Britain to deploy 400 additional troops to South Sudan

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Britain plans to send 400 more troops to South Sudan to boost the 12,000 strong UN peacekeeping force in the country, a senior British official said on Thursday.

The additional troops will mainly comprise of medical and engineering personnel.

British Minister for the Middle East and Africa Tobias Ellwood told UN radio in the capital of Juba that his government will send the troops in March and also announced 100,000 British Pounds (81,300 U.S. dollars) in humanitarian support to the war-torn country.

“We are just embarking on bringing 400 military personnel to join the UN mission here and I was pleased to learn details of that during this visit. But we are also wanting to encourage the national dialogue along with my colleagues,” Ellwood said.

South Sudan has been at war since December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his then deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against his government. Machar denied the allegations but went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government.

A peace deal that was signed last year has continually been violated by the warring factions.

Outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that the world’s youngest nation risks sliding into genocide if an intervention is not carried out soon.

Tens of thousands have been killed since the war began, with more than two million being displaced.

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