Britain’s Secretary of State for the Department for International Development, Priti Patel, suggested the UK peacekeepers who will be deployed to South Sudan this year could help guard sites of humanitarian organizations.
In an exclusive interview with the Sky News, Patel did not admit whether her country peacekeeping troops will, in fact, protect South Sudan aid. Her statements, however, suggest the UK could give its troops a legal mandate to protect aid sites.
South Sudanese rival forces have in the past been accused of looting humanitarian aid supplies and abducting NGOs and UN personnel.
Britain, which already has troops in South Sudan under UN mandates, announced in October last year that it will send paratroopers to the war-torn young nation for UN peacekeeping mission.
The United Kingdom is a member of Troika, a three-nation (Norway, US, and UK) bloc widely credited for engineering South Sudan’s July 2011 independence.
[South Sudan News Agency]