A military observer from Namibia serving with the international peacekeeping operation is seen during a patrol in the region of Abyei, central Sudan, in this handout picture released by the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) May 30, 2011.

The outgoing UN peacekeeping chief said the first units of a long-delayed regional protection force for South Sudan will deploy within a few weeks.

The UN Security Council last year authorized an additional 4,000 peacekeepers in response to a surge in violence in the world’s youngest nation.

Herve Ladsous spoke Tuesday at the end of a two-day visit to South Sudan’s capital, Juba.

“We are sparing no effort in speeding up, and in the next few weeks you will see the first vanguard of the regional force being deployed here in Juba. And I think that will be a very important signal to know that things are moving ahead,”Ladsous said.

Ladsous pointed out that the first batches to arrive for the regional protection force will be from Ethiopia, Nepal, Rwanda and Bangladesh.

Ladsous, who visited Juba this week along with his successor, Jean-Pierre Lacroix, met with President Salva Kiir and other top officials.

Radio Tamazuj

UN: First units of regional protection force to deploy to Juba within weeks
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