February 1, 2016, the UK’s Ministry of Defense says it has deployed a military team to South Sudan to look at what role its government could play in the UN peacekeeping mission.
It says around 12 of its Armed Forces personnel travelled to the country last week in order to make the assessment.
The deployment follows Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement in September that the UK would double its contribution to active peacekeeping in 2016, with plans to deploy troops to South Sudan as well as Somalia.
UK says once the assessment is complete, further troops may be sent to South Sudan to carry out specific tasks.
These include engineering work to strengthen infrastructure and further advisory support.
In a report on the government website, UK says it will work with the UN to finalize these plans and precise numbers are yet to be agreed on.
“This is another demonstration of the flexibility and global reach of our Armed Forces,” Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said.
“It’ll support UN efforts to end some of the world’s most destabilizing conflicts, helping to tackle a key driver of migration.”
But it says up to 300 troops could participate in South Sudan over the course of multiple deployments.
The UN mission in South Sudan has been mandated by the Security Council to keep peace and monitor the human rights situation.