East African Heads See More Troops Quelling South Sudan Violenceby
East African leaders agreed to send extra troops for a United Nations mission in South Sudan to keep rival military factions apart after fighting in the capital last weekend left hundreds of people dead and stoked fears of a return to all-out civil war.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development, chaired by Ethiopian Premier Hailemariam Desalegn, said Sunday in an e-mailed statement that more soldiers were needed to “separate the warring parties, protect major installations, the civilian population and pacification of Juba,” the capital. The idea, which has support from the UN and African Union, was rejected by South Sudanese President Salva Kiir last week.
A power-sharing deal between Kiir and former rebel leader Riek Machar to end more than two years of civil war has broken down, with fighting killing more than 270 people this month. Confrontations that began July 7 and continued sporadically for about five days led to Machar’s troops fleeing the capital and the deaths of at least two UN peacekeepers.
Neither Kiir’s spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny, nor Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth answered calls on Monday seeking comment. Kiir said on July 14 he would reject any further military intervention, according to Radio Miraya, a UN-backed radio station in South Sudan.