About Dispatch of SDF Personnel to South Sudan

Q1 What is the background in dispatching the SDF to South Sudan?

South Sudan

A1.Following the independence of South Sudan, the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) was established by the UN Security Council resolution adopted on July 8, 2011, with the aim of fostering the “state building” of the world’s newest state.

In August of the same year, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon who visited Japan asked (then) Prime Minister Kan for cooperation with UNMISS. In response, on-site field surveys had been conducted three times from September to October in order to consider dispatching staff officers and an engineering unit.

After examination from many aspects including whether we would be able to ensure the safety of dispatched personnel and effective activities by them, a decision was made to dispatch three staff officers, and an engineering unit, among others.

Q2 What is the significance of dispatching SDF personnel to South Sudan?

A2.The significance of dispatching SDF personnel to South Sudan includes; to encourage help the people of South Sudan through human cooperation such as infrastructure development while leaving our footprints in the country by cooperating in their state building. By demonstrating the SDF’s high performance, the dispatch will also contribute to the improvement of their trust toward Japan.

Activities of the Engineering Unit Dispatched to South Sudan

Description of process in developing drainage ditches

Description of process in developing drainage ditches

Description of improvement of the Jebel River water-supply-points connecting roads

Measurement of water-supply-points connecting road
Measurement of water-supply-points connecting road
Engineering activity commencement ceremony(Gravel filling service by the UNMISS Deputy Chief of Staff)
Engineering activity commencement ceremony (Gravel filling service by the UNMISS Deputy Chief of Staff)
Commencement of work
Commencement of work

Q3 What kind of personnel has been dispatched from the SDF to South Sudan?

A3.A “staff officer,” an “engineering unit” and a “local support coordination unit” have been dispatched from SDF to South Sudan.

For the “staff officer,” two members (an information officer and a logistics officer) were dispatched in November 2011 and one member (an engineering officer) in January 2012. The three officers are now working in the Headquarters in Juba.

The “engineering unit” has been dispatched since January 2012 in series to engage in the construction of roads, sites and other infrastructure.

The “local support coordination unit” is the first SDF unit specialized in coordination tasks in PKO activities. At the Headquarters in Juba, they engage in coordination and consultation about activities of the engineering unit between the UN, the South Sudan Government and relevant organs so as to ensure effective activities that contribute to the state building of South Sudan.

A contingent of the coordination unit has been set up in the neighboring Uganda for coordination concerning logistics support.

Activities of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (South Sudan PKO)
Activities of the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (South Sudan PKO)

Q4 I heard that many Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) were active there. Does the JSDF cooperate with them?

A4.Many NGOs including those from Japan are active in South Sudan.

Specific infrastructure development projects the SDF units work on are primarily assigned to the SDF by the UN. However, projects developed by local support coordination unit will be designed with a view to cooperation with NGOs.

Q5 Is the SDF activity period fixed?

A5.Under the current plan, the activity of UNMISS is to end by July 2012. In addition, according to the implementation plan, the dispatch period of SDF units is up to the end of October 2012 including the time put aside for pullout.

However, because UNMISS is an activity to support the nation building of South Sudan, the UNMISS activity period may be extended depending on the outcome of discussions at the UN. In that case, the SDF dispatch period will be reviewed based on the condition of South Sudan and the SDF’s achievements results at that point.

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