JUBA – South Sudan government has said that a force is ready to be send to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as part of a special force being dispatched by East African Community (EAC) to help with peace-keeping mission, according to information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth.
East African leaders agreed – following a meeting in Nairobi in June – to deploy a Kenya-led regional security force to stop the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Weeks of fighting between DRC troops and rebels had raised tensions between the DRC and Rwanda, with Congo accusing its neighbor of supporting the rebels, something Rwanda denies.
Speaking to reporters following a weekly cabinet meeting in Juba on Friday, Makuei said defense minister Angelina Teny presented a report requesting funds for the 750-strong-men force which he said was undergoing training.
“The cabinet listened to a report from the minister of defense Her Excellency Angelina Teny and hers was a request for an approval of funds for the special force, of course you know very well the last East African Community conference it was decided that members of the of East African Community should deploy forces in [the Democratic Republic of] Congo,” Makuei said.
“We were given a battalion and our battalion is 750. This 750 is now undergoing a training and so she presented a budget to the cabinet for approval and this budget of course is not included in our ordinary budget so it should be a special fund for this project because this is an East African Community resolution and there is no way we can avoid taking part in it because we have been given a battalion to cover our borders,” he added.
The senior government official further said the cabinet approved more than $6.8 million for the force and directed the finance minister to pay immediately.
“The amount which she requested is 6,689,500 US dollars. This amount will cover this purpose so that they can perform their functions and duties along the border accordingly,” he said.
“This amount was approved was directed to pay this accordingly because this is urgent and it is important,” he stressed.