Japan troops quit S.Sudan as Chinese focus

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The last Japanese peacekeepers with a United Nations mission have pulled out of South Sudan on Thursday evening.

The team was Japan’s first with an expanded mandate to use force if necessary to protect civilians and UN staff.

In March 2017, Japan decided to end its peacekeeping mission in war-torn South Sudan.

The 350-member Japanese team had arrived in November last year and focused on road construction.

The last group boarded a plane to Nairobi where it will continue the journey to Japan. The troops were seen off by Japan’s Ambassador to South Sudan Kiya Masahiko.

The departure of the Japanese peacekeepers is also seen as a setback for international support of South Sudan government.

UNMISS chief David Shearer said in statement recently that Japan has become known for hosting excellent cultural events for many years, constructing and maintaining main roads in and around Juba.

Chinese troops doing positive thing

Contributing to UN peacekeeping efforts has been a “positive thing” for military and police officers from China, according to a senior official with the country’s army.

Major General Yang Chaoying is the Acting Force Commander at the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) where more than 1,000 Chinese blue helmets are serving.

Chinese troops in South Sudan

China has been a part of UN peacekeeping since 1990, and Major General Yang said the experience has benefited both Chinese uniformed personnel and the post-conflict countries where they have been deployed.

Ahead of the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, observed on 29 May, the Major General told Maoqi Li why peacekeeping matters to his country.

He began by outlining some of the tasks performed by Chinese peacekeepers in South Sudan.

Source: UNMISS/Tamazuj