chief of Staff of South Sudan State on the security situation in his country which has been torn apart by five years of civil war stemming from power struggle between President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, former vice president turn rebel leader.

© Bur-csa – A.H – N.A / From our regional correspondent Tamba Jean-Matthew III – African Daily Voice (ADV)