Tokyo, March 10 (Jiji Press)—Japan plans to withdraw its engineering troops deployed on a peacekeeping mission in South Sudan around the end of May, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō said Friday.
The withdrawal will end the activities of Ground Self-Defense Force troops that have lasted in the war-torn African country for over five years.
“With South Sudan entering a new phase of nation-building, the Japanese government has judged that the SDF will be able to end its role of improving infrastructure in the capital Juba,” Abe told reporters at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo after a meeting of the National Security Council.
Abe signaled that Japan will shift its focus of support for South Sudan to humanitarian assistance and personnel development. “Japan will contribute as much as possible to the peace and development of South Sudan,” he said.
Some 350 GSDF troops will pull out of South Sudan while four members will remain at the headquarters of the UN Mission in South Sudan, or UNMISS.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]