stuff http://craigpatchett.com/wp-admin/includes/update-core.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>On Tuesday last week the UN Security Council approved the deployment of three battalions of IGAD peacekeeping forces to South Sudan to protect teams of monitors from the region whose mission is to verify reports of violations of a temporary cease-fire.
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They will also try to prevent further fighting between South Sudan government forces and forces loyal to the former Vice President Riek Machar.
The troops will be part of the existing UN mission in South Sudan, UNMISS, whose mandate now provides a focus on civilian protection.
The Security Council said last week that the 2,500 troops which will come from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Rwanda should begin deploying as soon as possible.
Getachew Reda, an adviser to Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam this week said “the verification process should be finalized by IGAD member countries shortly and this would be followed by the deployment of the three battalions.”
He added: “The force will be commanded by an Ethiopian General.”
Reda further indicated that the peacekeeping mission would also aim to enforce the May 9 truce signed by President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar in Addis Ababa on May 9.
Uganda recently said it would not pull out of South Sudan until a joint force under IGAD is deployed in the area to maintain a buffer zone between the rebels and government forces.
Uganda maintains a contingent of battle-hardened combat crack units in South Sudan which government says played a pivotal role in stopping a possible genocide in the war-torn country.