TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Friday a plan to pull the nation’s engineering troops from South Sudan in May after five years of a peacekeeping mission.
“As South Sudan’s nation-building reaches a new stage, I assessed that the Self Defense Force’s construction and maintenance work in Juba has reached” an appropriate point to end, Abe told reporters.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga stressed at a separate news conference that it was not due to a deterioration in security in the area, according to Kyodo News.
Currently roughly 350 Japanese military engineer troops are in the violence-hit nation as part of the UN peacekeeping mission to perform tasks such as road construction and maintenance.
South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, was engulfed by a civil war in 2013 and faces various humanitarian crises such as famine. AFP