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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 22 - 28  > SDF is in the most dangerous area in Juba: volunteer leader in South Sudan
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2017 February 22 - 28 [POLITICS]

SDF is in the most dangerous area in Juba: volunteer leader in South Sudan

February 22, 2017
Where the Ground Self-Defense Force units engage in PKO activities now “is the most dangerous area in Juba, and it would not be surprising at all for some kind of conflict to occur.”

Imai Takaki, Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC) resident representative in Sudan, said this in regard to the serious situation in the South Sudanese capital of Juba at a Lower House hearing held on February 21 in Tokyo.

The GSDF has been participating in UN peacekeeping operations in and around a UN protection facility for evacuees. According to Imai, government troops frequently attack civilians taking refuge at the facility who are from the same tribe as opposition leader Machar. Imai claimed, “The Japanese government says, ‘It’s calm in Juba,’ but the five principles required to allow SDF participation in PKO missions have already collapsed.”

Regarding Defense Minister Inada Tomomi replacing the term “combat” with “clash”, Imai criticized her for just playing with words.

The government of Japan in December last year, by abstaining from voting, helped scrap a UNSC resolution banning arms exports to South Sudan. Imai said, “An arms embargo is the most important countermeasure to take while the fighting is actually taking place.” He also reported on the circumstances in which weapons have not only been imported through official channels but have also been brought into South Sudan from neighboring countries. The local volunteer leader emphasized the need to prohibit the world’s governments from exporting weapons to South Sudan and at the same time search for ways to bring about reconciliation between forces loyal to President Mayardit and the rebel forces.

Past related articles:
> Gov’t doesn’t use term ‘combat’ for constitutional reasons: DefMin [February 10, 2017]
> Concealed SDF reports imply need for withdrawal from South Sudan [February 8, 2017]
> Abe gov’t helps fuel civil war in South Sudan [December 25, 2016]
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