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South Sudan offers peacekeepers

South Sudan offers peacekeepers

Though still dealing with unresolved border disputes and internal rebelions, the newly indpendent government of South Sudan has offered to help the peace in another country in its region: 

South Sudan has offered to send African Union troops to Somalia to back the weak interim government.

South Sudan, which became independent on 9 July, made the offer on the day it joined the African Union (AU). The AU has 9,000 troops in Somalia, but it says it needs up to 20,000 soldiers to repel the Islamist group, al-Shabab.

Deng Alor Kuol, South Sudan’s foreign affairs minister, said the new state was prepared to bolster the force to show its commitment to peace in Africa.

"It is part of our responsibility to help our Somali brothers and sisters to achieve peace," he told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme. "We, as Africans, must be in the lead to alleviate problems before we ask the Western world, or anyone else, to come and help us."

Since South Sudan is likely to continue to requre quite a bit of international assistance for its development and security in the coming years, the government consider this a wise investment meant at building up international good will. It can also be a sound economic move. 

International peacekeeping missions, including the AU’s force in Somalia, are generally funded by Western nations and manned by developing ones. Peacekeeping is often a valuable source of revenue for cash-starved governments. As David Bosco recently wrote, " In a very real sense, the rich world has hired Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Indian, Egyptian, Nigerian and Nepalese troops to grapple with some of the world’s most intractable conflicts."