80 British troops arrive in South Sudan to support UN mission
WASHINGTON: About 80 British troops on Tuesday arrived South Sudan to provide engineering and medical support to UN mission (UNMISS).
UNMISS said the UK contingent, proudly wearing their distinctive blue UN berets, would provide military engineering taskforce to the Malakal and Bentiu protection of civilian sites, as well as a Level II Hospital at Bentiu.
“Nearly 80 medics will arrive to staff a Level II Hospital in Bentiu, providing world class medical care for over 1,800 UNMISS military and civilian personnel,” the UN mission said in a statement issued in Juba.
The Royal engineers will conduct tasks at the UN camps to improve accommodation, routes, security and drainage, as well as the construction of a jetty on the River Nile and a helicopter landing site. Alongside their UNMISS colleague, their efforts will make a contribution to protecting civilians and creating conditions to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid.
“With almost 400 troops in total, this will be one of the UK’s largest operational deployments across the world,” UNMISS said. Last week, UNMISS confirmed the arrival of the first elements of the Regional Protection Force in Juba.
The deployment of the 4,000-strong force was authorised by the UN Security Council. UNMISS says the force will provide protection to key facilities in the nation’s capital Juba and the main routes into and out of the city.
It will also strengthen the security of UN protection of civilians’ sites and other UN premises. The deployment of the force, to be staged over coming months, would free existing UNMISS peacekeepers to extend their presence to conflict-affected areas beyond Juba.