Earlier this week, South Sudan’s government announced that they will no longer accept the deployment of any additional peacekeepers from United Nations. Claims have been made that the security situation in the country has improved significantly, and will require less support in the form of peacekeepers. Renewed fighting in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, in August of this year has elicited the attention of the United Nations Security Council, and eventually led to the peacekeeping mission currently situated within the country’s borders. More than 12,000 peacekeeping mission troops, many of which have been situated in South Sudan since it gained independence in 2011, will slowly evacuate as the government continues to provide security and stability to its citizens.
Defence Minister Kuol Manyand Juuk released a statement recently, claiming there was no need for the regional protection forced to be deployed in South Sudan. The security of Juba was also mentioned, as Juuk placed emphasis on the fact that it is now considered secure. “The government of South Sudan has the ability to provide security and stability for the country and for its citizens without the deployment of a …protection force,” South Sudan’s Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Mawien Makol Ariik said on Wednesday. As a result of this, South Sudan’s government has rejected 4,000 additional peacekeepers.
South Sudan has suffered conflict for decades. Surviving two major civil wars and countless skirmishes, the country was completely devoid of any unity and peace for over 50 years. Socialist and communist forces formed rebel groups to oppose the government at the time. Militia groups within the band of rebels formed and were used to combat the government’s own troops. This continued until a breakthrough agreement was reached between southern rebels and the Sudanese government in 2002. A comprehensive peace agreement between North and South Sudan ended the second civil war and transitioned into a fragile peace for three years. This eventually led to a successful independence referendum in 2009, whereby the people of South Sudan voted in favour of full independence from Sudan. A third civil war is instigated in 2013, and is followed by the United Nations intervening to protect civilians.
The civilians of South Sudan have suffered and endured through numerous conflicts and civil war. The unrest within the country’s borders have led to a lack of support and protection for the citizens, as well as an increased risk for injury and death. The support provided by the United Nations was imperative to the stabilisation of South Sudan’s government and economy. The presence of such a large amount of peacekeeping troops greatly reduced any potential conflict in the future, and maintained the safety and security of the citizens long enough for the government to initialise its own system of protection for the country.
Many citizens of South Sudan are of the opinion that the conflict within their country is under control by the government, and will be eradicated in the near future. This belief has stemmed from the rejection of 4,000 peacekeeping troops from the United Nations, indicating the government’s ability to provide security and protection without the support of external sources. Peace will be perpetuated throughout the country, as more and more citizens place more trust into the government and its ability to support them.