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Kiir to DRC-bound battalion: Don’t go Chaos

President Salva Kiir on Wednesday saw off the over 700 soldiers expected to depart to the Democratic Republic of Congo for the regional peacekeeping mission.

The SSPDF officers from different units are now part of the East Africa regional task force.

The components of military police, military intelligence, signal corps, engineering corps, administration, logistics and infantry units – underwent four months of training in Juba.

They are set to be airlifted to DR Congo soon, but the date has not been mentioned.

President Salva Kiir directed the forces to exercise discipline and be good soldiers in DR Congo.

Addressing the 720 soldiers at the Army Headquarters in Bilpam, Kiir also urged them to represent South Sudan well.

“Go with discipline as good soldiers. It is a similar reason that you are going to Congo today, we have something here called UNMISS, UNISFA, and many more. We have all these here because of the fight you did here,” he said.

“SPLA during the liberation struggle was very disciplined. I don’t want you to go and cause chaos or disorder, don’t go and engage in the raping of women and girls.”

“Don’t go and take properties of others in shops, or from civilians, that is not what you are there for.”

Fighting has been raging in the east as the M23 rebel group makes territorial advances, sending tens of thousands of people fleeing from their homes.

Over 120 armed groups are active across the mineral-rich eastern Congo, many of them a legacy of regional wars that flared at the turn of the century.

The M23 rose to prominence in 2012 when it captured the main eastern city of Goma, before being driven out and going to ground.

But it re-emerged late last year, claiming Kinshasa had failed to honor a pledge to integrate its fighters into the army, among other grievances.

Burundi and Kenya have sent their troops and Uganda is expected to deploy its soldiers in the coming weeks.

South Sudan has sent its staffing officers ahead of its soldiers’ deployment.


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