By Julius Gale JUBA, (Xinhua) --
The South Sudanese government on Monday criticized
Japan for its decision to pull out its troops from the United
Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) after five years of
supporting peace and reconstruction efforts in the conflict-ravaged
spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mawen Makol told
Xinhua by phone that the South Sudanese government sees no threat
against the Japanese troops in Juba as there is some relative peace
in the country.
“The country is getting to normalcy now and this is the time where
we are expecting the goodwill of the UN peacekeeping mission here in
South Sudan to help until we finally achieve a peaceful settlement
and peace in the country,” Makol said.
“People are seeing some relative peace in the country so I do not
see any reason for Japan to say the situation in South Sudan is
still volatile. So withdrawal is not helpful because this is a time
that we need a helping hand from countries like Japan,” he added.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced last week that the
country would withdraw the Self-Defense Force (SDF) from UNMISS by
the end of May.
Tokyo started contributing a contingent of 350 Ground Self-Defense
to the UN mission since 2012 to assist in building infrastructure.
The peacekeeping mission was extended last November for five months,
but the Japanese government immediately came under pressure from
opposition parties concerning the security situation in the
Japan to withdraw SDF from S. Sudan
TOKYO, (Xinhua) --
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday
that the country will withdraw its Self-Defense Force from a UN
mission in South Sudan by the end of May.
The prime minister said that the withdrawal was due to the African
country’s “entering a new phase of nation-building.”
Japan’s top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide
denied later that the withdrawal was a result of the deteriorating
security situation in South Sudan.
Japan has been sending its Ground Self-Defense Force personnel to
build infrastructure as part of a U.N. mission in South Sudan since
2012. The African country gained independence from Sudan in 2011.
The mission, however, has been controversial in Japan, as Japanese
laws forbid the SDF to operate in areas where combats take place.
Japan’s Defense Minister Tomomi Inada has also been under fire for
“downplaying” the seriousness of the South Sudan conflict by
referring to it as “armed clashes” while daily activity logs of the
Japanese troops there mentioned “combats.”
The opposition parties demanded Inada to resign over the issue last
month, but Inada dismissed the allegation by saying that there was
no combat in South Sudan in legal sense even though the logs
South Sudan has been mired in crisis since a political face-off
between President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Riek
Machar erupted into full conflict in December 2013.
Despite the August 2015 peace agreement that formally ended the
civil war, fightings continued between the government and opposition
forces and conflict and instability kept spreading in the African
The UN Security Council called on all parties in South Sudan to
immediately stop fighting last month.