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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 June 21 - 27  > Despite knowing South Sudan was experiencing in combat situation, gov’t kept GSDF there
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2017 June 21 - 27 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Despite knowing South Sudan was experiencing in combat situation, gov’t kept GSDF there

June 22, 2017

The recently-released “daily reports” that the Ground Self-Defense Force kept during its PKO mission in South Sudan describe in detail that major battles in December of 2013 in the capital city of Juba triggered the spread of “battles” throughout South Sudan.

In sum, at that point of time, the government already knew that the five principles for Japan’s participation in PKOs, including a “ceasefire agreement between parties concerned”, had collapsed.

Nevertheless, the ruling parties kept explaining to the general public that South Sudan was not in a combat situation and they continued to dispatch GSDF troops there.

In the center of Juba, a fierce gun battle took place in December of 2013 and in July of 2016. Regarding the first major battle, Akahata recently obtained the GSDF reports from the Defense Ministry through access to official information.

According to the reports, on the night of December 15, constant shots being fired were confirmed near the SDF camp and they intensified. The report of the day emphasizes the need to make sure the unit stayed on alert in full combat gear in case of bomb explosions near the camp. On the night of December 16 through December 17, shots were fired and armored tanks were seen. The report dated December 19 points out that the whole of South Sudan was experiencing turmoil. The report of the following day reveals that all of South Sudan has become mired in confusion with fears that it may turn into a civil war. Even after the end of the year, the GSDF daily reports give detailed accounts each day, stating “the violence still continues” and “it is highly possible that the fighting between the government force and the rebels will be prolonged”.

As for the second major battle (Jul. 2016), the GSDF daily reports were already brought to light.

The latter reports vividly describe the outbreak of the battle. Yet still, the government of Japan denied that South Sudan was in a combat situation, insisting that there were no battles but only “sporadic shooting incidents”. In fact, it desperately tried to hide these reports from the general public by claiming that the reports had been destroyed.

Past related articles:
> GSDF concealed daily reports on South Sudan PKO [March 17, 2017]
> Gov’t doesn’t use term ‘combat’ for constitutional reasons: DefMin [February 10, 2017]
> Concealed SDF reports imply need for withdrawal from South Sudan [February 8, 2017]
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