July 14, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir said his government “will not accept a single soldier” to back peacekeepers as demanded by regional leaders and the United Nations.
Addressing reporters on Thursday for the first time since violence engulfed the country’s capital, Juba last week, Kiir said his country already has thousands of foreign troops at UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) as peacekeepers.
“No. We will not accept even a single soldier,” stressed the president.
“There are over 12,000 foreign troops here in South Sudan,” he added, in reference to peacekeepers working for the UN mission.
The South Sudanese leader questioned the necessity of more troops.
“What do you need more forces for? What will they come and do? The UNMISS here has so many foreign troops. So we will not accept even a single soldier. We will not accept that,” Kiir added.
The Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers met in Kenya and Monday and resolved that there was need for extra troops to back the UN mission in the young nation.
This also followed a request by UN Security Council to peacekeepers contributing nations to prepare their troops for possible deployment for South Sudan mission.
Last week, fighting broke out in Juba between forces loyal to President Kiir and the armed opposition faction led by first vice President Machar, resulting into death of hundreds of soldiers and civilians and forced Machar out of Juba after his base was overrun.