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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 November 22 - 28  > Tank shells found in GSDF camp in South Sudan
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2017 November 22 - 28 [SDF]

Tank shells found in GSDF camp in South Sudan

November 24, 2017
During a major battle involving an exchange of shells that occurred in the South Sudanese capital of Juba in July last year, some of the shells fell on the Ground Self-Defense Force's camp.

Akahata inquiries to the Defense Ministry and the data Akahata obtained through access to official information revealed this fact.

Reportedly, several GSDF personnel taking part in the UN PKO mission, amid the flurry of tank shells exploding at the camp, wrote farewell letters to their family members.

According to the DM "summary report" drawn up by the on-site GSDF unit, "an armed battle involving tanks and mortar shells" took place near the GSDF camp between 5:30 p.m. on July 8 when gunfire started around the presidential palace and 6:00 p.m. on July 11 of last year when President Kiir issued a ceasefire order.

Obviously, the five PKO principles, including "a ceasefire agreement between parties concerned", had already been ignored. However, it was in May of this year that Japan eventually pulled all its troops out of South Sudan. The government should have decided to withdraw the GSDF much earlier.

The Abe government, around the time in question, repeatedly claimed in the Diet that "the five principles for Japan's participation in peacekeeping operations are being maintained" and paraphrased the "battle" as "just a shooting incident" in order to trivialize the fighting. The government also intentionally concealed the existence of GSDF "daily reports" which describe the situation in detail by insisting that the reports had been "discarded".

This is because the government at that time sought to assign a "kaketsuke-keigo" (running fast to remote locations to offer armed assistance to foreign troops or civilians) duty to the GSDF, the first assignment under the national security legislation known as the war laws. Prime Minister Abe wanted to create a fait accompli with Japan's full-fledged participation in the U.S. "war on terrorism" in the Middle East and Africa in mind, and therefore he could never admit the truth about the disregard of the five PKO principles, reported Akahata on November 24.

Past related articles:
> JCP Inoue stresses need to reveal hidden motives for ‘daily reports’ cover-up by SDF [August 11, 2017]
> Despite knowing South Sudan was experiencing in combat situation, gov’t kept GSDF there [June 22, 2017]
> Withdrawal of all GSDF personnel from South Sudan completed [ May 28, 2017]
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