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HOME  > Past issues  > 2016 February 17 - 23  > Violence at UN camp in South Sudan verifies risk of SDF members ‘killing’ and ‘being killed’ in PKO missions
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2016 February 17 - 23 [POLITICS]

Violence at UN camp in South Sudan verifies risk of SDF members ‘killing’ and ‘being killed’ in PKO missions

February 20, 2016
The latest violence at a UN refugee camp in South Sudan has illuminated the risk of members of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces “killing” and “being killed” due to expansion of duties in UN PKO missions in accordance with the revision of the relevant law as part of the controversial war legislation.

South Sudan’s radio station, Radio Tamazuj reported that ethnic clashes broke out on the night of February 17 and continued until the next morning at a UN camp in the northeastern town of Malakal which accepts refugees attempting to escape from the unrest within the country. The radio also announced that the violence was escalated with the intervention of the government forces and caused many deaths and casualties among the refugees. International medical humanitarian-aid organization, Doctors Without Borders working at the camp said that during the clashes, at least 18 people were killed and 36 injured.

The revised PKO law will give the SDF the following new duties in UN PKO missions: protection of local residents and policing actions such as stationing, patrolling, inspecting, and guarding specific areas. The law enables the SDF to use weapons to perform these duties.

Based on the law, the SDF will play a role in protecting UN camps using arms. This means that SDF members deployed to a UN camp will be required to use arms to protect civilians there if they encounter an incident like the deadly violence that occurred in South Sudan’s UN camp, and will face the risk of mistakenly shooting innocent civilians in the chaos.

In the worst case to date, South Sudan’s government troop involvement in the latest violence case was widely reported. This indicates another risk that SDF members may be forced to fight with those troops if they are deployed to the camp in question in direct violation of Article 9 prohibiting Japan’s use of force abroad.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo early this month grilled the Abe government concerning these risks.

Past related article:
> Expansion of SDF duties with PKO will raise risk of ‘killing’ and being ‘killed’ [February 5, 2016]
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