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Fiji Time: 4:27 AM on Tuesday 29 July

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Six for Sudan

Shalveen Chand
Sunday, January 05, 2014

POLICE will send six more officers to South Sudan even though tension flares in the war-torn African nation.

Acting Police Commissioner Ravi Narayan has been in close contact with the United Nations.

Mr Narayan said the team was preparing to leave later in the month and was awaiting travel details from the UN.

Two months ago, eight police officers left for South Sudan, joining the five already there.

Police have not clarified if the six who will leave later this month will serve as replacement or increase the numbers already there.

Mr Narayan said he was being constantly updated of the situation in Sudan and there, as yet, had been no decision to pull out.

According to media reports from South Sudan, the situation is deteriorating.

American news website NBC reported the US pulled out 20 of its nationals from South Sudan including a couple who were running a charity for 10 orphans.

The orphans have been left in the care of the UN.

The BBC reported that fighting between supporters of President Salva Kiir and those of his sacked deputy Riek Machar has killed at least 1000 people since December 15.

The US has announced a further cut in its embassy staff in South Sudan.

However, it is also reported that initial meetings in Addis Ababa between mediators and the warring parties in South Sudan have been fruitful.

BBC quoted Ethiopia's Foreign Minister, Tedros Adhanom saying direct talks between the two sides, aimed at ending the violence, would begin today.

While the US is pulling out, UN, however, is flying more staff into Juba to help in the aid effort and to protect civilians' human rights.

Mr Narayan has indicated Fiji could assist further in peacekeeping missions with the UN.

South Sudan is the world's newest state. It was formed in 2011, gaining independence from Sudan after decades of conflict.

More than 180,000 people have been displaced in the conflict.


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