Soldiers have left for eastern Democratic Republic of Congo to join a new regional army in an effort to end the recent war there.
South Sudan’s army says more than 700 soldiers have gone to the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to join forces with an army that wants to put an end to the recent unrest in the region.
South Sudan’s military spokesman, Major General Lul Ruai Koang, told the Associated Press on Monday that the government is working to provide 750 soldiers with the necessary equipment for the war.
The United Nations earlier this year imposed an arms embargo on South Sudan, citing continued violence as the country slowly implements a 2018 peace deal that ended a five-year civil war. Thousands of people are still being killed, according to government officials and the UN.
The South Sudan military spokesman did not say that troops would be sent to eastern Congo soon. “Organizations are still being trained, and they are still in the planning stage,” he said.
At the beginning of this year, the leaders of the seven countries of the East African Community decided to create and send an army to the east of the DRC, where there are many armed groups.
The diplomatic row is escalating as Kinshasa accuses neighboring Rwanda of providing aid to the M23 militia, which UN and United States officials have also said in recent months.
Kigali disputes the case and accuses Kinshasa of collaborating with the FDLR, a Rwandan Hutu terrorist group that was established in the DRC after the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
Kenya has a leading role in the region’s armed forces and peacekeeping operations. South Sudan’s military spokesman spoke to AP after Kenyan President William Ruto visited South Sudan over the weekend.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir last week said his country would support regional security despite their own problems at home.